PITTSBURGH – Aaron Rodgers clung to hope, but worry was obvious in his voice.
"We'll evaluate today and tomorrow and give you a better update tomorrow," the Packers quarterback told reporters in a postgame interview that could only be described as somber. "It's difficult to lose a guy like that," Rodgers added.
The worry is for star wide receiver Jordy Nelson's injured knee. He is Rodgers' favorite target, his most trusted target. Nelson is one half of the Packers' favorited pass play, the back-shoulder pass.
"It's 100 percent injury percentage for all players. It's just unfortunate it happens in the preseason," Rodgers said.
Nelson fell to the turf after catching an 8-yard pass from Rodgers on the Packers' opening drive of the game, 80 yards in 10 easy plays. That was the end of Nelson's day. The hope is it won't be the end of Nelson's season.
Rodgers would also leave the game to injury, after being sacked for a safety by James Harrison late in the first quarter. Rodgers sustained a bruise to his right arm. Mike McCarthy said Rodgers would've remained in the game had it been the regular season.
"Into the second quarter was the plan. Aaron got hit on the sack but it was nothing that he couldn't play in the game," McCarthy said.
McCarthy's and Rodgers' postgame interview sessions were more about speculation than news. What if Nelson couldn't return? Do the Packers have the depth to replace him without a drop in production?
"Great players make other players better," McCarthy said, obviously referring to Rodgers.
What about preseason games? Are they necessary?
"At least cut it down to a couple," Rodgers said.
Now, Rodgers and the Packers wait for the news. Will Nelson play again this season?