NFL rules stipulate that a player needs to have suffered a new injury that would sideline him at least six weeks to be placed on injured reserve. If that is not the case, the team is obligated to release the player once he is healthy.
Rodgers was activated off injured reserve and played last Sunday against the Carolina Panthers but came out of the game because he was "sore," according to Packers coach Mike McCarthy.
But Green Bay did not announce its decision to place Rodgers back on injured reserve until Tuesday, after the Packers had been eliminated from a potential postseason spot.
Had the Atlanta Falcons lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night, keeping alive Green Bay's playoff chances, it's possible Rodgers could have played Saturday night against the Minnesota Vikings. But the Packers opted to shut him down, which teams complained was a violation of NFL rules.
It is not believed that Rodgers suffered any type of new injury against the Panthers.