GREEN BAY, Wis. – Quarterback Aaron Rodgers left Monday night's game against the Bears with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder before the Bears took a 17-10 lead into halftime on a 1-yard touchdown run by Matt Forte and Robbie Gould's field goal.
Rodgers hurt his left shoulder when he was sacked while scrambling to his right on a third-and-8 at the Bears 12 by defensive end Shea McClellin with 12:38 to go in the first quarter.
A trainer looked at Rodgers' upper body on the bench. The 2011 NFL MVP took a few tosses on the sideline, then was attended to again before running inside Lambeau Stadium for tests. He was ruled out early in the second quarter.
Rodgers hasn't missed a game because of injury since Dec. 19, 2010, when he had a concussion.
A worst-case scenario for Packers' fans then came to fruition: backup Seneca Wallace took over at quarterback. Rodgers' injury turned this high-profile matchup with the Bears into the Battle of the Backups. Josh McCown started for Jay Cutler, who was out with a groin injury.
McCown fared well in the first half, going 14 of 22 for 196 yards and benefiting from Bears receivers gaining chunks of yards after catches. The Bears didn't back down after giving McCown two weeks to prepare following a Bears bye.
Lining up out of the shotgun, McCown found Forte on a short pass that turned into a 33-yard gain when the running back split defenders Sam Shields and Morgan Burnett before being taken down by M.D. Jennings at the Packers 25. Four plays later, Forte ran up the middle from 1 yard out to give Chicago its two-point lead.
McCown forcefully pumped his right arm in the air in celebration as he jogged back to the sideline.
McCown also scrambled 20 yards to the Packers 6 on third-and-9 to save a late drive that ended with Gould's 24-yard field goal with time expiring at the half.
With Rodgers down, the Packers turned to its new-found running game to help keep up.
James Starks darted up the middle for his touchdown with 3:45 in the first quarter, one play after a lunging Jamari Lattimore blocked a punt by Chicago's Adam Podlesh that was recovered by Chris Banjo at the Bears 32.
Starks had three carries for 32 yards in the half, while rookie Eddie Lacy had 11 carries for 58 yards.
Wallace had a short pass tipped by Julius Peppers, who then jumped and tipped the ball again, as if going for a rebound, before gaining control for an interception and returning it 14 yards to Packers 45.
The Bears' momentum was erased four plays later by the blocked punt and Starks' touchdown run.
Chicago scored when McCown connected with Brandon Marshall for a 23-yard touchdown pass for a 7-3 lead on the possession after Rodgers got hurt. The Packers settled for a 30-yard field goal on that drive.
Wallace hadn't played in a game since Jan. 1, 2012, when he was with the Browns — a 13-9 loss to the Steelers.
Until Rodgers departure, the Packers were getting good news on the injury front. Receiver James Jones was active Monday after missing two games with a knee injury, and linebacker Brad Jones returned after missing three games with a sore hamstring.
The offense is already out receiver Randall Cobb (leg) and tight end Jermichael Finley (neck), while the defense is minus pass-rushing linebacker Clay Matthews.
Chicago was just as hamstrung, playing without linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder).
It was the 187th meeting of the league's oldest rivalry, which dates back to 1921.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org