Aaron Rodgers had no part in the decision to kick a field goal on fourth down of the Green Bay Packers' final drive in their 31-26 NFC Championship Game defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and indicated afterwards that his future is uncertain.
Down eight points with a little over two minutes remaining, the Packers were unable to get into the endzone on three attempts from the eight-yard line in Sunday's title decider.
Instead of taking the aggressive approach in backing star quarterback Rodgers to pull Green Bay within a two-point conversion of tying the game at 31-31, the top-seeded Packers elected to kick a field goal.
That cut the gap to 31-26 but the Packers never got the ball back, a pass interference penalty on Kevin King giving the Buccaneers a first down on the subsequent drive to effectively seal the game.
Asked about the fourth-down call, Rodgers – making his first conference championship game appearance at Lambeau Field – said he had no influence on head coach Matt LaFleur's thinking.
"It wasn't my decision, I understand the thinking, above two minutes with all of our timeouts, but it wasn't my decision," Rodgers, 37, told reporters post-game as Tom Brady's Buccaneers reached the Super Bowl.
Rodgers added of the penalty on King: "I think it was a bad call, I think there were a few opportunities for some plays down the field for us that weren't called.
"I was surprised that call in that situation was made. We get the ball back there with 1:35 [remaining] and a timeout and a chance to win the game, go to the Super Bowl, didn't look like it [Brady's pass] was even catchable. It was a bad call."
Though he will likely receive the MVP award next week, Rodgers – a Super Bowl champion with the Packers in the 2010 season – hinted his time in Green Bay could soon be coming to a close following a second successive defeat at the NFC Championship stage.
Last year's first-round pick Jordan Love is waiting in the wings as the two-time MVP's successor under center.
"I'm just pretty gutted, it's a long season, you put so much into it," said Rodgers. "We had our chances, it's a different position to the last couple of these where we got blown out and didn't really have a chance. We had a lot of chances.
"The uncertainty of it all, the abruptness, so many futures a little grey right now, so it's definitely sudden.
"A lot of guys' futures are uncertain, myself included. That's what's sad about it, getting this far, obviously there's going to be an end to it at some point.
"Just the uncertainty is tough, the finality of it all. There's a lot of unknowns going into this offseason and I'm going to have to take some time away for sure and clear my head and just kind of see what's going on with everything.
"It's pretty tough right now. It's really, really tough to get to this point, it's a grind just to get to this point and that makes the finality of it all kind of hit you like a tonne of bricks. I'll always be thankful for this season."