"It's hard to understand because we have clearly picked up in the last three or four games and achieved targets we set ourselves and we looked comfortable.
"We looked as though we could go on and score more goals but then we let in two soft goals which was disappointing from our point of view."
Rodgers had no complaints about the dismissal of Shane Long for a crude lunge on full-back Frederick Stoor in the 79th minute but thought his team should have been awarded a free-kick just before the incident.
"In Shane's defence, I have to say it was a poor decision by the referee. It was a clear free-kick on him and then the red mist came down.
"I've seen the video and there's no argument about the sending off but from what should have been a free-kick to us in a good position we then had a man sent off."
Reading will know in the next day or so whether Howard will need surgery but Rodgers said: "We think he fractured his jaw and he's gone to hospital. I didn't see what happened to be honest but it appeared to have been accidental."
Derby manager Nigel Clough was relieved to see his side once again respond to another setback at home.
He said: "We showed character but we have to because we do make it so difficult for ourselves at times.
"At 0-0 there was nothing in the game and we have probably had more of the play in the first half. But then we give away a very soft goal when we are trying to play out from the back.
"But to come back again from a goal down at home is encouraging and once we equalised I think everyone in the ground believed we would go on and win.
"Our home form is sustaining us at the moment and if we could get anything at all on the road we would be in the mid-table area which is where we think we should be."