Are the Green Bay Packers on the Brink of Benching Aaron Rodgers for Jordan Love?
Rodgers was injured on Sunday night against the Eagles and could stay on the bench for the foreseeable future
With the Packers trailing the Eagles 34-23 with 2:03 left in the third quarter following Mason Crosby’s 29-yard field goal for Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers went to the locker room with trainers to have his ribs examined and never returned.
Jordan Love, who is in his third year and has yet to have his fifth-year option picked up by Green Bay, finished the game and completed 6-of-9 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown as the Packers fell 40-33 in a loss that pretty much ends any hope the franchise had of qualifying for the postseason. Rodgers, who is set to have another scan on his ribs Monday and was already playing with a broken bone in his thumb, said he wants to play in Sunday’s game in Chicago against the Bears as long as there’s no structural damage, but the Packers may decide to have their longtime franchise quarterback, who turns 39 on Friday, take a seat to see what they have in Love.
Love, who will be tethered to the Packers through the 2024 season and get nearly $20 million fully guaranteed if Green Bay picks up his option, started one game last season when Rodgers was out with COVID-19 and had fewer than 200 passing yards in a 13-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. If the Packers opt to use him on Sunday against the Bears, it will almost be as if Green Bay (4-8) is waving a white flag on this season and looking ahead to next year.
At this point, that may be the franchise’s best option as they will have to think about selecting a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft if they feel Love doesn’t have what it takes to be the starter moving forward, and the only way to find that out is by playing him. That doesn’t necessarily have to happen against the Bears, but there are only five games left in Green Bay’s season and the Packers would be smart to use them wisely as there is no guarantee Rodgers, who has said he will not decide whether he’ll play the 2023 season until after this one concludes, will be back.
“As long as we’re mathematically alive, I’d like to be out there,” Rodgers said following Sunday’s loss. “There’s obviously a lot of other conversations that come into play once you’re eliminated, and I’ll be open to all those conversations. Pride comes to mind. Love of the game. But there’s other factors that, obviously, would come into play should we be mathematically eliminated.”
It’s understandable and maybe even admirable that Rodgers still wants to play, but he should probably sit for the good of the team. Perhaps his ribs will make the decision for him later today and take the team off the hook.
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