Cory's Corner: Let Jordan Love Play

The 17-game regular season schedule should offer Love one or two starts to preserve Aaron Rodgers' health. 

 

The NFL is officially going to a 17-game regular season schedule. 

The No. 1 goal for all teams each year is keeping their stars healthy. Teams know that seasons will come crashing down if guys like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson and Derrick Henry got injured. 

Which of course makes the conversation turn to Aaron Rodgers. He turns 38 in December and has had plenty of bumps and bruises in his 13 years as the Packers’ starter. He has had a concussion in 2010, clavicle fracture in 2013, calf tear in 2014, MCL sprain in 2018 and a concussion in 2018.

The Packers are going to do everything they can to protect Rodgers. Which is why the Packers need to consider starting Jordan Love for one or two games next year. 

It makes sense for two reasons. One, it gives Rodgers a break and decreases the chance of injury. Obviously, we don’t know when injuries will happen but if there is a way to lessen the chance, then you have to do it. Secondly, it puts the onus on Love and turns the conversation away from Rodgers. Let’s say Love starts against the Lions and Bengals this season. Both teams had poor pass rushes in 2020 and these doormats would be a good introduction to the league. 

But it also raises another interesting question. What if Love puts forth a couple of clunkers? Does that change the long-term mindset of Love?

The Packers could protect Love from potential failure by not starting him at all, but at this point, what’s more important — the health of your future Hall of Fame quarterback or the confidence of your unproven quarterback that hasn’t taken an NFL snap?

The 17-game regular season schedule is going to put added pressure on depth across the league. How many capable offensive linemen does a team have? Can a team realistically play three running backs? And finally, can a team afford to sit its star quarterback?

And maybe Rodgers won’t be in favor of taking a backseat to Love, but this is something the Packers need to do to preserve their championship hopes. Rodgers is easily one of the most important players in the game and losing him to injury pretty much ends all Super Bowl chatter in Green Bay. 

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst traded up to take Love. It’s time to figure out if he can play. And there isn’t a better litmus test than regular season games.

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (75)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Thegravedigger's picture

April 03, 2021 at 06:25 am

Load management? Thats what were going with? If rodgers needs a fuckin break, he can sit out Thursdays practice. Just like big dog lewis and the other vets. Its 17 games, not 162. Every one of them matters. You want 12 to sit? You tell him hes sitting to "rest" so we can showcase his replacement. One a positive note, will redmond is back. Now will redmond, i agree. Give him 17 games veteran's rest.

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egbertsouse's picture

April 03, 2021 at 07:53 am

Will Redmond signing, a positive note? Seriously? You must like Gute’s strategy of overpaying stiffs instead of improving the team. I bet you are hoping he can talk Jarrett Bush out of retirement.

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Coldworld's picture

April 03, 2021 at 08:54 am

He is a minimum contract type. That’s how the NFL works. No guarantees, got to earn his spot. These are the players the draftees, hold over PSers and UDFAs compete with on the 90. I guess you don’t follow how NFL rosters work.

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Thegravedigger's picture

April 03, 2021 at 11:11 am

I was being sarcastic. Will is a liability, even on special teams. If you noticed, my next sentence was to give him veteran rest for 17 games. Bushy on the other hand. Had a pick in the superbowl bro! Everybody loves bushy right?

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Pro-LifeMatters's picture

April 03, 2021 at 12:12 pm

Reading and comprehension is clearly not a strong point for you.

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flackcatcher's picture

April 03, 2021 at 05:15 pm

HEY! No mocking my man there. Jarrett's 4th quarter pick was the difference in the Packers Superbowl win.

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Thegravedigger's picture

April 03, 2021 at 10:04 pm

We love bushy round here

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

April 04, 2021 at 01:42 pm

They need guys like Jarrett Bush. After all he had an interception in the Super Bowl filling in for an injured player!

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PF4L's picture

April 03, 2021 at 09:14 am

I'm guilty of not being Love most stout supporter

But let me be clear, it wasn't his fault Gute drafted him.

As matter of fact, numerically...this kid has a chance to be something special.
The sky is the limit people...PRO-BOWL, ALL-PRO...HOF?
It could happen.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMRrNY0pxfM

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Packer_Fan's picture

April 03, 2021 at 06:52 am

Cory, where are you coming with these ideas??? Are you creating news?

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HankScorpio's picture

April 03, 2021 at 08:59 am

Click bait

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FLPackfan's picture

April 03, 2021 at 06:59 am

What a load of crap! So everyone is crying about how the team hasn't showed Aaron that they are committed to him, and the good idea fairy decides that starting Love is the answer?! Yeah, hey listen 12, we know these guys sucked last year so we want to see if the kid really has anything to show so we can, you know, firm up plans for, umm, you know, how we ummmm, move on.... Start love during the preseason all day long, but once the games start you put 12 on the field and Love might get to see mop up duty. I have news for you, April 1st has past and even then this was a bad attempt.

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Lare's picture

April 03, 2021 at 07:00 am

This is probably the most foolish idea I've ever read.

If Rodgers gets injured, fine, let Love play. But otherwise Rodgers is the starter and Love is either 2nd or 3rd string.

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Coldworld's picture

April 03, 2021 at 09:39 am

True of any competent QB 1. Might work for the Bears. But perhaps that says it all.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 03, 2021 at 07:17 am

Must have missed the deadline for posting this on April Fools Day, eh Cory?

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PackfanNY's picture

April 03, 2021 at 07:17 am

Ridiculous. The best football players play. The protecting a guy from injury argument is a joke. Football players “might” get hurt in game 1 or game 17. Just part of the game.

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blacke00's picture

April 03, 2021 at 07:17 am

Ditto

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blacke00's picture

April 03, 2021 at 07:18 am

Ditto

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freddisch's picture

April 04, 2021 at 03:48 pm

Bak got injured in practice!

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Titletown222's picture

April 03, 2021 at 07:25 am

Not sure if this speaks well of the university of Iowa or UW Oshkosh. I find it really difficult to read anything you write at this point

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Renllaw's picture

April 03, 2021 at 07:31 am

No. Just no. I cant believe you are really behind this idea. Unless you want to destroy team chemistry you put your best package of 11 players on the field for the play called. Love is not better than Rodgers, and if you START him in a game before home field advantage is locked in you are sending a message to the team that 1 backup is more important than a team win. Let Love play at the end of blow outs. This isnt the NBA or MLB with 80+ games. every game in the NFL is HEAVILY weighted.

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Hematite's picture

April 03, 2021 at 07:35 am

This idea is nonsense!

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Coldworld's picture

April 03, 2021 at 07:42 am

If the legacy of the 17th game is that we get to watch games where back up QBs start out of choice, that’s a really good reason to be against it.

I’d like to see Love finishing out games, but unless Barry is going to depart from Pettine’s go soft when in the lead mentality, that isn’t going to be desirable often either. You play your best QB in every game as long as he is healthy and the result isn’t completely decided and other stars are seated too.

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SJEC's picture

April 03, 2021 at 07:49 am

I’ll take “Terrible Ideas” for 2,000, Alex....

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Guam's picture

April 03, 2021 at 07:55 am

I think you're batting a thousand, Cory - no one likes this idea. And for lots of good reasons.

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Coldworld's picture

April 03, 2021 at 08:28 am

I really wanted to play devil’s advocate here and find at least an argument. I failed.

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TheVOR's picture

April 03, 2021 at 07:54 am

Well, the good new is the sooner he plays, the sooner fans and the organization can see what bum they drafted. He's terrible, they really screwed up letting Boyle leave, if we need a backup, we don't have one. Love is terrible, he's not an NFL starting QB. I've seen high school QB's with more potential.

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Coldworld's picture

April 03, 2021 at 08:31 am

Love has a ton of potential, it screams off film. He also has plenty of questions (many of which remind me of those around a young Favre).

Congratulations, you actually out did Cory with that post.

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dobber's picture

April 03, 2021 at 09:42 am

Yeah, let's romanticize that all-star-to-be Tim Boyle. That's a big fish that got away...

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egbertsouse's picture

April 03, 2021 at 07:56 am

I love it when the fanboys get crazy! Keep it up we have to defend the honor of UW-Zero!

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nostradanus's picture

April 03, 2021 at 08:10 am

Just play the game and earn your gazillions A Rodg they’ll be plenty o’ time to sit and play jeopardy when u retire.

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nostradanus's picture

April 03, 2021 at 08:14 am

Seriously though,Then the NFL becomes the NBA When superstars start deciding they want to take “rest” games, sorry Cory but this is a BS idea.

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DennisGreenBay's picture

April 03, 2021 at 08:27 am

Well this is not going to happen

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scoonie_penn's picture

April 03, 2021 at 08:29 am

Pokin' the bear... I like it... JMHO if there is a week where your OL has a significant amount of starters out , it might be a good idea to feed the newbie QB to the lions. Emperor Gute can give the thumbs up or down to the blood thirsty fans in the arena.

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dobber's picture

April 03, 2021 at 09:44 am

So people are against throwing a first or second round CB out there to take his lumps opposite Jaire Alexander because it might spoil his confidence, but throwing a 1st round QB out there who you're hoping develops into your next starter with an undermanned OL?

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Coldworld's picture

April 03, 2021 at 12:12 pm

Consistency of thought is underrated these days.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 04, 2021 at 03:34 am

I must have missed something: someone is against putting GB's first or second round CB out there to take his lumps?

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DennisGreenBay's picture

April 03, 2021 at 08:28 am

It’s not going to happen, nor should it. You need to make your best effort to win all 17 games. There are no throwaway games. And Aaron Rodgers would be a very unhappy camper if they were to do this. They’ve already got him missed. Now as far as preseason games, Love should be playing 75% of everyone of those so they can see what he’s really God for potential.

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Coldworld's picture

April 03, 2021 at 09:23 am

I’d like to see 90percent or more of offensive snaps played by Love and QB3 if we intend to keep one on the PS.

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Befuddled's picture

April 03, 2021 at 08:45 am

I would like to see Love take every snap in the preseason, if there is one.

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PF4L's picture

April 03, 2021 at 08:55 am

YES!!

You might have that same look on your face :)

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

April 03, 2021 at 08:46 am

This is wierd.

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PF4L's picture

April 03, 2021 at 08:51 am

I heard rumors that Cory is related to Brian Gutenkunst.

I won't know for sure until the final report comes in.

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Coldworld's picture

April 03, 2021 at 09:24 am

I think he is secretly advising Pace, we should be nice to him.

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PF4L's picture

April 03, 2021 at 12:55 pm

Yea..lol...i don't know about that.

But i have my own problems, 4 people are none too happy with me and i'm starting to get worried.
So i called internet forum security...just in case :)

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PF4L's picture

April 03, 2021 at 04:42 pm

The last thing i need is to anger someone so bad, they put on their Carhartt shirt and pants, storms up his basement steps with smoke coming out of his ears, hops into his 24 year old Toyota Tercel, and comes looking for me....

NO THANKS.

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Thegravedigger's picture

April 04, 2021 at 05:38 pm

Dude. Dont feel bad. Ive been yelled at and talked down to on here multiple times just for saying "dude". And it looks like 5 people now. Id be very worried if i were you.

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PF4L's picture

April 05, 2021 at 09:18 am

It's all good...my paint gun is locked and loaded.

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Since'61's picture

April 03, 2021 at 08:53 am

Why would we start Love over Rodgers unless Rodgers was injured? Makes no sense at all. what message does that send to the rest of team. Maybe we should sit Alexander or Jenkins for a 1 or 2 games as well. When Rodgers sits should we sit Adams as well.

Also what about the fans who bought tickets for those Lions and Bengals games expecting to see Aaron Rodgers play. Screw them let them watch the scrubs play for their hard earned money. This is exactly one of the many problems I have with adding the 17th game. Teams deciding to rest starters and reduce the quality of the product. Add another bye week if we need to rest the players or just don't add extra games for the sake of adding games rather than screw the fans and the players.

Suppose we miss the playoffs by one game because we start Love to rest Rodgers. How well will that sit with the fan base or the the rest of the players who play every game trying to win and reach the playoffs? Sorry Cory not a good idea. Thanks, Since '61

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blondy45's picture

April 04, 2021 at 04:10 pm

No way Cory, it will never happen. Unfortunately we now will probably get to see Love, as well as more 2nd-3rd stringers due to the NFL's stupid increase to a 17 game schedule. Even though it is just one more game, it will occur at the end of the season where injuries will have taken their toll on most teams. We obviously need the best we have every game, but the management will be much more cautious to error on the side of getting the player out if he gets dinged up. The NFL product will suffer.

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Thegravedigger's picture

April 04, 2021 at 05:44 pm

With only one buy week now, teams will have less to play for by week 17. If your the 6th seed on week 17, are you going to go all out if your ceiling is the 5th seed, and your floor is the 6th or 7th seed, or will you just sit players? Its all about revenue, not about actual football. Is what it is. Im gonna still watch, and the nfl knows it.

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frankthefork's picture

April 03, 2021 at 09:04 am

Cory it's a no. Hell I would entertain a AR12 trade to SF for Jimmy G , 2 firsts and a second more so. Draft Mac Jones or Fields, Smith, Toney or Bateman , Cosmi or Jenkins and Samuels or Newsome. Yeah right, like that could happen. IMO i might go for that cap cleaning deal...hmm.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

April 03, 2021 at 09:04 am

Rodgers has a better idea, "I'll play every game for the next 3 years, get 3 more MVP's, win us 3 SB's, and in my spare time I'll train Love, and for the next 3 years, once we've clinched the #1 seed, Love can play the last game of the season to show off his skills. Then I'll sign another 3-year extension and we'll trade Love for 2 #1 draft picks and we'll throw in a boxed game of Jeopardy for every member of the team we're trading him to."

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Coldworld's picture

April 03, 2021 at 09:25 am

Denver should have rested Elway in his last 3 years.

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mnbadger's picture

April 03, 2021 at 09:10 am

Start the season two weeks earlier.
Love plays 3/4 of every preseason game.
Add another bye week.
This keeps the balanced schedule in place, adds another week of rest to ALL players and gives owners another week of TV revenue.
Everybody wins.
it will never happen.
GPG

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MITM's picture

April 03, 2021 at 09:16 am

LOL no thanks

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porupack's picture

April 03, 2021 at 09:26 am

Well, I'll be contrarian to most of the poster above. Well done, Cory. Glad you got every one riled up!

Indeed it has to be a strategy to do multiple things to win the war of attrition. Most of the fans on the site a) griped about Preseason games; waaah wah because someone got hurt once, and b) complained about greedy NFL adding games, c) complained about thursday night games, d) blamed the strength and conditioning coach. gotta love those diatribes! and e) Why waste a #1 pick on Jordan Love.

Well looky here, that's what the NFL chose. So coaches and fans can cry some more if/when there is an injury, or they can do something about it.

To that, Cory is right:
Love was a #1 pick, and in year 2, expect the dude to be ready for action. Get him some playing time. Earn your draft status and pay, and play to spell Rodgers at time. Maybe start. Maybe not. But get him out there in meaningful quarters about the same reps Hill spelled Brees.

Other strategies have to include,
a strong run game to also reduce risk, and maintain RB dump off passes to keep Rodgers from getting sacked as much. (check) retained AJones (oh yeah, lots of whiners there too).

Thirdly, invest in that Oline and TE group, and makes sure 10 offensive players are better than average blockers. (Check)

Sometimes, I just like to be contrarian. Kudos Cory!

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PatrickGB's picture

April 03, 2021 at 09:46 am

Actually, I kinda like the idea. Boy oh boy would it ever drive the media types NUTS!
Sort of like letting the pitcher have a few days extra rest.

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MarkinMadison's picture

April 03, 2021 at 10:07 am

Maybe a better idea would be to just add a second bye week to the season. Just saying.

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TarynsEyes's picture

April 03, 2021 at 10:13 am

Let's find the game that is inconsequential to the season, watch Rodgers take a cheap hit, and watch how, so many here start to scream, "Why was Rodgers playing? They should have played Love. This game was meaningless even if mid-season."

Can you hear them? I can.

As to it being akin to the NBA as load-management, I get the sense, but aren't many already clamoring for two bye-weeks? Wouldn't sitting Rodgers be a strategic health safety move, since without him, and not knowing what Love will do, much less be, the season is a near far-gone conclusion of being drained of any hope. It should be accepted by all, until at least, the NFL provides a second full-team bye. Besides, teams already have healthy scratches? Now you just add the QB to it for a specific game/week. Call it what it will possibly be, an acceptable loss, with a hoped for guarantee of health going forward.

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13TimeChamps's picture

April 03, 2021 at 11:28 am

How can a mid-season game be meaningless?

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TarynsEyes's picture

April 03, 2021 at 11:59 am

Let's say GB is 7-1, and they play either Wash or Cin or Det, and all are either 1-7, 2-8 3-5. Would you not consider any of these games an opportunity to sit Rodgers and play Love? Wouldn't the odds be near 50/50 that GB pulls off the win while Rodgers sits. It isn't that hard. This isn't about fantasy points being lost. What if GB has an early week 4 bye, wouldn't you look or want any game to be one he could sit and ensure a healthy Rodgers going the rest of the season and playoffs in a good physical condition? I believe this would be on the minds of the team, especially if the opportunity presents itself at a worthwhile time.

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13TimeChamps's picture

April 03, 2021 at 04:14 pm

First off, I don't see how they could possibly be 7-1, considering how you and posters like Lphill keep informing us how inept the FO is in GB.

But if they miraculously pull that off, it doesn't really matter who they would be playing. It matters where they are in the standings, competing with other teams for home field in the playoffs. One dumb, unnecessary loss could completely alter their playoff seeding.

By the way, there's a whole lot of 'ifs' in your scenario. Play Love in the preseason and in mop up time during the regular season. You don't embarrass a 3-time MVP, making him hold a clipboard, to give Love playing time that he hasn't deserved.

Edit: If they have their playoff seeding clinched, then by all means...let Love start the last game of the year. But definitely not mid-season if Rodgers is healthy.

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oceanstrength's picture

April 03, 2021 at 10:15 am

Stuuupid!

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Christian Roussel's picture

April 03, 2021 at 10:48 am

...insert Gif of Aaron Nagler saying...NO

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stockholder's picture

April 03, 2021 at 11:15 am

Malice.

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Gman1976's picture

April 03, 2021 at 11:15 am

This is as bad as those telling us we need to trade the NFL MVP to give Love his opportunity to play, get under the salary cap, get more draft picks to fill needs, or whatever. There are too many negatives to letting your MVP sit out in a 17 game season (which are mentioned above).

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jont's picture

April 03, 2021 at 11:40 am

Winning is the priority so your best players are out there so 12 starts and stays in there.
That said, the young back up needs playing time. The pack was up 20 points in the 4th qtr a few times last year; we hope to see this again this season. These are the opportunities to get Love out there, and, let's face it, he needs some real game experience. He hasn't been hit since December, 2019.

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dekan51's picture

April 03, 2021 at 12:07 pm

i dont see any reason to start Love over AR, but I could see him getting some snaps like Taysom gets in New Orleans. Love could qb sneek or run option, where we dont want to see AR do that anymore.....

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dobber's picture

April 03, 2021 at 02:17 pm

Except that Love, while athletic, isn't a Taysom HIll type runner.

Why would you take your QB of the future, throw him out there signaling a potential run (because, you know, other teams watch film), and watch him get teed off on?

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Oppy's picture

April 03, 2021 at 12:36 pm

It used to be considered a positive sign by all involved- including the starting QB- when a game was so securely won going into the 4th Q that the starting QB would be pulled from the game and the backup QB was sent in to close it out and earn some valuable experience along the way.

If the Packers clinch the highest seed mathematically available to them at some point before the final regular season game is played, it would make perfect sense to allow the back up QB to take the start during that game. Example, the Packers have clinched the NFC North after week 15, and there is no way for them to better their playoff situation in week 16, win or lose. I seem to recall there wasn't a problem for packers fans or QB1 when the Packers allowed Matt Flynn to play the season ending game vs. the Lions a number of years ago.

It is in the best interests of the GBP to get their back up QB as many reps before they "need" him as possible.
There are intelligent and sensible ways to do it.

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GatorJason's picture

April 03, 2021 at 07:40 pm

Jordan Love can play when:
- Packers are playing preseason games
- Packers clinch #1 position in in NFC play-offs
- Packers lead by 21 points in the fourth quarter (maybe)
- Packers need kneel downs in victory formation
- Aaron is listed as medically unable to play in a game
- Aaron takes over hosting Jeopardy full-time
- Aliens come down and abduct Aaron Rodgers

Other than that, Jordan Love can carry the clipboard,
smile, clap, and give high-fives from the sideline.

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Rossonero's picture

April 04, 2021 at 07:58 am

The front office said by letting Tim Boyle go to let Jordan Love get some snaps....in practice. Not necessarily to let him play. That's going too far and we all know that will only happen if Rodgers gets injured. Love still has a long way to go, but it was the right move to let Boyle walk in a cap-strapped year.

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PF4L's picture

April 04, 2021 at 09:46 am

" He has had a concussion in 2010, clavicle fracture in 2013, calf tear in 2014, MCL sprain in 2018 and a concussion in 2018." - Cory

Cory?....what about Rodgers broken clavicle in 2017, where he had 13 screws inserted?

I bring it up because you take the time to list all of Rodgers injuries as a starter,...but did you forget that one? Weren't aware of it?.....Wasn't worth mentioning?....You didn't follow the Packers that close in 2017?

It just seems to me, any Packer fan over 21 years old knows that basically off the top of his head.

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stockholder's picture

April 04, 2021 at 11:51 am

Aaron Rodgers said he's unsure if he'll finish his career with the Packers.
"So far, they have definitely been my team," Rodgers told ESPN in a video interview. "I said last year I didn't know if that was actually possible to be able to finish. I still feel like that's kind of where we're at. I don't think a lot of that is in my hands, but we'll kind of see as we go. The team has obviously the power to do what they want. My job is just to play as well as I can. I think there may have been ideas about what certain things meant last year; I just focus on my play." The Packers drafted Jordan Love in the first round last April, leading to speculation Rodgers could be on his way out. He responded with one of his best seasons to date, posting career highs in completion percentage (70.7), touchdowns (48), and QBR (84.4) en route to his third MVP. Rodgers is signed through 2023, but there continues to be some uncertainty over whether he'll play out his final three years in Green Bay.

SOURCE: ESPN
Apr 4, 2021, 10:17 AM ET

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