Packers Urged to Start Love After Rodgers Suffers Second Brutal Injury

Jordan Love, Packers

Getty QB Jordan Love talks with WRs Sammy Watkins #11 and Christian Watson #9 of the Green Bay Packers on the sideline during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The time for the Green Bay Packers to make a change under center has officially arrived.

Aaron Rodgers revealed last week that he’s been playing with a broken thumb on his throwing hand for the previous month and a half. Then, on Sunday night, the quarterback suffered a rib injury that knocked him out of what was essentially a must-win game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Backup Jordan Love entered the contest in the third quarter, completing 6-of-9 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. He finished the night with a stellar QBR of 94.2 and a rating of 146.8 against what win/loss records say is the best team in football.

For perhaps the first time in career, Love proved he is worthy and capable of leading a team on an NFL field. It’s time the Packers let him do so.

“Between [Rodgers’] injuries and the Packers’ record, it’s time to find out what Jordan Love is,” Evan Western of SB Nation wrote Monday. “What Love shows us in the next several weeks could and should determine whether the Packers do still view him as their future quarterback, or if he will just be around for one more season as Rodgers’ backup before moving on. But what he showed late on Sunday night is more encouraging than anything we’ve seen from him in the past.”

Packers Remain Stubborn on Rodgers’ Status For Sunday, Remainder of Season

GettyGreen Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers left Sunday’s game with an oblique injury.

If Rodgers’ ribs are broken, or the pain that he said kept him sidelined Sunday night continues to make playing intolerable, then the decision at quarterback will be made for head coach Matt LaFleur and the rest of his staff.

But even if Rodgers is ruled fit to play, the time has come for the organization to acquiesce 2022 as a lost season and act responsibly where it concerns the most expensive player in NFL history. At 4-8, Green Bay has not been mathematically eliminated from postseason contention but the odds have grown increasingly slim.

Even still, LaFleur would not seriously entertain questions as to whether it is time to shut his quarterback down after multiple injuries that will make it difficult for Rodgers to even throw the ball, let alone do so with his trademark zip and precision.

“We gotta have more conversation before we even get into that,” LaFleur said following Sunday’s loss. “As long as he’s able to go, I expect him to be out there.”

While that mentality on the part of both coach and quarterback is what we’ve come to expect, it is actually counter-intuitive. The bigger concerns are Rodgers’ health, either for the next couple seasons to come in Green Bay or as a potential trade chip for the franchise, and Love’s ability to be his successor.

The Packers must decide by May whether to exercise their fifth-year option on the backup QB. That choice could shape both the near- and long-term futures for the franchise and informing it is far more valuable than a road win against the banged up Chicago Bears, which isn’t likely to accomplish anything other than affording the Packers a slightly worse draft position in 2023.

Rodgers Wants to Play Against Bears, Packers Must Refuse

Aaron Rodgers

GettyQuarterback Aaron Rodgers calls a play at the line of scrimmage during a game against the Detroit Lions.

The exact severity of the rib injury Rodgers suffered remained unclear on Monday morning, as the quarterback said X-rays were inconclusive as to whether he suffered any fracture(s).

“It [happened] in the first half and then got kinda re-aggravated in the third quarter,” Rodgers told the media during his postgame press conference. “Just having a hard time breathing and rotating my upper body [and] I was worried about a punctured lung as well, so I wanted to get that checked out.”

Aaron Rodgers discusses injury status after Eagles gameGreen Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers spoke to the media on Sunday about leaving the game early and his injury status after the Week 12 loss to the Eagles. Subscribe to the Packers YT Channel: More Packers NFL Action: #GreenBayPackers #Packers #NFL Keep up-to-date on all things Packers: Visit Follow: Follow: Like:

“It was hard to tell on the X-rays [if the ribs were broken], so we’re gonna do some more tomorrow. The lung is fine,” he continued. “As long as I check out fine tomorrow, I’ll expect to play this weekend. … As long as there’s no major structural damage, I’ll try to get back out there.” 

It is hard to recognize the logic behind that move for either Rodgers or the Packers, particularly when Love played as well as he did Sunday night. LaFleur spoke about his performance following the defeat.

“I’m not shocked to be honest with you, that he went out there and played well and showed great poise. We see it on a daily basis in practice,” LaFleur said. “I know people might not necessarily agree with that, but I see it every day and I think he’s a guy that has continued to get better and better.”

Green Bay’s coaching staff may not have been shocked by Love’s quality of play, which is a great sign. It will, however, be a shocking decision if they choose to roll with Rodgers against Chicago next weekend when only negatives can come of it.

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