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Jordan Love Packers
NFL

Why Packers Should Start Jordan Love After Bye

  • Justin Melo
  • December 6, 2022
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The 5-8 Green Bay Packers are heading for a lost campaign. The lifeless Packers reside in third place in the NFC North, trailing the dominant 10-2 Minnesota Vikings and 5-7 Detroit Lions. Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur must consider starting third-year quarterback Jordan Love before Green Bay’s meaningless season reaches its conclusion. Gutekunst recently acknowledged the possibility.

“All young quarterbacks go through a period no matter what individual success, I think it takes them a little bit of time to win in this league,” Gutekunst said in relation to Jordan Love. “That’s going to be important for Jordan no matter when he gets his opportunity. Learning within the game is a very important part of that development.”

Gutekunst chose his words carefully when speaking. He managed to avoid making a public demand that would provide LaFleur with a mandate. The message remains relatively clear and Love should receive a featured opportunity to replace Aaron Rodgers.

The possibility to make a change without controversy is becoming increasingly possible and potential excuses have revealed themselves. Rodgers, 39, is dealing with a variety of injuries. Rodgers is currently playing through both thumb and chest injuries. Asking Rodgers to play through a pair of ailments when the Packers will soon be officially eliminated from postseason contention seems like a fruitless exercise.

The Packers possess additional reasons to evaluate Love down the stretch. The No. 26 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, Gutekunst must make a decision regarding Love’s fifth-year option this coming offseason. And although Gutekunst claims the sample size is large enough to reach a resolution, there’s no denying that Gutekunst’s decision could still be aided by future showings.

There’s also the manner of the 2023 campaign. A historic offseason extension signed by Rodgers (three years, $150 million) contractually ties him to the franchise for several seasons. Plans are always capable of being altered, however, and Rodgers ultimately controls his fate. Injuries are beginning to pile up for Rodgers, whose effectiveness has greatly wavered throughout 2022. Retirement may be firmly on the table for Rodgers.

The Packers are on a Week 14 bye. They’ll play against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football in Week 15. Although Love is experienced enough in the system to start whenever he receives the nod, the bye certainly adds potential incentive for the Packers to prepare Love to dethrone Rodgers. It also provides the Packers with the thinking time required to ponder making a quarterback change.

The impending offseason looms particularly large. A resolution at quarterback must be reached. If Rodgers decides to return for his age-40 campaign, Gutekunst may consider trading Love. Playing Love would allow potential suitors to emerge. It’s a crossroads the Packers have often visited since drafting Love, but the pressure to make a final decision may reach an all-time high.

Love last featured for the Packers in a Week 12 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Love replaced a banged-up Rodgers. Love performed admirably, completing 6-of-9 passing attempts for 113 yards and one touchdown. Love showcased full command of LaFleur’s system. It shouldn’t be his showing of the season.

Rodgers is hurting and the Packers aren’t in legitimate postseason contention. Starting Love doesn’t mean benching Rodgers per say, and Rodgers would likely understand the motivation. Jordan Love should start Green Bay’s final four contests.

Written By

Justin Melo