NFL

Love will 'definitely' be ready to start for Packers if Rodgers remains out

By Sports Desk June 09, 2021

Jordan Love says he will "definitely" be ready to start the season at quarterback for the Green Bay Packers if needed. 

The second-year QB has been working with the starters at Packers minicamp as Aaron Rodgers continues his absence from offseason workouts and seems to be making progress. 

By all accounts, Love had a strong showing at Wednesday's practice, and he told reporters he will be ready if called upon to start the September 12 season opener. 

"A hundred percent," Love said, according to ESPN. "Obviously, this is a time where I'm getting a lot of extremely valuable reps that I might not have been getting in a normal circumstance. So I'm just going to take it day by day. 

"But yeah, that's what I'm here for. I was drafted here to play quarterback, so I'll definitely be ready Week 1."

Green Bay's first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft did not play a single snap last season as Rodgers rolled to NFL MVP honors. 

Many speculated the Packers' surprise move to select the young quarterback is at the root of Rodgers' displeasure with the team, but the veteran has said he has no problems with Love. 

Likewise, Love said his approach to workouts would be the same even if Rodgers was present. 

"My mindset this whole off-season's been to get ready, get myself ready, and that's been my mindset since I got here," Love said.

"Whether Aaron was here or not here, that's going to be my mindset regardless, because I have to get myself ready to play and be able to go out there and take charge of the team and be able to perform at a high level and do my best so everybody else can do their jobs as well and just be able to perform at a high level."

Still, with Rodgers away from the team, Love has inevitably taken center stage and impressed coaches and team-mates alike. 

"He's tapped into it," said receiver Davante Adams. "I see he has a heightened awareness and his focus is definitely off the charts right now.

"I can tell the way he's coming in talking to everybody. I hear him more. Last year I felt like he kind of just blended in. This year I'm starting to feel him, and it's good that he's starting to step into his own, get more comfortable."

While ensuring Love gets as much practice time as he can, head coach Matt LaFleur is trying to keep the pressure off the young QB. 

"It just goes back to kind of taking what's there, and the opportunities presented themselves today for him to take some shots down the field," said LaFleur.

"One emphasis for Jordan is just to treat each play as its own entity. We're always grading the decision-making, the timing, the accuracy and we want to see the consistency just continue to get better and better."

Related items

  • Rodgers says Packers' 9-3 run has defied expectations amid adversity Rodgers says Packers' 9-3 run has defied expectations amid adversity

    Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers says the Green Bay Packers have defied expectations amid more injuries than ever, meaning their 9-3 record "feels pretty good".

    The Packers are top in the NFC North ahead of their Week 13 bye where Rodgers, who has thrown 2,878 yards for 23 touchdowns this season, will get the chance to rest a niggling toe issue.

    Green Bay's impressive run has come amid injury issues to cornerback Jaire Alexander, center Josh Myers, outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith and offensive tackle David Bakhtiari, while star wide receiver Davante Adams tested positive to COVID-19 last month.

    "I think we've been dealing with as many injuries as we've had throughout the years," Rodgers said during an appearance on The Pat McAfee show. "A lot of important players, starters on IR, no chance to return and some with a chance.

    "Bakhtiari obviously had an opportunity, not sure when that will do. Jaire, hoping him. Za'Darius who knows? Josh Myers up in the air.

    "There's a lot of those and then you have the weekly injuries we've had with Kevin King and Aaron Jones. [The bye] definitely comes at a good time.

    "For us to be 9-3, not many people expected that looking at our schedule and what we've dealt with this year with Davante being out with COVID and all the injuries up front and on the defensive side of the ball, that feels pretty good."

    Rodgers has been in the thick of the news, with his immunisation revelation before testing positive to COVID-19, along with his tongue-in-cheek remark about "COVID toe", all the while his side have claimed good wins against the likes of the Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers.

    "It hasn’t been a quiet 12 weeks," he added. "I'm very happy with where we're at. Very happy to have gotten off to the star that we've gotten off to. Happy we've faced some adversity and we're moving through it and close to the other side of it."

    The Packers defeated the Rams 36-28 on Sunday, with Rodgers throwing two touchdown passes, as well as completing one rushing TD.

    Adams, who has five touchdowns for the season including two in Week 11 in the 34-31 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, had eight receptions against the Rams for 104 yards but no touchdowns.

    "He has a lot of freedom which he should because he has such a great release pattern and he's such a smart guy," Rodgers said about Adams. "It's not like he's going outside the schematic things but he's making decisions that might not be the expected paper decisions, when you’re looking at it on paper.

    "There's paper routes and there's do-whatever-you-want routes for Davante. He did it last week against Minnesota on the second touchdown, he ad-libbed that route, that's why I was a bit late getting to him.

    "Normally I have a pretty good sense. You've got to read body movements. Also our conversations are very high level when it comes to those situations."

  • Packers star Rodgers insists he 'won't miss any time' but remains unsure if he will need surgery Packers star Rodgers insists he 'won't miss any time' but remains unsure if he will need surgery

    Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers has insisted that he "won't miss any time" regardless of whether or not he has surgery to fix a toe issue.

    The quarterback did not practice in the days prior to the Packers' 36-28 win over the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday, but played the full game.

    Green Bay, who top the NFC North with a 9-3 record, now have a bye week, meaning their next fixture is not until December 13 against the Chicago Bears, giving Rodgers the chance to recover and consider his options.

    NFL Media reported on Monday that the 37-year-old would not be having surgery, but Rodgers revealed that it remains a possibility, although one he would prefer to avoid.

    "Comparing this Monday to last Monday I definitely feel better and same with this Tuesday to last Tuesday," Rodgers said during in an appearance on the The Pat McAfee Show.

    "So, you know, I'll just keep getting treatment. We were hoping to avoid surgery, obviously, but the surgery would be such a minor one that it wouldn't be something that [would cause me] to miss time.

    "That's a pre-requisite of any surgery that I have at this point, that I'm not going to miss any time. We'll kind of reassess early next week and make a decision.

    Rodgers explained that, should he be forced to have an operation, it would prevent him from damaging the toe further but also immobilise it, creating a new problem that he would have to contend with for the remainder of the season.

    "The surgery would immobilise the toe and that would be an issue I would be dealing with the entire season," Rodgers continued. "I would avoid any further displacement but it would immobilise the toe.

    "We're hoping that, with a couple of weeks, we can get enough healing and maybe we can avoid doing that. We'll reassess, like I said, probably later this week or early next week.

    "The ultimate goal is to not have to do surgery, this thing heals up a little bit better and I make it through a few more weeks."

    Rodgers also hinted that members of the Packers' staff may be leaking information to the media, following the reports that suggested surgery was not an option he was considering.

    "With these reports, I don't know where they're coming from," Rodgers added. 

    "I don't know who's talking. It seems like there's certain coaches who may have friends in the media who they don't realise are actually just trying to report things."

    Rodgers has thrown 2,878 yards for 23 touchdowns in 2021, with 247 completions and just four interceptions from 11 games played.

  • Cowboys' Cooper 'not feeling the best' ahead of Saints game Cowboys' Cooper 'not feeling the best' ahead of Saints game

    Amari Cooper's prospective return for the Dallas Cowboys against the New Orleans Saints is in doubt, with the wide receiver still not 100 per cent fit after his positive coronavirus test.

    Cooper, who is unvaccinated, has missed the last two Cowboys games, both of which have ended in defeat.

    With three losses in their last four games, the Cowboys have gone from 6-1 to 7-4 and have seen their lead in the NFC East trimmed.

    Dallas will hope to get back on track against a slumping Saints team on Thursday, though they may have to do so without Cooper once more.

    Asked about Cooper, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said the former first-round pick is "still not feeling the best".

    "My gut would be if he doesn't practice tomorrow [Wednesday], I don't see him going to the game," said McCarthy, who himself will not be able to attend Thursday's game due to COVID-19 protocols.

    Cooper has made 44 catches for 583 yards and five touchdowns this season.

    He has been usurped as the top option in the Cowboys' passing game by last year's first-round pick CeeDee Lamb, who has 740 receiving yards and six touchdowns in his second season.

    Lamb returned to practice this week after missing last week's overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders with a concussion and expects to play at New Orleans.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.