It’s time for the Green Bay Packers to move forward with Jordan Love as the starting quarterback.
Following the Packers’ 40-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12, Green Bay is now 4-8 and as good as mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
Aaron Rodgers compounded his injury woes with a rib injury during the loss, paving the way for Love to step in and lead offense for the remainder of the game. Except here’s the thing — Love was supposed to finish the rest of the season as a starting quarterback.
Rodgers stressed after the game that his injury was not serious and that he should be available for the game next week. The veteran quarterback also struggled with a fractured thumb injury he sustained in Week 5 against the New York Giants.
About The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman:
“As long as we’re alive mathematically, I’d love to be out there,” Rodgers said. “There’s obviously a lot of other conversations that come into play once you’re eliminated and I’ll be open to all of those conversations. Pride comes to mind. love of the game. But of course there are other factors that would come into play should we be mathematically eliminated.”
Head coach Matt LaFleur made similar comments, saying he expects Rodgers to play when he’s able.
While Rodgers claims he wants to play the Chicago Bears in Week 13, the Packers should really consider their options as they play their final five games with no hope of making the playoffs.
Love looked good in his first real extended action of the season, going 6-for-9 for 113 passing yards and a touchdown. On his third pass of the game, Love threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to Christian Watson.
In his first three seasons, Love rarely saw the field due to Rodgers’ holding on the starting job. The former first-round draft pick has only had one career start, and until his appearance against the Eagles on Sunday he mostly looked shaky and green in his short tenure on the field.
However, Green Bay needs to know what they love while he’s still signed with the team. The Packers face a decision in May 2023 on whether or not to renew their $19.8 million fifth-year option on the young quarterback.
The Packers face many uncertainties going forward. While this season is a losing proposition, it can be a portent of things to come. Green Bay has struck a long-term deal with Rodgers after signing the 38-year-old quarterback to a three-year, $150 million deal during the offseason. The Packers tied Rodgers for the 2026 season, where he will earn an average annual salary of over $50 million — the highest of any player in the league.
If Rodgers doesn’t retire, Green Bay faces one real Trouble with his contract — especially if his performance continues to decline and the Packers are unable to properly surround him with a supporting cast capable of taking the franchise back into playoff contention.
Hence the packers to need to find out what’s in love for them while figuring out what they need to do to get ahead as a quarterback.
“It’s tough,” Love said. “Of course I want to be on the field, but the situation is what the situation is. The hardest thing is trying to stay mentally prepared and locked in because you never know what might happen. … I’m getting out of here the same way. I’ll prepare like Aaron can’t play. I go out there and prepare like this all week.
If Love proves a viable option for the quarterback, Green Bay might consider a full rebuild by trading Rodgers for a competitor — the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers could have quarterback openings this offseason — if the four-time MVP wants to keep playing .
Or maybe if Love shows just enough potential, the Packers could trade the young quarterback for an asset that could help Green Bay make a quick turnaround as a contender again.
Rodgers is likely to face the Bears in Week 13, although the Packers are likely considering a non-playoff season. That’s understandable considering they still have a shot at making the postseason and given that Rodgers is a four-time MVP as the league’s highest-paid player.
However, once Green Bay is officially eliminated from the postseason, the Packers are three games away from the last wildcard spot and lose the head-to-head tiebreaker to 7th-seeded Washington Commanders – Love needs to be used as a starter until the end of the season.
That could happen as early as Week 14 when the Packers take on the Los Angeles Rams.
Whether or not Love proves to be a capable franchise quarterback will go a long way toward what the Packers plan to do with not only him, but their franchise quarterback, Rodgers, as well.