GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers are not Jordan Love‘s team quite yet.
A day after Love’s productive performance in Sunday’s 40-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Packers coach Matt LaFleur made it clear that Aaron Rodgers will start on Sunday against the Chicago Bears if his rib injury allows it.
Rodgers, who left the game against the Eagles in the third quarter because of pain and trouble breathing, underwent additional tests on Monday. However, LaFleur was vague about the results.
“Sometimes there’s stuff that doesn’t show up on all the scans,” LaFleur said. “All I can tell you is he’s feeling a little bit better.”
Rodgers also has played with a broken right thumb for the past seven weeks, yet LaFleur said they won’t go with Love unless it’s an injury-related move even if the third-year backup is in better shape physically than Rodgers.
“I don’t think that’s what we’re arguing here,” LaFleur said. “It’s just, we’ve got a lot of faith, quite frankly, in both those guys. But you know, Aaron’s the starting quarterback. He’s battled through a lot throughout the course of his career. It’s pretty well documented, and I think he’s been able to play at a pretty high level through a lot of different situations. So again, we’ll take it one game at a time and make the best decision moving forward.”
The Packers have their bye the following week, and LaFleur said that could also factor into whether they hold out Rodgers to give him more time to heal.
“I think all those conversations, we’ll have those conversations,” LaFleur said. “If that’s what we feel is best, then that’s what we’ll do.”
Rodgers completed 11 of 16 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions (one on a tipped ball and another when tight end Tyler Davis ran the wrong route) before departing against the Eagles. In Love’s two drives, he went 6-of-9 for 113 yards and a touchdown, and the Packers totaled 10 points while he was at the helm.
The inability by the Packers’ defense to get a stop after they got to within 40-33 prevented Love from ever getting a chance at a game-tying or game-winning drive. The Eagles, who totaled 363 rushing yards, ran out the final 1 minute, 8 seconds of the game.
The quarterback situation wasn’t the only issue LaFleur faced on Monday. Another poor defensive showing, which included more than 20 missed tackles by the coaches’ count and helped lead to a 363-yard rushing game by the Eagles, forced LaFleur to answer questions about coordinator Joe Barry’s future.
LaFleur made it clear that he wasn’t considering a change to the defensive staff at this point despite continued struggles from Barry’s unit.
“We’re not going to go down that road,” LaFleur said. “So, again, if I thought there was an issue there, then I would certainly, we’d make the change. But we work as a staff and collectively we’re all in this sucker together and it’s never just one person. It’s never one person. It starts with myself and then it goes to our assistant coaches and then our players.”
Packers QB Rodgers will start Sunday if he can, LaFleur says