Jordan Love is starting in the Packers’ preseason opener. What it means for the third-year NFL QB
The former Utah State quarterback enters his third NFL season looking for opportunities to prove himself on the field
Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur made it official, telling reporters Monday morning that Jordan Love will start at quarterback in the team’s preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers on Friday.
Love, the third-year pro out of Utah State, has been praised both by the media and his coaches for his work during training camp, and Friday’s first preseason game will allow him to prove himself again in a live situation.
“I think he’s much more in rhythm,” LaFleur said Sunday about Love, per Packers Wire. “I think there’s more decisiveness. I think you see it in his footwork, and he’s not getting what I call ‘stuck’ at the top of the drop, where both feet are hitting at the same time and he’s just kind of sitting there.
“It just looks more rhythmical, just looks more fluid and I think it’s translated in his play. I think he’s definitely thrown the ball pretty accurately and has made pretty good decisions.”
LaFleur left the door open for the Packers’ starting quarterback — All-Pro Aaron Rodgers — to play in the preseason, according to The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman, as the coach said he would evaluate whether Rodgers plays after the team’s second preseason game.
Rodgers didn’t play in the preseason at all last year, and LaFleur said he might handle the situation with starters differently this season after Green Bay came out flat in its season opener in 2021, according to Schneidman.
After the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the 2020 preseason during Love’s rookie year, he played in two of the Packers’ three preseason games a year ago, though a shoulder injury caused him to miss some time.
Love started the Packers’ preseason opener last year against the Houston Texans and finished the preseason with 271 passing yards, one touchdown and an interception while completing 68.5% of his passes.
Love also started one game during the regular season last year when Rodgers was out with COVID-19, and the former Aggie completed 19 of 34 passes for 190 yards, one touchdown and an interception in a 13-7 loss to Kansas City.
Schneidman spotlighted Love as one of the Packers’ players with the most to prove during the preseason, in part because this could be the first time he gets to play in every preseason game.
“The Packers still don’t know what Love would as a consistent NFL starter given his limited action in the preseason and regular season, and they still might not know if he faces largely backups this preseason,” Schneidman wrote.
“Yet if Rodgers remains healthy this season, these next three games could be the last time general manager Brian Gutekunst has any substantial film to base his decision off when deciding whether to exercise Love’s fifth-year option after this season.”