The Green Bay Packers will travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs without quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The reigning NFL MVP has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Pack, winners of seven straight and currently the top seed in the NFC have a ton of momentum heading into the battle with KC.
Kansas City will be hard to beat without Rodgers, who has now opened up a can of worms because it’s being reported that he’s not vaccinated after saying he was “immunized” earlier in the season.
Here’s the video on August 26th when Aaron Rodgers was directly asked if he had been vaccinated pic.twitter.com/kskQDRpWi8
— Chancellor Johnson (@ChancellorTV) November 3, 2021
Rodgers Is Unvaccinated By League Standards
With Rodgers being unvaccinated, and having claimed he was immunized, it’s now the Packers who will pay the price.
According to ESPN, Rodgers wanted another option outside of getting the shot.
Rodgers “petitioned the NFL to have an alternate treatment that he underwent before he returned to the Packers that would allow him to be considered the same as someone who received one of the approved vaccinations.”
Major add to the Rodgers story here from @RobDemovsky.
This summer, Rodgers petitioned the NFL to have an “alternative treatment” count as a vaccination. The NFL denied his request and has considered him unvaccinated since the start of the season.https://t.co/GybsVt7RJc pic.twitter.com/LXufOZlMLe
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) November 3, 2021
Ian Rappaport of the NFL Network reported that Rodgers “received homeopathic treatment from his personal doctor to raise his antibody levels.”
But following league wide deliberation, that request was vehemently denied.
Love Gets His First Career Start:
So Rodgers’ loss is leading to a great opportunity for the rookie quarterback the Packers drafted to replace Rodgers eventually.
Jordan Love is now thrust into the starting role. The Packers moved up in the 2020 NFL draft to take the 6-foot-4, 225-pound strong-armed, big-play signal caller from Utah State with the No. 26 overall pick, much to the chagrin of Rodgers.
Love also possesses very good mobility, but at times trusts his arm a little too much, as evinced by his 19 interceptions in his final season (2019) in college.
In three seasons as the starter for the Aggies, Love completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 86 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. Roughly a 3:1 TD to INT ratio.
Love does have an effortless throwing motion, along with a very live and accurate arm. He’s a great deep-ball thrower, who also attacks zone coverage with timing. A bit of a gunslinger, who loves to challenge defenses.
This is actually an opportunity for the Packers to see what they have in Love.
What To Expect From Love
Love was able to get the majority of the first-team offseason and training camp reps as the uncertainty of Rodgers’ future with the team loomed. So that should help him immensely on Sunday at raucous Arrowhead.
Head coach Matt LaFleur seems to think so as well.
“Definitely a comfort level in terms of being able to spit out play calls and the whole operation. Now it’s going to come down to his ability to execute,” LaFleur said at the post-practice news conference on Wednesday.
The Packers possess a strong running game with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion toting the mail, so the expectancy is for head coach Matt LaFleur to lean heavily on them and limit his young inexperienced quarterback.
Playing in Arrowhead won’t be easy, as it’s arguably the loudest stadium in the league when the fans are lathered up. But Love will also be facing an extremely bad Chiefs defense that gives up a ton of big plays.
Love should play well because LaFleur is smart enough to understand the Chiefs’ defense can’t stop the run or the pass.
So expect a lot of running early to open up some play action deep shots.
When you put on the film you immediately notice that Love throws the shallow and deep crossers better than any other route. Also there should be some designed runs in the game plan to use his athleticism on the edges to keep the defense guessing.
Win or lose, if the Packers play this right they’ll at least come away from this game with a more convincing feeling either way about their heir apparent to Rodgers.
History Repeating Itself
Remember in 2007, Rodgers replaced the injured Brett Favre down 27-10 in a game featuring two 10-1 teams. The Packers would ultimately lose (37-27), but Rodgers gave “Packer Nation” a glimpse of what life would be without Favre.
The Packers have been the most blessed franchise in the league as far as QB play goes in the last 30 (1992-2021) seasons.
All they’ve had is two Hall of Famers at the controls.
With Rodgers’ vaccination situation slowly evolving into a problem for the Packers, Jordan Love will find out quickly if he can be the next Hall of Fame quarterback for the Packers.