The offseason drama surrounding Aaron Rodgers has put the Packers’ future at the forefront of fans’ minds.
Jordan Love gave them a reason to feel a little more confident in what could be next after Rodgers.
On Saturday, Love took his first NFL snaps — albeit in a preseason game against the Texans’ defensive backups — and finished his night having completed 12 of 17 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown. He also lost a fumble. He ended with a 110.4 QBR.
Love’s touchdown in the first quarter was more a display of rookie running back Kylin Hill’s playmaking ability and the efficiency of the offensive line on a screen pass, but Love had made sure to put his arm on display earlier in the drive. He found tight end Jace Sternberger down the middle for a 34-yard gain.
Love got the ball with 53 seconds remaining in the first half, but he fumbled on the first play of the drive. He was hit from the blind side by linebacker Jonathan Greenard while in his windup. Defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson recovered for the Texans. Green Bay cornerback Kabion Ento got Love the ball back on the next play when he intercepted a David Mills pass. Love did not attempt another pass after that, however, and Kurt Benkert replaced him at the start of the second half.
Love was drafted 26th overall by Green Bay in 2020 but didn’t get on the field all year. The NFL preseason was canceled because of COVID-19 and he didn’t appear in a regular-season game. Rodgers tore up the league en route to his third MVP award and backup Tim Boyle took all the other snaps. Love last saw competitive action on Jan. 25, 2020, in the Senior Bowl. In three seasons at Utah State, he completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 8,600 yards, 60 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. He rushed 170 times for 403 yards and scored nine times.
Rodgers is back in Wisconsin for 2021, but his future beyond then is far from certain. The 37-year-old quarterback reportedly has an agreement with the Packers that the team will trade him if he wants out after the season. Love, who will be just 23 in 2022, would be all but guaranteed to become the team’s starter heading into the next campaign if Rodgers leaves Green Bay.