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Shoulder Injury ‘Potentially’ Could Sideline Love For Next Game

Jordan Love's shoulder injury isn't significant but it could keep him out of this week's joint practices against the New York Jets as well as Saturday night's preseason game.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Jordan Love’s injured shoulder isn’t major but it’s serious enough that the Green Bay Packers might have to add a quarterback to get through this week’s practices and the next preseason game.

Love’s throwing shoulder was “dinged” on Jonathan Greenard’s sack-strip late in the first half of Saturday’s loss to the Houston Texans. Afterward, Love described it as “strain-ish” and expressed confidence that he’d be ready for the upcoming game against the New York Jets.

However, while tests conducted on Sunday didn’t show a significant injury, coach Matt LaFleur said Love “potentially” could miss the Jets game.

“I think he’s doing fine,” LaFleur said. “It’s something, though, that is significant enough where he could miss a couple days of practice. We’ll see where he’s at at the end of the week, but we’re going to kind of take it day to day.”

The Packers will practice on Monday, then have joint sessions with the Jets on Wednesday and Thursday before playing the Jets on Saturday night.

With the possibility of only Kurt Benkert being available to face New York, general manager Brian Gutekunst said he and LaFleur would get together on Sunday night to discuss their options. One would be bringing back Jake Dolegala, who was signed after the minicamp on June 10 but released on July 27 after Aaron Rodgers decided to return to the team. While he spent the start of training camp with the New England Patriots, he would have a decent grasp of the system and would welcome the opportunity to play on Saturday night to get fresh game film.

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“We’ll obviously protect the team, make sure we have somebody here,” Gutekunst said.

Making his long-awaited debut, Love was supposed to play the first three quarters against Houston. If the plan were to give Love three more quarters against the Jets, he’d be up to six quarters of preseason action. Instead, he might have only two quarters.

“If he ends up having to miss any time, it’ll be kind of a bummer,” Gutekunst said. “I think through the offseason, he’s taken a ton of reps with the ones and then obviously this training camp has been pretty good. And last night, it was great to see him out there and finally get some reps. It wouldn’t be ideal but, at the same time, we’re pretty hopeful he can get back here quick.”

Playing in his first game since the Senior Bowl in January 2020, Love went 12-of-17 passing for 122 yards and one touchdown. That’s a passer rating of 110.4, a stat line fattened up by an impressive scoring drive. Love went 6-of-6 for 89 yards and one touchdown during the Packers’ first-half scoring drive. In his other five possessions in the opening half, he went 6-of-11 for 33 yards.

After the game, LaFleur said he wanted Love to play more decisively and “let it rip.” Considering it was Love’s first game action in 20 months, Love’s cautious approach was neither a surprise or a concern.

“I think that comes from just more the vision of the defense,” quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy said. “When you’re catching the ball, especially in the gun, you have to have your eyes down, and then you have to pick your eyes up. I think trusting what you see, that takes experience. We talk about Aaron, he sees so much and he’s so comfortable and the game’s slowed down for him, that as a young guy like that, first opportunity out there, now full speed, not a practice rep, now it matters if it’s an interception or not, I think sometimes you’re a little unsure of yourself, and I think that’s all that showed up a little bit. I thought most of the time he did a really nice job. He did a really good job with the play-pass stuff of throwing the ball really well.”