GREEN BAY, Wis. – Jordan Love has tested positive for COVID-19, leaving the Green Bay Packers without their backup quarterback heading into Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Bears.
The more pressing matter is how the team will conduct practice on Wednesday. With Aaron Rodgers nursing a broken pinky toe, his status for practice this week is uncertain. He didn’t practice at all before being the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday and only on the Friday before facing Minnesota the week prior.
Coach Matt LaFleur said on Monday that Rodgers “hopefully” can practice this week, but the team is walking the tightrope of getting him practice reps while keeping the toe feeling as normal as possible. Clearly, having Rodgers at his best for Sunday will be the priority.
That means practice squad quarterback Kurt Benkert is the only healthy signal-caller on the roster. It obviously would be a logistical challenge to have Benkert run the offense as well as playing the role of Andy Dalton or Justin Fields to get the defense ready to face Chicago. So, help could be on the way.
All three of the Packers’ quarterbacks have tested positive for COVID. The unvaccinated Rodgers tested positive on Nov. 3 and was back on Nov. 13. The vaccinated Benkert tested positive on Nov. 2 and was back on Nov. 15.
Once Benkert tested positive, the team brought back veteran Blake Bortles.
As of Monday evening, the team had not made a move to bring back Bortles, a source said.
The Packers returned from their bye on Monday and had to go through COVID testing.
Rodgers missed the game at Kansas City after testing positive for COVID. Speaking to reporters on the Friday before making his first NFL start vs. the Chiefs, Love said he was vaccinated. As such, Love could return following two consecutive negative tests taken within 24 hours of each other.
So, theoretically, Love could be active for the game against the Bears. While vaccinated receiver Davante Adams was away for 10 days after he tested positive and Benkert was absent for almost two weeks, Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt tested positive on Monday and returned after just five days to record 3 1/2 sacks against Baltimore on Sunday.
Green Bay has two players on the COVID-19 list, with linebacker De’Vondre Campbell testing positive a week ago. He could return to the team on Friday and play against Chicago on Sunday.
“Dre’s doing well,” LaFleur said. “We’re hopeful that we can get him back in this building, and we’ll see where he’s at when he can come back in on Friday, provided he’s asymptomatic, which I believe he is. He’s doing everything he can at home to be at his best and we’ll make sure that we incorporate him throughout our game plan meetings through Zoom, and he’ll be a big part of it.”