GREEN BAY – The Packers may be in the market for an extra arm this week due to the shoulder injury second-year quarterback Jordan Love sustained before halftime of Saturday's preseason opener against the Houston Texans.
Head Coach Matt LaFleur said Love should be OK, but there is a chance Green Bay's 2020 first-round pick could miss practice time this week and "potentially" next Saturday's preseason game against the New York Jets.
"He's doing fine. It's something, though, that's significant enough where he could miss a couple days of practice," said LaFleur on Sunday afternoon. "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."
Love was 12-of-17 for 122 yards and a touchdown in his Packers debut, but "dinged" his shoulder on Jonathan Greenard's strip sack with 53 seconds left in the first half. Green Bay planned for Love to play into the third quarter but decided to pull him early.
Instead, third-string quarterback Kurt Benkert played the entire second half. He completed 8-of-12 passes for 88 yards and a late interception.
Green Bay was carrying five quarterbacks on its 90-man roster at the end of the offseason program but cut veteran Blake Bortles and Jake Dolegala at the start of training camp. Both players are currently free agents.
LaFleur said last week reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers would "most likely not" play during the preseason. Even if Benkert were to take all the in-game snaps against the Jets, the Packers likely would want an emergency backup QB in uniform.
"We're going to look at a few options," General Manager Brian Gutekunst said. "Matt and I are going to sit down tonight and kind of figure that out. But we'll obviously protect the team, make sure we have somebody here."
The tricky part for Gutekunst and his personnel department is they also must navigate the league's mandatory roster reduction to 85 players by 3 p.m. Tuesday.
The NFL had recently shifted to a single cut-down day, from 90 to 53, at the conclusion of training camp, but league owners approved a three-tiered roster reduction this summer due to the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.
As much of a "bummer" as it would be if Love were to miss a game due to the shoulder issue, Gutekunst said he isn't concerned about it disrupting the 22-year-old quarterback's development.
"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," Gutekunst said. "And (Saturday) night, it was great to see him out there and finally get some reps. It wouldn't be ideal (if he missed a game), but at the same time, we're pretty hopeful he can get back here quick."
The Packers are scheduled to conduct a closed practice on Monday before welcoming the Jets for two open public practices at Nitschke Field on Wednesday and Thursday, leading into Saturday's preseason game at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay previously hosted the Houston Texans for joint practices during LaFleur's first season as head coach in 2019.
"I'm really excited about it," LaFleur said. "That was just something that came throughout the conversations in the offseason, knowing that we played this style of defense with Cleveland, with San Francisco. It's a different, penetrating front, and those guys fly off the football, and I think that's going to be a great test for all our guys but specifically for our offensive line."