Packers QB Aaron Rodgers out this week, length of absence unknown

Jordan Love will make first NFL start this week at Kansas City

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QB Aaron Rodgers

GREEN BAY – The Packers are placing quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the reserve/COVID-19 list and Head Coach Matt LaFleur does not know how long he'll be out.

"I just know he won't be available this week," LaFleur said Wednesday, announcing that backup Jordan Love would start on Sunday at Kansas City. "We'll address next week when we get there."

LaFleur declined to address whether or not Rodgers is vaccinated but said he's confident the team has followed all protocols regarding vaccinated and unvaccinated players. He did expect to hear more follow-up from the league soon.

Love, the second-year QB drafted in the first round in 2020 out of Utah State, will be making his first NFL start. LaFleur announced that to the team in their first meeting Wednesday morning, right after he found out about Rodgers' status.

"I said hey, it's a great challenge. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We all have to prepare to the best of our ability to go down there and get a win, and that's the mindset," LaFleur said. "They're not going to postpone or cancel the game.

"We have a game to play. It's the next-man-up mentality and that's how we've operated for everybody. I think our guys will rally around Jordan. We've got a lot of confidence in him, and what a great opportunity for him to showcase what he can do."

The Packers head to Kansas City with a 7-1 record and riding a seven-game winning streak. The Chiefs are 4-4, having just evened their record with a home win on Monday night.

Receiver Davante Adams and defensive coordinator Joe Barry also remain out due to COVID protocols, but LaFleur said he was hoping the team would get both back on Thursday.

With Rodgers and practice-squad QB Kurt Benkert both now on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team is looking to sign another quarterback to back up Love this week. Jake Dolegala and Blake Bortles are two QBs who spent time with the Packers during the offseason who could be under consideration.

For now, LaFleur said Love would probably have to take all the reps with the No. 1 offense as well as the scout team snaps in practice because there are no other QBs available.

"There's so many unknowns in this business," LaFleur said. "Every guy is one play away from being in there.

"Times like this, something comes up, you have to be ready to go. Some guys only get one opportunity at this thing, and you have to make the most of it."

Love took the majority of the snaps in two of the Packers' three preseason games, his first actual NFL game action after the preseason was canceled his rookie year due to the pandemic.

LaFleur said when he told Love he was starting against the Chiefs, he was all business about it.

"We talk about having that no-flinch mentality and I didn't see any flinch in him," LaFleur said. "I think he's excited about the opportunity, and I think he'll prepare the right way and give it everything he has."

That goes for the rest of the team as well.

"I think everybody's got to look at themselves, and make sure they're the best version of themselves going into the game, no doubt about it," LaFleur said. "Unfortunately, when you lose great players, nobody wants that to happen. But the only way you can get through that is for each individual to be at their best.

"It's the collective effort of everybody that give you a chance to win a game."

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