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Packers' Aaron Rodgers Unlikely to Play in Preseason; Jordan Love to Start vs. Texans

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 10, 2021

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said Tuesday that quarterback Aaron Rodgers will "most likely not" play during the preseason.

LaFleur also said Jordan Love will start at quarterback against the Houston Texans on Saturday and play the "majority of the game" with Kurt Benkert then finishing it.

Rodgers reported to training camp and will be the Packers' starter when the 2021 regular season kicks off despite concerns to the contrary earlier in the offseason when the veteran signal-caller expressed unhappiness with the organization.

While Rodgers acknowledged some of his gripes with the Packers organization during a press conference at the start of training camp, he made it clear that he is committed to playing and winning in Green Bay in 2021.

His future with the Packers is cloudy beyond that, but Rodgers undoubtedly gives them the best chance to win a Super Bowl during the upcoming season.

The decision to rest Rodgers during the preseason seems like a no-brainer on the Packers' part given that he is 37 years of age, doesn't necessarily need the in-game reps and certainly doesn't need to risk getting injured.

Most of the NFL's top veteran quarterbacks tend to play sparingly or not at all during the preseason, and Rodgers is no exception on the heels of one of the best seasons of his career.

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There were no preseason games last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that did little to slow down Rodgers, who completed 70.7 percent of his passes for 4,299 yards, 48 touchdowns and just five interceptions en route to his third career NFL MVP award.

Rodgers also led the Pack to a 13-3 record and a trip to the NFC Championship Game for the second consecutive season, although they fell one win short of reaching the Super Bowl for the fourth time in his career.

Since there haven't been many significant changes made to the Green Bay offense this season, Rodgers already has a rapport with most of his weapons and should have no problem linking up with them when the regular season begins, regardless of a lack of preseason action.

Even one of Green Bay's big offseason additions, wide receiver Randall Cobb, should hit the ground running with Rodgers since they played together from 2011 to 2018.

Resting Rodgers during the preseason will give Love some much-needed experience, as a lack of preseason games and Rodgers remaining healthy last season meant the 2020 first-round pick didn't play a single in-game snap as a rookie.

Before Rodgers reported to training camp, Love was preparing as if he was going to be the starter in 2021.

That won't be the case, but Love could still play a key role in the 2021 season should Rodgers get injured at some point.

The decision to select Love in the 2020 draft's first round while Rodgers was still on the roster was a controversial one, but if Love performs well against Houston and throughout the preseason as a whole, it could go a long way toward proving that the Packers made the right decision.

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