Packers did not consider starting Jordan Love so Aaron Rodgers could rest his thumb


Even with a former first-round draft pick at backup, Packers coach Matt LaFleur said he never considered resting Aaron Rodgers after the four-time MVP broke his throwing thumb this season.

Rodgers confirmed Wednesday he broke the thumb on his throwing hand during the final play in Week 5 against the New York Giants. He has played six games, throwing more than 200 passes, since the injury. Rodgers’ completion percentage dipped five points, from 67 before breaking his thumb to 62 since. His passer rating declined from 95.7 before to 91.1 after.

Regardless, LaFleur said giving Jordan Love a start so Rodgers could rest his thumb a week or two was never a move the team contemplated.

“Aaron is one of the toughest guys I’ve ever been around,” LaFleur said, “in terms of just being able to battle through multiple injuries. So that never crossed my mind. It’s more or less the conversation in terms of how he communicates with us, and where he’s at. Certainly, I know he told you guys, he’s played through a lot worse. He’s old-school tough.”

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers leaves the field after losing to the Titans last week.

LaFleur said the biggest challenge Rodgers’ broken thumb presented was how many snaps he took under center during practice. The Packers regularly rested Rodgers on Wednesdays, although he has become more present at practice in recent weeks. Rodgers practiced Wednesday and Thursday this week as the Packers prepare to play at the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.

While Rodgers dismissed his broken thumb as a reason for waning accuracy this season, LaFleur said the injury makes it “more difficult and challenging” for quarterbacks to throw. Asked if Rodgers’ misses on shorter throws this season, passes that have been virtually automatic for him in the past, is where the broken thumb has been especially problematic, LaFleur only said it could “potentially” be an issue.

“When you’re a quarterback, and you have something wrong with your hand,” LaFleur said, “it can create some obstacles. He’s seemed to maneuver around it for the most part pretty well.”

A bigger issue this week is a flu bug circulating in the Packers’ locker room. Five players were on the injury report with an “illness” designation Wednesday. Kicker Mason Crosby, receiver Randall Cobb, safety Rudy Ford and rookie safety Tariq Carpenter returned to practice Thursday, although rookie offensive lineman Rasheed Walker remained out.

This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Packers didn’t consider starting Love to let Aaron Rodgers rest thumb



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