“I’ve been preparing for this moment. . . now’s the time.”
Jordan Love will make his first NFL start Sunday against the Chiefs in Kansas City under unique circumstances with Aaron Rodgers in COVID-19 league protocols.
Love made that statement to the media in a press conference Friday afternoon, following a morning in which Rodgers told his side and viewpoints of his vaccination situation in a 46-minute interview on the Pat McAfee radio show.
Head coach Matt LaFleur is only focused on the Kansas City Chiefs, and making sure his team is too.
“I think our locker room is totally focused at the task at hand,” LaFleur said. “I’m not worried about that (Rodgers’ interview) being a distraction. I’m worried about going to play against a really good football team. That’s always been our mindset here.”
Packer Nation and the sporting world will be intently watching Love’s debut, which comes in one of the NFL’s most raucous stadiums and against the two-time defending AFC champions led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
The Packers-Chiefs clash will be televised exclusively in Western Wisconsin at 3:25 p.m. on FOX 25/48, following the Minnesota Vikings-Baltimore Ravens lead-in game at 12 noon.
Since learning Love would be starting on Tuesday, LaFleur said the second-year player has prepared well for his opportunity in team practices and meetings.
“I thought Jordan did a great job, he’s really locked in,” LaFleur said. “I think the guys around him have done an outstanding job, they put the work in, we’re ready to go and we’ll give it our best shot against a great football team.”
The 4-4 Chiefs and Mahomes have struggled mightily this season with self-inflicted wounds, including turnovers and penalties. Mahomes leads the NFL with 10 interceptions, but their offense still features some of the most explosive weapons in the league with speedster Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce.
The Chiefs defense has been gashed on the ground and through the air throughout the first eight games, and LaFleur will again have to devise a game plan with returning weapons Davante Adams and Allen Lazard from COVID-19 protocols and running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon to give Love the best chance to succeed. The game plan against the Cardinals in Arizona was masterful with Rodgers at the controls.
Packers Nation will get a glimpse of the future with Love under center Sunday afternoon.
NFL Week 9 Picks
Chiefs 30, Packers 20
Mahomes and the Chiefs prevail after a tumultuous week in Green Bay.