Jordan Love was ‘super happy’ Aaron Rodgers got a new deal but also enjoying his absence from OTAs

For a second straight offseason Jordan Love is running the first-team offense for the Green Bay Packers. Unlike at this time last year, when it wasn’t clear whether Aaron Rodgers would ever play for the team again, Love knows that he’s just a placeholder while the 4-time MVP enjoys his time away from football.

“I think that’s Aaron’s game plan,” Love said of Rodgers’ absence from the team’s OTAs that started Monday. “He doesn’t really need this time right now, so I enjoy it. And him not being here, it just means more reps for me, more reps for everybody else in the quarterback room. So, obviously, I’m loving it.”

No one knows when or if Rodgers will take part in OTAs. Coach Matt LaFleur isn’t expecting him for Thursday’s practice and Rodgers will be busy next week playing in “The Match” golf event. He did commit to participating in the mandatory 3-day minicamp the following week.

This kind of uncertainty is Love’s reality after Rodgers signed a new contract this offseason that tied him to the team through the 2026 season. General manager Brian Gutekunst said he believes Love has a bright future, but admitted during the NFL Draft in April that it may not be with the Packers because of their commitment to Rodgers.

“I was super happy for Aaron, obviously. The dude deserves it, obviously, what he’s done last few years,” said Love, who learned of the contract news when his phone started blowing up with tweets. “But personally for me, it just means that I’m about to be a backup again for this year. That’s all I can control right now. I was happy for Aaron, but at same time it’s like, ‘ah.’ You know?”

Love’s opportunities to prove himself him game-like situations have been tough to come by. The pandemic in 2020 wiped out the offseason program and the preseason slate. He lasted just one quarter in the preseason opener before a shoulder injury sidelined him for 10 days. The 23-year-old then struggled in the preseason finale against Buffalo and failed to impress when he made a regular season start against Kansas City after Rodgers tested positive for COVID.

Back in January, when it was unclear if Rodgers would be coming back, there was a chance Love would be under center as the starter this fall. Though that’s now not going to happen, he’s making the best of the situation.

“I would say going into it it was kind of the same because we didn’t know what was going to happen,” Love said of his early offseason approach. “Obviously, now that he signed, he’s back, I don’t think it changes anything for me. Like I said, I’m still here, I’m still gonna do my job. I’m competing to try and be that guy if he wasn’t here or if he is here. Like you said, he’s not here right now, so I’m getting all those (first-team) reps. I look at as I’m the guy right now.”