After two of the Green Bay Packers' three quarterbacks tested positive for COVID-19 this week, Jordan Love feared he would be next. But Love has tested negative each of the past three days and on Friday said, "I'm confident that I'm good right now."
Love is scheduled to make his first NFL start Sunday at the Kansas City Chiefs, while starter Aaron Rodgers and third-stringer Kurt Benkert remain on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Love spoke Friday for the first time since Rodgers' diagnosis, wearing a mask at the Lambeau Field podium as part of what he said were extra precautions this week. Love told reporters that he is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
"I was a little shocked but not crazy shocked," Love said about Rodgers' diagnosis. "Just because with Kurt testing positive earlier in the week, I kind of figured something might happen in the quarterback room. I didn't know what would happen, but just hearing that, my initial thought was ... wondering what would shake out with all of the close contacts and how things would break down and just affect all of us in the room. That was my first thought, and just obviously trying to get my mind right for starting this week. But I prepared for this, and I'm confident in myself."
Love has been at the center of an organizational firestorm from the moment the Packers drafted him as Rodgers' heir apparent in 2020. Rodgers was surprised by the decision and spent much of the past offseason thinking through possible exit strategies. He ultimately reported to training camp, postponing Love's ascension, but Sunday could be a preview of the Packers' 2022 starting quarterback.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur said Love has been "locked in" during practice and meetings this week.
"I think he's come a long way, but by no means is he a finished product," LaFleur said. "It's going to be a great opportunity for him to get his feet wet for the first time in a meaningful game, being that it's the regular season. So it'll be a great learning experience for him, and I'm just excited for his opportunity."
Love took 15 snaps at the end of the Packers' blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, completing 5 of 7 passes for 68 yards in the fourth quarter. But Sunday will be his first regular-season appearance with an outcome on the line.
He will have an important weapon on the field with him. The Packers activated All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams from the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday.
"We haven't played together yet, so there's not really a way to describe [the connection]," Adams said. "It's going to be new, but I'm looking forward to seeing how the game goes."