Packers host another workout for free agent QB James Morgan

It’s possible Morgan will be on the Packers’ shortlist if Aaron Rodgers eventually has to go to injured reserve.

The Green Bay Packers hosted a workout for quarterback James Morgan and five tight ends on Tuesday, and the team ended up signing tight end Nick Guggemos to the practice squad.

For Morgan, Tuesday’s workout represents his second tryout with the Packers since he was released this past offseason. The team had him in town for a workout on July 27.

It’s possible the Packers will be in the quarterback market if Aaron Rodgers, who is dealing with injuries to his right thumb and ribs, eventually goes on injured reserve.

Morgan, a Green Bay native who grew up a fan of both Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, could be on the shortlist if the Packers do end up adding a quarterback this year.

The Packers currently have Jordan Love as the top backup, and Danny Etling is available on the practice squad.

The New York Jets drafted Morgan (6-4, 229) out of FIU in the fourth round of the 2020 draft.

Morgan, 25, has never appeared in a regular-season NFL game. He completed 19 of 35 passes for 208 yards, two touchdowns and one interception during the preseason in 2021, marking his only three preseason appearances.

Packers sign S Innis Gaines from practice squad to replace S Johnathan Abram

The Packers swapped safeties on Tuesday, signing Innis Gaines to the roster to replace Johnathan Abram, who was waived.

The Green Bay Packers made a roster change at safety on Tuesday, waiving Johnathan Abram from the 53-man roster to make room for Innis Gaines, who was signed from the practice squad.

Abram’s release was reported earlier Tuesday.

Gaines was elevated to the gameday roster for Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles while Abram, who was claimed off waivers from the Raiders 18 days ago, was inactive as a healthy scratch.

Gaines (6-2, 207) played 18 special teams snaps against the Eagles. He was also elevated from the practice squad to the gameday roster for Week 8 in Buffalo where he played eight special teams snaps.

General manager Brian Gutekunst and coach Matt LaFleur must have liked what they saw from Gaines as a blocker and coverage player on special teams in Philadelphia and felt he deserved the activation.

The Packers now have Gaines, Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Rudy Ford, Dallin Leavitt and rookie Tariq Carpenter available at safety on the 53-man roster.

Abram played in two games for the Packers, seeing action on one defensive snap and 18 special teams snaps.

The Packers also signed tight end Nick Guggemos to the practice squad. An undrafted free agent out of St. Thomas (MN) in 2021, Guggemos has spent time with the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Commanders and Cleveland Browns at the NFL level.

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Packers waiving safety Johnathan Abram

The Packers will waive safety Johnathan Abram from the 53-man roster, per NFL Network.

Less than three weeks after claiming him off waivers from the Las Vegas Raiders, the Green Bay Packers are set to waive veteran safety Johnathan Abram from the 53-man roster, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

The Packers claimed Abram on Nov. 10.

Abram played one defensive snap and 28 total special teams snaps in games against the Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans but was inactive as a healthy scratch for Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Packers actually elevated safety Innis Gaines from the practice squad in favor of Abram against the Eagles.

Abram produced two tackles but also committed three penalties while in Green Bay.

The Packers roster has five other safeties: Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Rudy Ford, Dallin Leavitt and rookie Tariq Carpenter. All five were active against the Eagles.

Abram was a first-round pick of the Raiders in 2019. He played in 36 career games with the Raiders before being waived and eventually claimed by the Packers.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: ‘Plan on playing this week’ vs. Bears

Aaron Rodgers: “I got good news with the scans yesterday, so I plan on playing this week.”

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be the starter when his team goes to Chicago to play the Bears in Week 13.

Rodgers left Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles with a ribs injury but initial scans on the injury revealed positive news on the injury front.

“I got good news with the scans yesterday, so I plan on playing this week,” Rodgers told “The Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday.

Rodgers, who is also dealing with a broken right thumb, said he might not practice Wednesday while he rehabs the injuries.

Coach Matt LaFleur said Rodgers will play against the Bears if he’s physically capable.

The Packers are 4-8 and need to string together five straight wins to have a chance at the postseason.

“Go down to one of my favorite places to play down in Chicago and get a big win, go into the bye week, get healthy, and see where we can get to,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers said he “couldn’t move out there” during the loss to the Eagles after taking a hit in the second quarter and then taking another one during a sack in the third quarter. He was in extreme pain and was worried about a “really, really serious” issue, including a punctured lung.

Rodgers has thrown 21 touchdown passes and nine interceptions in 12 games. His passer rating is 92.9, which would be his second-lowest in a season as a starter in Green Bay.

Packers restructure contract of DL Dean Lowry, creating $1.1M of cap space

The Packers converted base salary into signing bonus for DL Dean Lowry, creating over $1 million in cap space for 2022.

The Green Bay Packers have restructured the contract of defensive lineman Dean Lowry, according to Field Yates of ESPN. The Packers converted $1.5 million of Lowry’s base salary in 2022 into a signing bonus, creating $1.1 million in additional cap space.

Converting base salary to a signing bonus will increase Lowry’s dead cap number in 2023.

Per Ken Ingalls, a CPA and close follower of Green Bay’s financial status, the move may mean the team is working on an extension for a player so they can fit another signing bonus onto this year’s salary cap. Currently, there have been no other reports that the Packers are working on an extension.

Lowry, 28, is in the final year of the three-year contract he signed in 2019. This season, he has appeared in all 12 games, including 11 starts, logging a total of 40 tackles and 0.5 sacks. Last year was a career year for Lowry when he recorded 5.0 sacks.

His contract will void and he will become an unrestricted free agent in 2023.

Packers don’t factor into Week 13 clinching scenario in NFC North

The Vikings can clinch the NFC North title with a win over the Jets and a loss by the Lions.

A team can clinch the NFC North title in Week 13, and the Green Bay Packers don’t factor into the clinching scenario.

Per the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings can clinch the division crown by beating the New York Jets and having the Detroit Lions lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

The Vikings do not need another result from the Packers, who already have eight total losses, to clinch the division.

The Vikings are 9-2 and hold a five-game lead over both the Lions and Packers in the win column entering Week 13.

The Packers are 4-8 overall, 1-2 in the division and 3-5 in the conference, and Matt LaFleur’s team already has a head-to-head loss to the Vikings.

Green Bay has lost seven of eight games after a 3-1 start. The Packers play the Chicago Bears, the bottom dwellers in the NFC North at 3-9, in Week 13.

Packers defense collapses without Rashan Gary, De’Vondre Campbell

Pick a stat, and the Packers defense has been near the NFL’s worst over the last three games, all without Rashan Gary and De’Vondre Campbell.

An already disappointing group for much of the 2022 season, the Green Bay Packers defense folded like a cheap lawnchair after losing star edge rusher Rashan Gary and All-Pro linebacker De’Vondre Campbell to injuries.

Gary tore his ACL midway through Week 9 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field, while Campbell went out with a knee injury in Week 8 against the Buffalo Bills and hasn’t played since.

In the three games that the Packers haven’t had Gary or Campbell, the defense gave up 443 yards per game and 31.7 points per game, including the 500 total yards and 40 points produced by the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.

In Week 11, Ryan Tannehill and the Tennessee Titans created 320 passing yards, a season-high allowed by the Packers.

In Week 12, Jalen Hurts, Miles Sanders and the Eagles rushed for 363 yards, the most allowed by the Packers in years.

How bad has it been on defense? Pick a stat, and the Packers have been near the NFL’s bottom over the last three games.

Between Weeks 10-12, the Packers have allowed the second most points (95) in the NFL, second-most total yards (1,329), most passing touchdowns (eight), most rushing yards (610), most first downs (74), most total touchdowns (13), third-most third-down conversions (20), second-highest yards per rush (5.4), third-highest passer rating (113.4), second-most rushing touchdowns (five), sixth-highest YPA (7.8), fourth-highest yards per completion (12.0) and fourth-highest yards per play (6.1).

The Packers had a legitimate chance to get the season back on track with games against the Cowboys, Titans and Eagles. Matt LaFleur’s team stole one against the Cowboys with a late comeback, but the defensive problems without Gary and Campbell were far too much to overcome for the Packers over the last two games especially.

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Stars, studs and duds from Packers’ 40-33 loss to Eagles

All the stars, studs and duds from the Packers’ 40-33 loss to the Eagles in Week 12.

The Green Bay Packers dropped a seventh game in eight weeks and are now 4-8 entering Week 13 after losing 40-33 to the high-powered Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday night.

Here are the stars, the studs and the duds from the Packers’ loss to the Eagles:

Matt LaFleur did not consider firing Joe Barry after losing to Eagles

LaFleur: “If I thought there was an issue there, then I would make the change, but we work as a staff, and collectively, we’re in this sucker together.”

Following Sunday night’s 40-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, in which the defense allowed an unprecedented 363 rushing yards, Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur did not consider firing defensive coordinator Joe Barry.

According to LaFleur, the Packers missed over 20 tackles. However, he doesn’t think the scheme is to blame for most of those.

“It was by far our worst tackling performance that I’ve seen here,” said LaFleur.

Green Bay’s head coach then went on to say that there was a long conversation on Monday related to the scheme, including different structures they are presenting to the offense and implementing different run mechanisms to try to make it more challenging to run the football. The Packers have to do something different, with their next opponent being the number one rushing offense in the Chicago Bears.

When asked if he would consider changing from Barry as the defensive play caller, LaFleur immediately shut down the notion.

“We’re not going to go down that road,” he said. “Again, if I thought there was an issue there, then I would make the change, but we work as a staff, and collectively, we’re in this sucker together.”

LaFleur hired Barry in 2021 to replace Mike Pettine, who was a carryover from the previous regime. In his first season, Barry’s defense finished ninth overall in total defense and 14th scoring defense. This season, Green Bay has fallen to 16th in total defense and 22nd in scoring defense.

These numbers look even worse when compared to the talent Barry has to work with. On paper, the Packers would appear to have the personnel of a top-10 defense. However, the combination of poor execution from the players and a scheme failing to put players in the best position to succeed has resulted in a disastrous defensive unit.

LaFleur did not rule out the possibility of firing a coach midseason, stating that you are always going to do what is in the best interest of the team. However, despite their 4-8 record, LaFleur is not ready to make any drastic changes to his staff.

“It’s never just one person. It starts with myself, and then it goes to our assistant coaches and then our players. We’re all in this together. If I felt confident it was one person, then I’d pinpoint it.”

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Jordan Love’s opportunity as Packers starting QB should be rapidly approaching

Jordan Love’s opportunity to be the starting quarterback in Green Bay is almost certainly a matter of when, not if. 

Aaron Rodgers wants to play as long as the Green Bay Packers are still mathematically alive, but the truth is that Jordan Love’s long-awaited opportunity as the starting quarterback should be rapidly approaching.

Rodgers, who turns 39 years old this week, might want to play through his thumb and ribs injuries on Sunday against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Fine. The four-time MVP should get another shot at his biggest rival in the city he owns while the Packers aren’t yet officially eliminated from postseason contention.

But after Sunday, and win or lose, it will be difficult to justify not starting Love over the final five games of the 2022 season.

The Packers have eight losses, are three full games behind in the win column in the race for a wild card spot and possess something like a three percent chance of making the playoffs. Even a five-game winning streak to end this season isn’t likely to get a playoff spot.

Playing Love over the final five games – coming out of the bye week in Week 14, of course – can provide important things, like a real chance to evaluate the third-year quarterback over a realistic in-game sample size, or the opportunity for Love to increase his long-term value in Green Bay or elsewhere. And even if Love plays poorly, the Packers would by default improve their place in the 2023 draft without losing much of anything else.

Love looked poised, confident and decisive over two series against the Eagles on Sunday night. He threw well from the pocket, attacked the intermediate areas of the field, had a big-time throw dropped by Aaron Jones and even extended a few plays under pressure. His two drives under center netted 10 points and kept the Packers in the game until the final drive.

Two series does not make a career, but it was hard to watch Love operate against a top NFC East foe in a relief appearance and not think of what Rodgers did 15 years ago in Dallas in a similar situation. That performance, during a primetime game against Tony Romo and the Cowboys in 2007, was the jumping-off point for what has become a Hall of Fame career as Brett Favre’s successor.

Who knows where Love’s career will go from here, but the Packers need to know more. The team must make a decision on his fifth-year option this coming offseason, and with Rodgers’ football career uncertain past 2022, all options remain on the table.

A lost season can still have value down the stretch for the Packers. A month or more of Love starting games would be infinitely more valuable than Rodgers staggering his way through wins or losses that don’t really matter in Green Bay, and that’s probably true whether Rodgers returns in 2023 or not.

The veteran needs to heal his thumb and his ribs. The youngster needs to play.

This is the ideal exit ramp for the Packers. The season is all but lost, Rodgers is dealing with two painful injuries and Love is coming off his best-ever regular-season appearance.

The outcomes are largely all good: either Love plays well and proves to the Packers that he’s a legitimate starting option for 2023, or he doesn’t and the Packers get value via an improved draft pick – possibly in the top 10 or better – come April – and the information acquired on what’s needed long-term at the quarterback position.

Rodgers is going to fight it all until the Packers are officially out, but Jordan Love’s opportunity to be the starting quarterback in Green Bay is almost certainly a matter of when, not if.

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