Packers Rumors: Kurt Warner defends Jordan Love from fan criticism
Jordan Love has been under the microscope lately. After throwing six touchdowns with zero interceptions in Green Bay's first two games, Love has four touchdowns and seven interceptions in the four games since. His accuracy has wavered and the Packers' offense has crumbled like a week-old cookie.
In the Packers' gut-wrenching Week 7 loss to Denver, Love completed 21-of-31 passes for 180 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Not his worst game by any stretch, but still a prime example of Green Bay's offensive stagnation. The Broncos have struggled to get stops all season. We all remember the Dolphins' 70-point game. But Green Bay only managed 17.
Love, as the team's QB, is a natural beacon for criticism. The takes have been torrential of late, but Love has a defender in former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner, who doesn't understand the hoopla.
Warner is the expert here. It's difficult to argue with the general point of the argument — Love's performance in Week 7 was far from his most problematic individually — but the bulk of the criticisms are tied to Green Bay's overall performance. It's a debate about whether or not Love can lead a competitive offense, more than a debate about Love's ability to play mistake-free football. Is he too limited, or are these simply early growing pains?
Green Bay has no choice but to remain patient. There won't be a backup to the backup plan until at least the 2024 NFL Draft. Love has flashed enough in terms of arm talent to maintain some level of confidence from the fanbase, but the Packers' once-promising season is quickly spiraling out of control.
Until Green Bay strings together a couple wins, the Love questions will keep coming.
Packers Rumors: Matt LaFleur drops hint about Luke Musgrave's injury status
Luke Musgrave injured his ankle during the Packers' Week 7 loss to the Broncos. The rookie tight end was seen in a walking boot after the game, but he appeared at Thursday's practice (as a non-participant) without the boot. That led to some optimism within the fanbase.
Unfortunately for the Packers' fanbase, the signs aren't great for Musgrave. Head coach Matt LaFleur, when asked about Green Bay's other rookie tight end, Tucker Kraft, appeared to hint at Musgrave's status for Week 8 in rather straightforward terms.
"[Kraft is] going to have to play big for us this week," LaFleur said.
Musgrave, a second-round pick, has been a valuable pressure relief valve for Jordan Love in the Packers' offense. He has 22 receptions for 189 receptions across seven starts. Kraft, a third-round pick, has operated mostly in the shadows, accumulating only two catches for five yards.
Green Bay's passing game has been in a world of hurt over the last couple weeks, so Green Bay can't afford a lengthy injury absence for one of Love's favorite targets. Kraft is a big, physical pass-catcher at 6-foot-5, so there's a chance the South Dakota State product delivers in his first start. But, it's hard to imagine LaFleur is thrilled about the circumstances — especially with a pivotal division matchup against Vikings on the schedule this Sunday.
Packers Rumors: Longtime Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby tries out for Rams
Mason Crosby spent his first 16 NFL seasons with the Green Bay Packers. He won a Super Bowl and led the league in extra-point makes thrice. The 39-year-old has expressed no desire to retire, but the Packers selected Auburn product Anders Carlson in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, effectively ending Crosby's tenure with the franchise.
Now, after months of waiting, Crosby will have a chance to compete for the Los Angeles Rams' job. The Rams waived veteran Brett Maher after three missed kicks in their Week 7 loss to the Steelers. According to NFL insider Mike Garafolo, Crosby was part of a group of kickers who tried out for the team on Thursday.
For Crosby, it's a chance at redemption after an uneven 2022 campaign that saw him convert 86.2 percent of his field goal attempts. Notably, Crosby went 16-for-16 in 2020. He has about as impressive a rémumé as one could hope for at his position, so he could have a leg up at Rams tryouts.
Ultimately, it comes down to his performance relative to the group. If Crosby gets the nod, he could face Green Bay — on the road, back in his old stomping grounds — when the two teams meet on Nov. 5.