Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has let it be known he’d happily welcome star quarterback Aaron Rodgers back for the 2023 NFL season.
“Yeah, absolutely. Of course,” LaFleur responded when asked Monday if he wanted Rodgers to remain his QB1 into the next campaign, per Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk. LaFleur was speaking on the opening day of the club’s bye week and after Rodgers teased that Sunday’s 28-19 win over the Chicago Bears could be his final trip to Soldier Field as a Green Bay player.
The 5-8 Packers next host the 3-9 Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 19.
“But, you guys know how I feel. I have a hard time looking past the L.A. Rams right now,” LaFleur continued during his answer. “And, obviously, this week is going to be great to kind of dig into ourselves and look at the film critically in every phase and try to challenge our guys in different areas that we can improve. But, then the focus will turn to the L.A. Rams. So that’s where my mind is right now. But yeah, absolutely.”
Rodgers has been playing through an avulsion fracture of the thumb on his throwing hand since Week 5 and also suffered a rib injury during a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 27.
Per ESPN stats, the four-time NFL Most Valuable Player who turned 39 years old this past Friday began Monday 14th in the league among qualified quarterbacks with a 92.4 passer rating, 26th with a 42.0 total QBR, and tied for fourth with 22 passing touchdowns this season.
Rodgers’ plans for the upcoming offseason are unknown, but he’s hinted he could retire at any time even though he signed a big-money contract extension with the Packers in March.
“You never know when it’s going to be your last one,” Rodgers said following Sunday’s victory. “They’ve got great fans here in Chicago. But it truly has been a second home for me. Had a lot of big wins here over the years, a lot of great moments, with [Randall Cobb] and so many guys here over the years. So, it’s fun to come back here, get a win, and let the fans know I’m still here.”
The Packers must make a decision about the fifth-year option attached to the rookie contract of quarterback and 2020 first-round draft choice Jordan Love next spring.
Love has spent the bulk of his pro career watching Rodgers play while serving as a backup and has thrown just 80 total regular-season passes.