The Green Bay Packers needed a backup quarterback this week in the wake of Aaron Rodgers testing positive for COVID-19, and they're bringing back a familiar face from this offseason. On Thursday, the Packers announced they had signed Blake Bortles to the practice squad. The expectation is that he will be promoted to the 53-man roster for Sunday's showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Bortles has been on the Packers roster before, spending time with the team this summer in the wake of Rodgers' holdout. The Packers released Bortles when Rodgers decided to return to the team, keeping Jordan Love on the roster. Green Bay carried two quarterbacks on the roster for the entire season prior to the Rodgers positive test.
Typically the Packers would have promoted Kurt Benkert to the active roster from the practice squad, but he also tested positive for COVID-19. Love can't be ruled out as a close contract either to Rodgers or Benkert, but both Love and Benkert are vaccinated. Benkert needs two negative tests within 24 hours in order to be cleared to play Sunday, but the Bortles signing clears all hurdles in case the Packers need a quarterback behind Love.
Bortles has been out of the NFL since his July release from the Packers. In 78 games, he threw 103 touchdowns to 75 interceptions. The Packers had Bortles in the system over the summer, so the learning curve won't be steep as he prepares to back up Love -- who will be making his first career start Sunday.