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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 10, 2020
And the hits just keep on comin’ for Aaron Rodgers in 2020.
In January, his Green Bay Packers lost dismally at San Francisco in the NFC championship game.
In March, the wideout-desperate Packers did not land any impact free agents at that position — well, unless you think Devin Funchess fills the bill to provide Rodgers with a second receiver opposite the elite Davante Adams, who can reliably get open and catch clutch passes.
In April, the Packers inexplicably did not draft a single wide receiver. Instead, they gave up a fourth-round pick to move up four spots near the end of Round 1 to select project quarterback Jordan Love — a double-whammy for Rodgers, even if he said the other day he’s not bitter about it. (More on that, below.)
Plus, at some point in late spring or early summer, Rodgers and celebrity girlfriend and former car racer Danica Patrick broke up.
Now comes word that Funchess has opted out of 2020 because of COVID-19 concerns. A second-round disappointment for most of four seasons in Carolina, the big-bodied Funchess last year played only one game in Indianapolis before breaking a collarbone.
With the departures via free agency of receiver Geronimo Allison to division rival Detroit and tight end Jimmy Graham to division rival Chicago, that’s a combined 72 catches, 734 yards and five touchdowns gone from Green Bay’s attack without any form of veteran replacement.
Few, if any, teams in the league would have traded their pass-
catching corps for Green Bay’s entering the off-season, and less likely following the spring.
There might not be a single non-quarterback in the NFL more valuable to his team in 2020 than Adams is to the Packers.
So, regarding Rodgers’ state of mind entering his 13 th season as starting QB in Green Bay …
At around the time news broke Tuesday about Funchess opting out, Kyle Brandt’s “10 questions with …” podcast went up at TheRinger.com, featuring Rodgers.
Brandt asked the 36-year-old if he sees the Packers moving on from him in 2-3 years.
“I think that’s probably what happens,” Rodgers said, “based on just the circumstances around everything. Just look at the facts. They traded up. They drafted (Love). I would say they like him, they want to play him.”
“They” being Packers GM Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur.
Highly drafted quarterbacks play earlier nowadays, Rodgers pointed out, and usually right away — a “different environment” from when he entered the NFL, slowly adjusting to the pro game while backing up Brett Favre circa 2005-07.
“I get it. I really do,” Rodgers said.
As for the drafting of Love, Rodgers — the greatest thrower of footballs the planet has yet produced — said:
“I don’t harbor any ill will about it. Was I bummed out? Of course. Who wouldn’t be? I wanted to play my entire career in Green Bay. I love the city. I grew up there, really. I got there when I was 21. I’m 36 now.
“But, look. I get it. I see it completely clearly, and I’m not bitter about it. It just kind of it what it is.”
Kansas City won’t have its starting running back back. Damien Williams has opted out of playing this season because of COVID-19, the club announced. He scored two touchdowns in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl defeat of San Francisco in February. Rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire from LSU now figures to start.
New York Giants starting LT Nate Solder also has opted out, citing the fact his son is fighting cancer.
Cleveland placed second-year G Drew Forbes and undrafted rookie OT Drake Dorbeck on the same reserve/opt-out list.
Meantime, Philadelphia placed RT Lane Johnson on its reserve/COVID-19 list, meaning he either contracted the coronavirus or came into close contact with someone with it.
Minnesota placed three players on that list — starting defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo, second-string linebacker Cameron Smith and backup offensive tackle Oli Udoh — while Washington added tight end Logan Thomas.
Miami activated undrafted rookie pass rusher Benito Jones off reserve/COVID-19.
More great news for both Tua Tagovailoa and all Miami Dolphins fans hoping to see him start at quarterback, over Ryan Fitzpatrick. Dolphins doctors have fully cleared Tagovailoa health-wise, entering training camp. His final season at the University of Alabama was cut short last November after he suffered a fractured and dislocated hip, which threatened his football future.
But surgery proved successful. Tagovailoa said in February at the NFL Scouting Combine he was ahead of rehab schedule, and vowed he’d be ready to go by training camp. True enough.
The Dolphins drafted the 22-year-old fifth overall in April.
OLDER BOSA GETS PAID
The older of the two elite pass-rushing Bosa brothers, Joey, can teasingly wave handfuls of cash in the face of Nick for the next couple years.
Per reports, the Los Angeles Chargers have agreed to terms on a second contract with Joey Bosa, who along with Melvin Ingram has formed one of the NFL’s best tandem of pass-rushing defensive ends since 2016.
ESPN reported Bosa is getting a five-year, $135-million extension, with up to $102 million guaranteed.
Bosa’s younger brother Nick was an instant impact performer at defensive end as a rookie last year with the San Francisco 49ers; he’s not eligible for a second contract until after 2021.
LYNCH REWARDED TOO
The San Francisco 49ers have given GM John Lynch a five-year contract extension, through 2024, per numerous reports. Head coach Kyle Shanahan was extended through 2025 a month ago.
Reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson, the Baltimore Ravens quarterback, worked out with retired/unretired/retired/unretired receiver Antonio Brown this off-season, and said Wednesday he’s “still hoping, a little bit” that the Ravens sign the unclaimed free agent of 10 months … Cincinnati waived fourth-year DT Ryan Glasgow because of a failed physical … Former Atlanta edge rusher Vic Beasley had not begun the process of reporting to his new team, Tennessee, by late Wednesday afternoon, and according to NFL Network the Titans didn’t even know why.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020