Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is now dealing with a significant rib injury and an avulsion fracture in his right thumb, the latest setback in a disappointing season. The latest injury should also be a turning point for the franchise.

The Packers’ playoff chances are minimal at this point and it was evident weeks ago that the franchise’s Super Bowl window closed. In a year with so many things going wrong for the franchise as both the offense and defense fall short of expectations, the Packers’ organization now faces a pivotal decision.

There is an undying loyalty to Rodgers, arguably the greatest quarterback in Packers’ history. He sustained a level of excellence and led one of the NFL’s dynasties for more than a decade. While the devotion to the 38-year-old quarterback is understandable, this season demonstrated why it’s time for Green Bay to prepare for its future.

While Rodgers wants to keep playing, there are far bigger things at stake than stats and a drive to compete. If Green Bay wants to do the right thing, it’s time to put Rodgers on injured reserve and start Love and there are plenty of reasons behind that decision.

1. Green Bay Packers need to prepare for future

If the 2023 NFL Draft was held today, Green Bay would hold the 9th overall pick. It’s an incredibly valuable position for this front office. Consider that the last time the Packers held a top-10 pick came in the 2009 NFL Draft, when they drafted B.J. Raji with the ninth pick.

Green Bay desperately needs blue-chip talent and the 2023 draft class is perfect for them. With quarterbacks Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Will Levis projected top-10 picks, an elite prospect at a position of need could fall to Green Bay.

Clemson defensive lineman Myles Murphy or Bryan Bresee would be a massive addition to Green Bay’s defense. Entering December, the Packers ranked 11th in pressure rate (22%), 21st in sacks (24) and they have the second-worst run defense (154.8 rush ypg) in the NFL.

Green Bay could also shore up its option in two different ways. Either general manager Brian Gutekunst can target Northwestern offensive tackle Peter Skoronski – who is outstanding in pass protection – or he can snag TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston. The 6-foot-4 receiver feels like an unprecedented offensive weapon, with a combination of size, YAC ability and shiftiness that goes beyond rare.

Starting Love and allowing him to go through the growing pains puts Green Bay in a better position to improve its draft slot. The biggest influence of that will be felt in Round 1, but it would also mean three top-75 picks. Holding that would be especially valuable for a front office with a terrible track record with its picks late in Round 3.