Packers to open 2021 season in Big Easy

First 'Border Battle' with Vikings not until weekend before Thanksgiving.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates with guard Billy Turner (77) after a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the second quarter Sept. 27, 2020 in New Orleans. Derick E. Hingle/ USA TODAY Sports

At least one team in New Orleans will be breaking in a new starting quarterback on Kickoff Weekend.

The Green Bay Packers will play their first game of the 2021 season on Sept. 12 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome against the Saints, who will be replacing legendary quarterback Drew Brees. It remains to be seen if Green Bay will have disgruntled 2020 MVP Aaron Rodgers.

The 2021 schedule was released Wednesday.

The home opener is eight days later and the first of an NFL-maximum five prime-time games, a Monday Night Football encounter against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 20.

The run of spotlight games continues in each of the next two weeks with a Sept. 26 Sunday Night Football game at San Francisco, followed by a rare matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 3 at Lambeau Field.


The Packers make another trip west for their annual Thursday Night Football performance in Week 8 (Oct. 28) at Arizona.

This will be the first year of a 17-game NFL regular season. That ‘extra’ interconference matchup comes in Week 9 on Nov. 7 in Kansas City.

The first of two ‘Border Battle’ meetings with the Minnesota Vikings comes the Sunday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 21) at US Bank Stadium.

After a Week 13 bye, the latest on the schedule in team history, the Packers will host the latter of two games with Chicago in a Dec. 12 Sunday Night Football encounter.

For only the third time in club history, the Packers have a scheduled game on Christmas Day, a Saturday in 2021, at Lambeau Field against Cleveland. That’s followed by the second Vikings game, on Sunday Night Football Jan. 2.

The regular season finale is Jan. 9 at Detroit, though the league will move two games with playoff implications forward a day.

  • The Packers are set to sign veteran quarterback Blake Bortles, ESPN and NFL Network reported Wednesday.

Bortles was in Green Bay on Wednesday to sign the contract, a one-year deal, per ESPN.
With the team's Aaron Rodgers situation, the addition of Bortles ensures the Packers will have at least two quarterbacks participating in offseason workouts. The other is 2020 first-round draft pick Jordan Love. In-person workouts begin Monday in Green Bay.

Bortles last saw action in 2019 in three games with the Los Angeles Rams. He completed one of two passes for 3 yards.


Bortles was the third overall draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014. He started 73 of 75 games played between 2014-18 and passed for 17,646 yards, 103 touchdowns and 75 interceptions.

Rodgers has been mum about whether he intends to take part in voluntary OTAs.

Rodgers reportedly has told some members of the organization that he doesn't want to play for the Packers anymore.

Among Rodgers' reported beefs with the team are the Packers' selection of Love with their first-round pick in 2020 instead of a player who could make an instant contribution and their failure to come to terms on a contract extension with him.

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