Packers to open 2021 season at Saints, host Browns on Christmas

Tom Silverstein
Packers News
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Packers running back Aaron Jones fights off a tackle by Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore during their game last season.

GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers will open the 2021 regular season in New Orleans, the NFL announced Wednesday morning, but the question many want to be answered — will Aaron Rodgers be the team’s starting quarterback? — remains a mystery.

The NFL released its entire schedule Wednesday evening, and how many times the Packers will be on national television provided a glimpse into how the league figures the dispute between Rodgers and the Packers will end.

The Saints will host the Packers at 3:25 p.m. in a Sunday, Sept. 12, Fox doubleheader game, which under normal circumstances would be a must-watch matchup between two NFC contenders.

But both teams don’t know for sure who their starting quarterback will be.

Green Bay Packers 2021 Regular Season Schedule

COMPLETE SCHEDULE: Here's the Packers' 2021 regular-season, preseason schedule

The Saints are expected to have a  competition between Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston and the Packers will start Rodgers if his standoff with the team is settled amicably, and Jordan Love or someone else if it isn’t.

It’s still not known what, if anything, the Packers can do to heal their relationship with Rodgers, but the NFL is betting that they will find a way, at least as far as their widely watched Fox doubleheader game is concerned.

In all, the Packers are scheduled to play in six prime-time games, including a Christmas Day home game against the Cleveland Browns (3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 25) and a Sunday night home game against Minnesota on Jan. 2 (7:20 p.m.)

The Packers' home opener will be against the Lions on Monday, Sept. 20 (7:15 p.m., ESPN).

Their remaining NFC North home game, against the Bears on Sunday, Dec. 12, also will be a prime-time affair (7:20 p.m., NBC).

This is the first year the NFL will play a 17-game regular season, so the schedule consists of 18 weeks, one of which is a bye.

The Packers' added game at Kansas City will come in Week 9, a 3:25 p.m. start on Sunday, Nov. 7 on Fox, who no doubt will be praying for a shootout between Rodgers and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Green Bay's regular-season finale will be at Detroit at noon on Jan. 9 (Fox).

The Packers once again will not play overseas.

The reigning champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will open the NFL season on Thursday, Sept. 9 at home against the Dallas Cowboys.

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