Whatever interest — if any — the Green Bay Packers had in veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer before he signed with the New England Patriots, it appears to have been in the normal course of work that general manager Ted Thompson and his staff do on a daily basis.
Coach Mike McCarthy remained steadfastly committed to Brett Hundley as Aaron Rodgers’ fill-in, and conversations about Hoyer or any other quarterback this week did not include him.
A report by NFL Network said the Packers expressed interest in Hoyer after he was released by the San Francisco 49ers following their trade for Jimmy Garoppolo on Tuesday.
“I can’t confirm it because from the time Aaron has been injured, I’ve never once been involved in a conversation about bringing in a veteran quarterback,” McCarthy said Thursday.
McCarthy stood firmly behind Hundley and backup Joe Callahan after Rodgers broke his collarbone in Week 6 against the Vikings. The day after the injury, he was asked specifically whether the Packers were interested in Colin Kaepernick, and he reiterated that he has “three years invested in Brett Hundley, two invested in Joe Callahan. The quarterback room is exactly where it needs to be, OK? We’re fortunate to have a great quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. We’re committed to the path that we’re on.”
McCarthy said Thursday that nothing has changed.
“From my perspective, from the time of the Minnesota game, the Monday after the Minnesota game to here today, I attempted particularly here [in a press conference], which really, frankly, I know you think I’m talking to you guys, I’m really talking to our football team and our fans, the direction that we’re going with the quarterbacks is Brett Hundley and the guys that we have here,” McCarthy said. “So that was really clearly the vision from the time we had to address it there in Minnesota.”
But that doesn’t mean Thompson didn’t kick the tires on Hoyer. Thompson isn’t typically available for interviews during the regular season.
“I’m not naïve to the fact that player personnel people talk around the league,” McCarthy said. “Was there a conversation on other free agents, particularly leading up to the deadline of trading? Yeah, that’s those guys doing their jobs. But as far as pursuing any player, I personally was not involved in any conversations, especially on a veteran quarterback.”
Hundley will make his second career start on Monday against the Lions at Lambeau Field. The third-year former fifth-round pick from UCLA completed just 12 of 25 passes for 87 yards with no touchdowns and an interception in his first start, a 26-17 loss to the Saints on Oct. 22. The Packers’ bye followed that game, giving McCarthy and Hundley the chance to spend extra time together to review that game and formulate a plan for this week.
Since then, Rodgers also returned to Green Bay after his surgery and has been in the meetings to help Hundley prepare while undergoing treatment and rehab.