GREEN BAY – All things considered; it could have been worse.
Still, for what seemed like an agonizing eternity Saturday night at Lambeau Field, New England cornerback Isaiah Bolden lay on the turf, being tended to by team and NFL medical personnel.
After a long discussion between head coaches Matt LaFleur and Bill Belicheck, who then conferred with game officials who announced the suspension of the game, ending in Patriots 21-17 victory with 10:29 left to play.
“You never want to see that happen,” Packers quarterback Jordan Love said after the game. “Going back to last year with the Damar Hamlin incident, it’s just a scary incident that you never want to see happen. Everyone is just scared after that, I feel like.”
LaFleur added that the two teams got a lot of work in together during the week, and it wasn’t always friendly, so maybe canceling the rest of the game was not a bad choice.
“It was a pretty chippy week all in all,” LaFleur said. “It kind of got escalated in the pregame a little bit, and just wanted to make sure there wasn’t going to be any problems postgame, and the respect that we have for each other. Just, let’s get out of here and go home.”
Love played well in the limited snaps he took, completing 5-8 passes for 84 yards and one touchdown. His quarterback rating, albeit for the abbreviated stint, was a solid 137.5.
Rookie wide receiver Malik Heath made the most of his time on the field, hauling in all five passes thrown to him for 75 yards.
Defensively, 2022 fifth round pick Kingsley Enagbare had a big night with a pair of quarterback sacks, including a sack0strip-recovery to open up the second quarter series.
As for Bolden, the Patriots released a statement after the game ended prematurely, saying “Patriots cornerback Isaiah Bolden sustained an injury during the fourth quarter of tonight’s game. He had feeling in all his extremities, but has been taken to a local hospital for further tests and observation.”
The team later said that Bolden will spend the night in the hospital as a precaution.
Next week, the Packers host the Seattle Seahawks in their final preseason game of 2023.