'Jetting' home: Ashwaubenon native Morgan returns as Jets QB

James Morgan, an Ashwaubenon native, will join his New York Jets in Green Bay this week.
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Posted at 9:53 AM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 12:58:58-04

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — Nearly a decade ago, James Morgan was slinging the football around at Goelz Field as the quarterback of the Ashwaubenon Jaguars.

This week, he'll be playing at Lambeau Field as the quarterback of the New York Jets.

"It is just going to be surreal having him run out onto the field in No. 4 at Lambeau Field," Morgan's mom, Jackie, said.

"It might be a little emotional," she laughed.

Growing up, Morgan idolized both Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. He wore Rodgers' No. 12 throughout high school and college. Now, he wears Favre's No. 4 - which Favre wore not only with the Packers but also during his one season with the Jets.

The Packers welcome New York for two joint practices and a preseason game this week. Morgan, who is competing for New York's backup quarterback job, will get his first chance to play at the stadium he grew up next to.

"That's been his dream. That's been his plan," Jackie said. "I have watched that kid work really hard. That's been the game plan and by God he has worked hard to earn this opportunity."

"We've always kind of expected him to get here and he's always expected himself to get here so I think for us right now it's just... alright, let's go!" James' brother, Chris, added. "It's finally time to get it going. The work really starts right now."

As a rookie in 2020, Morgan didn't throw a single pass.

"Last year they didn't have any preseason games," Jackie said. "So because James was in a backup role, there wasn't a lot of opportunity for him. So now to find out there's a preseason game, and it's here at Lambeau Field. At home... we're just so excited."

Last week in his NFL debut, Morgan completed 5-9 passes as the Jets beat the Giants in their preseason opener. Saturday night will be another opportunity, as he continues to compete for the Jets' backup quarterback job.

"I hope he does some great things," Jackie said. "And I hope the fans are really kind because we all know Packers fans are pretty passionate but I hope he has a great day and it should be a lot of fun."

The game kicks off at 3:25 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. You can watch it live on NBC 26, with coverage beginning at 2:30.