Aaron Rodgers likely needed his rookie receivers to be factors anyway, but that’s even truer heading into the Packers’ Week 1 game with recent injury news.
As if the Green Bay Packers needed another bother or worry regarding the wide receiver room for the 2022 season, the status of their top potential pass-catcher this year is in doubt heading into the team’s Week 1 matchup on the road against the rival Minnesota Vikings.
Allen Lazard was pegged by most as the receiver most likely to step into the No. 1 role for Green Bay this season after the departure of Davante Adams. However, Lazard was apparently stepped on in practice at some point in the past week and has now been held out of practices as a result of that, putting his status for Sunday’s season-opener in a bit of jeopardy.
If Lazard can’t go in Week 1, there are veteran options like newcomer Sammy Watkins and longtime Aaron Rodgers cohort Randall Cobb. But the truth of the matter is that Rodgers will need the rookie wide receivers on the Packers to step up right away and prove his offseason commentary about the youngsters right.
Packers: Allen Lazard injury means Aaron Rodgers needs rookie WRs to step up
At various points this offseason, we’ve heard Rodgers talk highly about what the two primary rookies in Green Bay’s wide receiver room, Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, are capable of.
Particularly early in training camp, Rodgers was extremely complimentary of Doubs, a fourth-round pick out of Nevada who has been the talk of the town more often than not. As for Watson, a second-rounder who missed a good part of camp due to injuries, Rodgers more recently had glowing praise of his raw ability and potential, though it did somewhat come off as the quarterback trying to convince himself that the North Dakota State product is ready.
While that’s all true, it’s also true that Rodgers unloaded on the rookies at another point in training camp about the need for the guys to be better and more polished. So it’s not all perfect for this group.
At the end of the day, though, Doubs impressed in the preseason and Watson’s talent is obvious when you see what he did in college. But when the ball is kicked off on Sunday in Minneapolis, particularly if Lazard doesn’t play, that puts pressure on these young newcomers to step up and deliver catching passes from the back-to-back NFL MVP.