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Cheese Curds 10/5: Packers need rookie receivers to step up big against Lions

Which of the rookies will make a breakout play?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

During his Thursday press conference, Mike McCarthy was asked if his wide receiver depth chart this week reminded him of the Packers’ 2016 Week 8 trip to Atlanta. Injuries resulted in an unusual lineup at receiver that week. With Randall Cobb, Ty Montgomery (splitting time at receiver and running back by that point), and James Starks out of the lineup, the Packers were forced to go receiver heavy in their lineup, even if they didn’t have many experienced receivers around.

“I think that’s a nice comparison,” said McCarthy of the callback. “If I recall, Geronimo Allison had his first touchdown.”

He did, in fact. Allison caught two passes for 21 yards and a touchdown in 19 snaps that day. Fellow rookie Trevor Davis added three catches for 24 yards and a touchdown of his own in 36 snaps.

(Jeff Janis also caught four passes for 30 yards and a score and played 58 snaps (94%). That’s the most we’d ever see him on the field on offense in a single game, but that’s really not the point of this story.)

As in that trip to Atlanta two years ago, the Packers will have to lean heavily on younger receivers this week. Even if Davante Adams can play, it doesn’t seem likely that Randall Cobb or Geronimo Allison will be available. There will be plenty of snaps to go around for the Packers’ three rookies.

Sooner or later, the Packers were going to have to find out whether their young receivers could play. It looks like that could be Sunday. In McCarthy’s words, “It’s all about those guys taking advantage of their opportunity.”

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