The reinforcements are coming.
In a Zoom press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur informed reporters that two of the team’s key players on injured reserve will begin practicing this week. Wide receiver Allen Lazard and inside linebacker Christian Kirksey went on injured reserve on October 3rd following the Packers’ win in New Orleans; the two will start practicing today, starting a three-week clock during which they may be added back to the active roster.
Lazard went on injured reserve after posting a career game against the Saints. With Davante Adams out of the lineup, Lazard caught six passes for 146 yards and a touchdown, setting a career high in receiving yardage. Without Lazard, the Packers have seen little production from wide receivers not named Adams, focusing the passing game around the tight ends and running backs before the bye week and forcing 26 targets to Adams in the two games since.
Kirksey was also injured in that win over New Orleans, leaving the game after just 17 snaps. In his place, Krys Barnes, Ty Summers, and Kamal Martin have had varied levels of success, with Martin looking like the most impressive of the group in his NFL debut last Sunday. How the team will align with Kirskey back on the field will remain to be seen, but Barnes and Martin look to have earned at least some snaps with their play over the past three games.
LaFleur did not reveal a timeline for either player returning to the active roster. It is possible that the two could come back in time for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, but a more likely scenario would be for them to return in time for the game against the San Francisco 49ers next Thursday.