Wide Receiver Malik Taylor has been on the Packers’ reserve/COVID-19 list since Week 6 but has returned to the active roster per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. This is good news, specifically for this week, with Davante Adams and Allen Lazard being added to the reserve/COVID-19 list over the last two days.
Taylor, a key special-teamer, should be able to provide depth at wide receiver alongside Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers, and Equanimeous St. Brown with Adams likely out and Lazard ruled out (unvaccinated close contact) against the Arizona Cardinals. Despite Taylor missing the last three games, he is still the Packers’ fifth-most played special teams player for the season, playing an average of 15.6 special teams snaps per game when available.
Taylor, who has only played 24 total offensive snaps this season, will likely see an uptick in offensive snaps as the Packers are short-handed. With Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (injured reserve-designated to return, hamstring) likely out, the Packers’ remaining “big body” receiver identity is now just limited to Taylor (6’3”, 220 pounds) and St. Brown (6’5”, 214.)
Despite the good news on Taylor, there’s still a very good chance that the Packers move up Juwann Winfree, who played in Week 5 as a practice squad activation, on game day to give the Packers’ another wideout who can play on special teams. With Rodgers as the team’s primary punt returner and St. Brown as a special teams contributor, when he is activated on game day, it would be a dangerous call for Green Bay to enter the Cardinals game with just four wide receivers, three of whom are projected to play special teams at a high clip.