Davante Adams casts a long shadow in Green Bay. Or maybe it’s the opposite: his star shines so brightly it downs out all lesser lights.
Amid another historic season from Adams, it can be easy to forget the Packers’ other passing game contributors. But toiling away in relative obscurity (outside Green Bay, at least), Allen Lazard is having the best season of his still-young career.
Lazard is at the cusp of career highs in catches and yards and has already set a new career-best in touchdowns this season. His six catches for 72 yards and a score on Sunday night represented the second time in a month that he’s had at least half a dozen grabs, 70 yards, and a touchdown, and he’s arguably just capped the best four-week stretch of his career.
Statistically, he’s only been better in Weeks 1-3 of the 2020 season, a three-game run in which he caught 13 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns. That effort was largely powered by a monstrous 146-yard night against New Orleans, a game which proved to be costly as a core muscle injury sustained therein sidelined Lazard for nearly two months.
After his performance against the Vikings, Lazard has now caught 16 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns over the past four weeks. But more importantly, he’s established himself as a reliable second option alongside Adams. With Randall Cobb on the shelf with his own core injury and Marquez Valdes-Scantling alternately battling a sore back and COVID-19, Lazard has consistently posted the second-most snaps among Packers wide receivers.
Best of all, Lazard’s skill set is complementary to just about every other pass catcher on the roster. He can ably line up in the slot, outside, or as a quasi-tight end. He can block (and block well) when asked, make a tough catch up the seam, or fight off a smaller defensive back. He’ll even moonlight as a ball carrier on a jet sweep from time to time. He’s increasingly hard to get off the field — a great problem to have as the Packers’ wide receiver room seems to be headed back toward full health.
Even if he’s never a true game-breaking talent at the position, Lazard wrings everything he can out of the skills he has, and he’s carving out a solid season amidst the astonishing excellence that is Davante Adams.