Among the discussion topics swirling around the Green Bay Packers this week is whether the team should give Jordan Love playing time over the second half of the season. Generally, the assumption is that the team will keep playing Aaron Rodgers until they are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, at the very least.
However, the Packers need to get looks at other young players besides Love. Rookie linebacker Quay Walker has been on the field plenty, but his fellow Georgia teammate and first-round pick, Devonte Wyatt, has barely cracked the lineup. Likewise, Christian Watson could use some more snaps and tape, though the reason for his general lack of playing time is injury-related rather than a coach’s decision.
Still, the coaching staff must draw a balance between going all-in into player evaluation mode and still trying to win games while there is a theoretical chance of making the postseason. Injuries up and down the roster may force their hands, however, as the 17-player injury report on Wednesday paints a picture of where this team stands at the midway point of the season.
JJ Enagbare will be seeing starter’s reps following Rashan Gary’s ACL tear. Watson will surely see more snaps with Romeo Doubs down for a few weeks and Sammy Watkins still dealing with nagging issues. Wyatt is about the only one of these players whose position group has not been hit hard by injury (yet), but some recent reps of his should force the team to give him more snaps regardless of the standings.
At some point, however, the switch will have to flip. Just don’t expect the team to reach for it while they’re still technically alive in the playoff hunt.
Midseason NFL All-Rookie Team: Bailey Zappe, Chris Olave and others who’ve stood out - The Athletic ($)
Walker gets a nod as one of the three off-ball linebackers on this All-Rookie team, tying for the second spot with Detroit's Malcolm Rodriguez. Doubs was in the honorable mention category at wide receiver as well.
Packers rookie DT Devonte Wyatt deserves more playing time | Packers Wire
The Packers' other first-round pick hasn't been getting much playing time, but given the team's record, the abysmal run defense, and his recent contributions, it's time for that to change.
Packers President Mark Murphy says it's too soon to write off season | Packersnews.com
Murphy still believes that the Packers can go on a run this season and that "things can change quickly in the NFL." That's definitely true, since the Packers were 3-1 and leading 20-10 at halftime less than five weeks ago and are now 3-6.
Green Bay remains ‘really special place’ to Mike McCarthy | Packers.com
The McCarthy return angle is certainly getting a lot of attention all throughout the week, but it's understandable. After all, the man led the teams to more regular-season wins than any coach not named Lambeau and more playoff wins than literally anyone else.
Cowboys LB Micah Parsons’ message to Odell Beckham: ‘Help us get to’ Super Bowl | NFL.com
Any chance of the Packers signing Odell Beckham probably disappeared over the team's five-game losing streak, but Cowboys players are making overt overtures to the free agent receiver now that he has apparently been cleared to return playing following his torn ACL.
Florida traveler stuffed gun into a raw chicken and tried to bring it on the plane, TSA says - CBS News
Always put your raw chicken in your checked luggage, not your carry-on bag.