As if the wide receiver news couldn’t get worse for Green Bay, the Packers have placed receiver Sammy Watkins on the non-football injury list per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Watkins, who played under Packers head coach Matt LaFleur when LaFleur was the offensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams, has played just 99 out of a potential 129 games since he joined the NFL in 2014. His last 16-game season came during his rookie year.
Earlier today, it was reported that former All-Pro receiver Julio Jones signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the Packers had shown interest in his services. Last week, rookie second-round pick Christian Watson was placed on the physically unable to perform list, tough initial reporting claimed that it is not a long-term injury he’s dealing with.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed voluntary organized team activities this spring and summer, electing to practice only for the team’s mandatory minicamp. He stated that he didn’t want to break in new receivers and that he values “production over potential,” but depending on the injuries to Watkins and Watson, that process may now lead to a delay in the on-field chemistry that Rodgers leans on so heavily when the bullets are live.
Watkins has been working with “the ones” throughout the offseason after signing a one-year contract with the Packers in April. When training camp officially kicks off tomorrow, the team will return a healthy Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers, Juwann Winfree and Malik Taylor at the position. They will be joined by rookies Romeo Doubs, Samori Toure and the undrafted Danny Davis to go along with Osirus Mitchell, formerly of the USFL, who was officially signed by the team today.
Hopefully, Watkins and Watson can return to practice quickly, as the expectation is that they will be the team’s primary source of speed this year to balance out the possession receivers that are Lazard and Cobb.
Packers also placed Keisean Nixon on non-football injury list— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) July 26, 2022
Cornerback Keisean Nixon, who was been the team’s fourth cornerback behind Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes and Rasul Douglas this offseason, has also been placed on the non-football injury list. Nixon was signed this offseason after contributing as the Raiders' fourth most-played special-teamer under the Packers’ new special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia.