A question many have had after Green Bay’s 23-7 loss to the Minnesota Vikings is how the Packers plan to use receiver Amari Rodgers on the offensive side of the ball. Rodgers, a 2021 third-round pick, didn’t receive a single offensive snap in Week 1, even though Juwann Winfree — who was called up from the practice squad on Saturday — was able to record nine snaps on the Allen Lazard-less offense.
When quarterback Aaron Rodgers was asked about the former Clemson Tiger on Wednesday, this is how the exchange went:
Reporter: Aaron, what’s the outlook on Amari Rodgers and where he fits in on this offense?
Rodgers reaches down for a water bottle
Reporter: Last year, he was pretty non-existent on offense and then last week he didn’t get out there for an offensive snap.
Rodgers drinks water
Rodgers, nodding: Yeah, he’s returning for us right now. That’s all I got on that.
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For whatever reason, the back-to-back MVP of the league doesn’t sound happy to field questions about the only “veteran” receiver under contract beyond this season. Earlier this summer, Rodgers sang Winfree’s praises. Maybe it’s possible Rodgers isn’t happy that Winfree was left off the 53-man roster for a punt returner.
Last season, when Davante Adams, Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling were all missing from the Arizona Cardinals game, Winfree out-snapped Rodgers 54-to-16. Amari simply hasn’t been able to find a groove offensively, even going as far as to be featured as a running back at times in the Packers’ final preseason game of 2022. One would think, though, that if there was a time for Rodgers to actually see snaps at running back, it would have been last week when the team brought only two running backs into the game against Minnesota.
Doubs and receiver Randall Cobb have also been seen returning punts in practice and pre-game warmups, while various players have handled kickoff return duty in practice. One potential kick returner, running back Kylin Hill, is on the physically unable to perform list currently. Whenever he returns, he’s a real threat to take over the kick return job, which very well could put Rodgers’ 53-man roster spot at risk if he doesn’t find a role to fill offensively by then.
Last week, Rodgers recorded a punt return for 12 yards and a kick return for 14 yards against the Vikings.