Allen Lazard’s absence was hardly the sole reason for the Green Bay Packers’ loss to the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday afternoon, but it certainly didn’t help. The veteran wideout has been a critical member of the Packers’ receiving corps over the past few years, contributing as an efficient first-down machine as a receiver as well as a big part of the team’s blocking schemes in the running game over the past few years.
Last week, Lazard had to sit out with an ankle injury that came about after being stepped on by a defensive lineman in practice. On Wednesday, however, he was back on the field and starting to prepare for Green Bay’s week two game. A potential return to the field for Lazard would give Aaron Rodgers back one of his most trusted remaining receivers, a player he has worked with for the last three-plus years and the man who was expected to take over the mantle as the team’s WR1 this season.
In his absence, the Packers rotated four receivers heavily throughout Sunday’s game, though the unit contributed relatively little in terms of statistical production. Hopefully Lazard’s addition back into the group on gameday will help jump-start a passing game that struggled heavily in week one.
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Lazard won't guarantee that he'll be active on Sunday against Chicago, but this is a good sign and hopefully he'll be ready to return and contribute as both a receiver and a blocker.
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With no Lazard in Minnesota, the Packers got more than 70 snaps from their two rookie receivers, and that came with some miscommunications. Rodgers will need to accept that there will be some growing pains while working with the youngsters to make sure all parties are on the same page.
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Robert Tonyan's return is one of those positives, as the tight end looked spry and fast in his first game action since tearing his ACL last October.
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Fields was brutal in the first half, but he threw two touchdowns in the rain after the break to help lead the Bears to a win. The Packers will need to get pressure on him to shake up his confidence a bit and keep him uncomfortable if Green Bay is to keep the Bears' offense fully in check on Sunday night.
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The first game as a head coach for the former Packers OC ended with quite a debacle on Monday night, and afterwards he acknowledged that he made the wrong call -- something anyone else watching the game knew in the moment.
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This isn't the weirdest Chess-related story I've heard about. There was that one night in Bangkok...oh, nevermind.