One of the more disappointing sophomore slumps in the NFL this season was Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson, who was on absolute fire to end his rookie campaign in 2022. From the Dallas Cowboys game on last year, a total of eight games, Watson recorded 31 receptions for 523 yards (65.4 yards per game) and seven touchdowns. This year, in part due to hamstring injuries that left him inactive multiple times this season, he had just 28 receptions for 422 yards and five touchdowns during the entire regular season.
Two Aprils ago, the Packers thought enough of Watson that they traded two second-round picks for the opportunity to draft him. Now, they just need to figure out how to keep him on the field.
According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Ryan Wood, Watson told the media on Monday that he is expected to go through advanced testing this offseason to figure out a plan of action for his hamstring issues. Per Wood, Watson stated, “I’m not going to say it’s my fault, but it’s my body, so I need to take accountability for it.”
In his end-of-the-year press conference, head coach Matt LaFleur also confirmed that the team would be a part of Watson’s process. LaFleur said that the team’s head trainer Bryan “Flea” Engel, would be traveling with Watson this offseason as he gets scans on his hamstring.
LaFleur said that “Flea” “has a plan in place” for Watson and that Watson “is an impact player” when he’s able to be on the field. Hopefully, Watson can put these issues behind him beginning with the 2024 season, but the team has to get an answer on whether these issues will be reoccurring. With Romeo Doubs being the consistent man in Green Bay’s receivers room over the last two years and the 2023 breakouts of Jayden Reed, Dontayvion Wicks and Bo Melton, getting certainty on Watson’s injury situation should be able to allow the team to split their reps at the position accordingly. With such a young group at the position, it’s important that development opportunities actually match who they expect to see on the field next season.