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Packers’ Christian Watson Eager to Find Solutions to Hamstring Injuries

Christian Watson knows he must stay on the field to maximize his prodigious talent. This offseason will be a journey in finding those solutions.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Green Bay Packers receiver Christian Watson is ready to attack the biggest offseason of his football life.

After missing a total of eight games with separate hamstring injuries this season, Watson knows he must find solutions in order to maximize his potential-packed career.

“It’s huge,” he said on Monday, two days after the season-ending loss at San Francisco. “I’m trying to stay in the right spot mentally. I don’t want to let it consume my life, but everyone says your availability is your best ability, so I’ve got to find a way to stay out there.

“I think I’m my best when I’m able to find my rhythm, find my groove and continue to build on it. So, being out, being back, being out, being back, I don’t think it’s right for anybody, but I definitely know it’s not right for me to play my best ball. I’ve just got to find a way to be out there and stay out there.”

Coach Matt LaFleur said “we have a plan in place” that includes visits to “different places” to find the root causes and solutions after Watson missed games with hamstring issues on four separate occasions during his two seasons.

“If I can find out what kind of things can possibly be leading to it, make sure I’m doing the right things in the offseason, doing the right things during OTAs, into training camp,” Watson said. “Just find ways to make sure I’m doing everything I can to be conscious of it. That’s my No. 1 plan.

“Nothing’s magical. Nothing’s going to fix it overnight,” he added. “I’ve just got to find what works for me.”

Earlier this season, Watson said he had spent “thousands” of dollars hoping to find remedies to an issue that really was a non-issue at North Dakota State, where he missed only four games in four seasons.

“I’m trying to find a bunch of different ways to attack it, whether that’s needling, massages,” he said. “I’ve been through countless types of machines that try to get after it. When I’m trying different things and trying different people and doctors, it adds up.

“But the money, the cost doesn’t really matter to me as much as figuring it out and getting it taken care of, so I’m going to continue to do so and spend what I need to spend to get it taken care of. Hopefully, once I get it taken care of, I’ll be able to maintain it a little bit better.”

The key for Watson is getting on the field and staying on the field.

After missing the first three games of this season with the first hamstring injury, Watson had 40-plus receiving yards in only one of his next seven games. But he caught five passes for 94 yards and a touchdown in the win at Detroit and seven passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns in the win against Kansas City in which he suffered the second hamstring injury that cost him the final five games of the regular season.

“That’s something that we need to figure out because he’s an impact player,” LaFleur said. “We see his value when he’s going at full strength. His ability to make plays for us, explosive plays, and we’re better when he’s on the grass.”

Watson returned for the playoffs, catching one pass for 9 yards at Dallas and one pass for 11 yards at San Francisco.

“It was tough,” he said. “I think that my want and me straining to try to come back from it may have hindered my ability to come back and perform at the level I wanted to perform. But I think that’s how it is for anybody. Everyone’s trying to get back. No one’s trying to sit and watch.

“I’m not going to say it’s my fault, but it’s my body so I’ve got to take accountability. I’ve got to figure out a way to not have it happen in the first place and the frustration won’t have to be there.”