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Doubs Returns, Could Belatedly Join Watson in Lineup

Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs are having strong rookie seasons for the Packers. They’ve barely been on the field together, though.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – The future, maybe, is now for the Green Bay Packers’ receiver corps.

Romeo Doubs, who missed the last three games with the ankle injury sustained on the first snap of the Week 9 loss at Detroit, returned to practice on Wednesday. He was joined by Christian Watson, setting the stage for the Packers to do something on Sunday at Chicago that they haven’t done often this season.

Line up with their two talented rookie receivers.

According to league data, second-round pick Watson and fourth-round pick Doubs have lined up together on 52 of the team’s 737 offensive snaps. That’s 7.1 percent – not exactly what they envisioned but unpreventable given the circumstances.

Watson played 22 snaps in the Week 2 game against Chicago before injuring a hamstring. That injury kept him out of the Week 3 game against Tampa Bay. Watson played 18 snaps in his return against New England in Week 4, only to tweak the injury after 18 snaps against the Giants in Week 5. Watson missed the next two games, only to suffer a concussion on the sixth snap of the Week 8 game against Buffalo. Watson played 17 snaps the following week against Detroit, only to miss most of the second half for precautionary reasons after taking a big hit.

Watson’s been full-go the last three weeks and emerged as a big-time playmaker with 12 catches for 265 yards and six touchdowns.

Like ships in the night, the paths of Watson and Doubs have barely crossed. Against Detroit in Week 9, he caught a pass for 18 yards on the first offensive snap but suffered an ankle injury. During the three games in which Watson took the league by storm, Doubs was inactive.

In nine games, Doubs ranks fifth among a talented rookie class with 31 receptions. In his nine games, Watson leads the rookie class with six touchdowns.

Doubs flashed his potential in a few games, including an eight-catch performance in an upset win at Tampa Bay and a big-time touchdown at Buffalo. Rodgers has called them both “dudes” – potential-packed players who could be the driving forces of a post-Davante Adams receiver corps.

“I don’t know how to feel sometimes,” Doubs said early last month. “Like, seriously. I just try to learn from him as much as I can. I know at some point in time, he’s going to be done. So, not even just him, but to have Cobby (Randall Cobb) and Allen (Lazard) and Sammy (Watkins), as well, I couldn’t have been put in a better position.

“I know if I just continue to work on my technique, as well as being a receiver and what-not, I can only get better from here. I know being with him, I’ve definitely been able to understand the NFL game and it’s been able to slow up for me. It just comes down to being thankful and being put in a position that anyone else could have been in.”

Wednesday’s practice was only a jog-through. Rodgers (finger, ribs), offensive linemen David Bakhtiari (knee) and Elgton Jenkins (knee), and safety Darnell Savage (foot) were the only players not practicing.

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