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Funchess Says He Will Report to Minicamp

The towering receiver missed most of 2019 with a broken collarbone, opted out of 2020 and skipped the first two weeks of OTAs.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – At long last, receiver Devin Funchess will be on the practice field for the Green Bay Packers.

Signed in free agency last offseason, Funchess opted out of the 2020 season after his family was struck struck fatally with COVID. He then skipped the first two weeks of organized team activities. On Friday morning, he announced he will report to next week’s mandatory minicamp, with practices scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday.

Funchess was one of five veteran receivers to skip the start of the voluntary OTAs. Sources close to Equanimeous St. Brown and Allen Lazard said those two would be present, as well.

The 6-foot-4 Funchess, a second-round pick out of Michigan by the Carolina Panthers in 2015, has career numbers of 164 receptions for 2,265 yards and 21 touchdowns.

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Funchess has been with the Packers for about 14 1/2 months. Receivers coach Jason Vrable has met him only once, when Funchess flew in for a visit.

“He’s had basically a year-and-a-half to understand our playbook, so I think from that standpoint he should be great,” Vrable said as part of the accompanying video. “I’m excited about his physical attributes but also just kind of his intensity and toughness that I think he will bring to the room. I can't go much further than that because only really one day I've actually got to hang out with him and be person to person to build that relationship.”

Funchess, who turned 27 on May 21, signed a one-year deal with Indianapolis in 2019 but suffered a broken collarbone in the opener and missed the entire season. So, Funchess essentially hasn’t played in two years.

In 2018, his final season with the Panthers, he caught 44 passes for 549 yards (12.5 average) and four touchdowns in 14 games.

At the 2015 Scouting Combine, Funchess measured 6-foot-4 and 232 pounds. He ran his 40 in 4.70 seconds, though he posted a 38.5-inch vertical leap. It’s been hands, not speed, that have curtailed his production.

Of 109 receivers who were targeted at least 32 times in 2018, Funchess ranked 96th among receivers with a 12.0 percent drop rate (six drops), according to Pro Football Focus. In his four healthy seasons, Sports Info Solutions charged Funchess with 20 drops. He had drop rates of 11 percent or worse in three of those seasons. Drops were a problem coming out of Michigan, too, with a three-year total of 20 drops.