Injuries Could Leave Packers With This Receiver Corps
The Green Bay Packers could face the Oakland Raiders with a paper-thin receiving corps absent anyone with any sort of track record with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The team's top three receivers, Davante Adams (toe), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle and knee) and Geronimo Allison (concussion and chest), did not practice on Friday. Coach Matt LaFleur ruled out Adams after Friday's practice, but is holding out hope for the others. Allison is doubtful and Valdes-Scantling is questionable.
"We’ve got 48 hours, so we’ve got time. We'll see if they can come around," LaFleur said.
While it’s possible one or more could be cleared to play in time for Sunday’s game, the Packers could face the Raiders with this group of receivers:
Ryan Grant, who officially signed on Wednesday, has 123 receptions but obviously has no track record with Rodgers and only a marginal knowledge of the scheme.
Jake Kumerow has 10 career receptions, including four this season.
Allen Lazard has five career receptions, including four this season.
Darrius Shepherd, an undrafted rookie, has one reception.
Added together, that’s 16 receptions and one touchdown (Lazard on Monday vs. Detroit) by the receivers who have been here since the start of the offseason and 123 receptions by a guy who just met his quarterback.
“It is what it is and it’s next man up,” LaFleur said. “Like we’ve said all along, it’s not like the standard is going to change. So, those guys got to get their mind right and be ready to play ball.”
Given that uncertainty, the success of the offense could be dependent on the offensive line, tight ends and running backs. Jimmy Graham, who has 14 receptions but failed to pull down potential touchdowns vs. Philadelphia and Detroit, returned to practice after missing Thursday with an ankle injury. Oddly, Marcedes Lewis – who was signed and re-signed because of his blocking – might be the best bet in the passing game. He has nine receptions on the season, including a pair of 25-yarders last week.
Presumably, LaFleur will want to run the football. Aaron Jones, who had 107 rushing yards and four touchdowns vs. Dallas, and Jamaal Williams, who had 104 yards vs. Detroit, could be the featured players against the Raiders. Oakland, though, has one of the league’s top run defenses.
Safety Darnell Savage (ankle) and tight end Robert Tonyan (hip) also did not practice. Savage is out for a second consecutive week and Tonyan is doubtful.
Defensive tackle Kenny Clark (calf) and defensive back Tramon Williams (knee) joined Graham in returning to practice. Clark’s presence will be huge against Oakland running back Josh Jacobs, who leads all rookies in rushing, and the Raiders’ big offensive line.