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Lazard Added to COVID-19 List, Compounding Packers’ Problems

With that, almost three-fourths of the Green Bay Packers' receiver production could be out for Thursday night's showdown at the Arizona Cardinals.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – When the Green Bay Packers upset the New Orleans Saints without Davante Adams in Week 3 of last season, one of the heroes was Allen Lazard.

Lazard caught 6-of-8 passes for 146 yards in that game. He had a 48-yard reception to set up his own 5-yard touchdown, and added a 72-yarder to set up another touchdown in Green Bay’s 37-30 victory.

Lazard won’t be coming to the rescue this week. The Packers placed him on the COVID-19 list on Tuesday, where he’ll join Adams, who was placed on the COVID list on Monday. The unvaccinated Lazard was a close contact of Adams, according to NFL Network. Therefore, by COVID policy agreed upon by the NFL and the NFLPA, regardless of whether Lazard has the virus, he will be out for five days.

Just like that, ahead of the biggest game of the season – a showdown on Thursday at the undefeated Arizona Cardinals that obviously could have playoff ramifications down the line – the Packers’ passing attack looks woefully undermanned.

“We understand that we’ve got a tough opponent that we’re going up against and, obviously, we’d love to be at full power and have everybody out there,” receiver Randall Cobb said of Adams. “His presence will be missed, but it’s important for us to go out and to find a way to win a ballgame.”

The Packers’ receivers have caught 92 passes. Adams leads the way with 52 and Lazard is next with 15. Combined, that’s 72.8 percent. The receivers have gained 1,230 receiving yards. Adams has 744 and Lazard is next with 184. Combined, that’s 75.4 percent. The receivers have scored eight touchdowns. Adams has three and Lazard is next with two. Combined, that’s 62.5 percent.

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The remaining receivers on the active roster are Cobb (14 catches, 179 yards and two touchdowns), rookie Amari Rodgers (two receptions for 33 yards) and Equanimeous St. Brown (one catch, 0 yards).

There is potential help waiting. Speedster Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who has six receptions for 76 yards and one touchdown, remains on injured reserve. He’s missed the last four games with a hamstring injury and hasn’t even practiced, though a source said he had a good workout on Monday and wants to play. Malik Taylor, who has two catches for 14 yards, missed the last two games while on the COVID list but has been activated, according to ESPN and NFL Network. Juwann Winfree and Chris Blair are on the practice squad.

Even if Valdes-Scantling plays, Cobb figures to have a key role on Thursday due to his experience and connection with Aaron Rodgers.

“I may be thrown into different situations now that I’ll have to prepare for,” Cobb said. “I think as far as Tae not being there, we understand how good of a player he is and what he means to this team. His presence is going to be missed. But the train goes on and we have to prepare and have to get ready for the game and do our best to go out and make the plays when we have the opportunities and put our team in a situation to win the ballgame.”

Under coach Matt LaFleur, the Packers are 6-0 without Adams and been almost a touchdown better on offense.

“I think that’s a testament to this team and this offense and the way that it goes,” Cobb said. “He’s a huge piece of it, but we have to fill in. There’s other guys who have to step up and make plays in different situations. We have to be able to run the ball and establish that and put ourselves in situations to convert on third down and get in the red zone and score points.”

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