Packers Leading Receiver Limps to Locker Room Against Bears

MVS Catch Vs. Bears Week 1

Getty Marquez Valdes-Scantling led the Green Bay Packers in receiving yards during Thursday night's Week 1 win over the Chicago Bears.

The unknowns of the Green Bay Packers new offense meant any number of players, whether star running back or a handful of receivers, could have broken loose against the Chicago Bears during Thursday night’s season opener.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling became that player when he caught a 47-yard pass to set up the Packers’ lone touchdown — an Aaron Rodgers pass to Jimmy Graham — and effectively lead his team to a 10-3 victory and a 1-0 start to its 2019 campaign.

But the starting receiver, who finished with a team-high four catches for 52 yards, came limping off the field late in the second half with cramping and did not return as the Packers defense battened down the hatches and held on against a frustrated Bears offense.

Both he and Davante Adams went limping to the sidelines during Thursday’s season opener; though, Adams returned immediately and didn’t appear to show any signs of further cramping or lingering issues. Adams also finished with four catches for 36 yards.

Follow the Heavy on Packers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!

Valdes-Scantling Emerges as Clear No. 2

Valdes-Scantling has drawn praise throughout the team’s training camp and preseason, including from Rodgers himself on how “damn fast” he is getting downfield. But there were legitimate questions about whether he or fourth-year Geronimo Allison would draw Rodgers’ favor, especially with a number of pass-catching tight ends and versatile running backs.

Those questions, for now anyway, seem answered: Valdes-Scantling getting the starting nod was no try-it-out move by the Packers and he looked like a true No. 2 on Thursday night before cramping took him out of the game. He played more snaps than Allison and, more tellingly, was targeted in the passing game.

While Rodgers linked up with eight different targets in the passing game, he not once threw Allison’s way in 28 snaps. Instead, his 203 passing yards were the shared effort of Valdes-Scantling (52) and Adams (36) as well as two tight ends, two running backs and Trevor Davis, who saw most of his reps on special teams.

Valdes-Scantling’s Fantasy Stock Shoots Up

On a night where just two teams have played, it is still a little early to compare how Valdes-Scantling’s performance will stack up in terms of others around the league in fantasy football. A few things, though, are clearer after his impact on a game where the Packers were unusually unproductive on offense.

The first? Valdes-Scantling is the receiver you want on your roster, not Allison. No offense to the former University of Illinois slot receiver, but the numbers speak for themselves. Maybe a more active passing night for the Packers could see his use climb, but the same could be said for Valdes-Scantling, who was the second-most active receiver behind Bears wideout Allen Robinson (seven catches, 102 yards) on the NFL’s first night.

Valdes-Scantling impacted the game and shook off whatever sense of a receiver competition seemed present coming into Thursday night’s game, solidifying regular reps for him in the games moving forward. His emergence might have been mild in Week 1, but he proved a steadier FLEX option than Bears starting running back David Montgomery, according to both ESPN and Yahoo standard fantasy scoring. And those numbers will climb once the Packers start gelling.

Consider this a PSA: If Valdes-Scantling is somehow hanging around on the waiver wire in your league, pick him up and don’t text your friends about it until the deal is done.

READ NEXT: Watch as Packers TE Jimmy Graham Scores the Year’s First Touchdown

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments