Packers Turn to Two Unlikely Targets Amid Wide Receiver Struggles

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Getty Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on during warm-up before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 19, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Green Bay Packers may have to get a little creative to produce the kind of high-powered attack fans have come to expect from an offense powered by four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers.

Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are gone, replaced by rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs. With Allen Lazard slated to begin the season as Rodgers’ top target at wide receiver, the Packers will have to lean heavily on running backs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, but not only in the ground game.

Rodgers spoke to media members following a joint practice with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, August 16, as to the roles the Packers’ one-two punch in the backfield will have to play this season.

We’re going to have to use [Jones] and [Dillon]. You’ve seen today, we had them in multiple packages where they’re both in the backfield. We have a lot of stuff out of that.

We have runs to both of them. We have swing passes to them. We have screens. We have down-the-field stuff. We have action stuff. We have scat protection. We have six-man, seven-man protection stuff. There’s a lot in the offense for those two guys. We’ve got to get our best 11 on the field, and it seems like those two are in our best 11.

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Rodgers Frustrated With Drops, Bad Routes From Young Wideouts

Jones to DIllon Injury

GettyRunning backs Aaron Jones #33 (left) and AJ Dillon #28 (right) of the Green Bay Packers workout during training camp at Ray Nitschke Field on July 28, 2021 in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin.

Rodgers went on to say that each man could produce receiving numbers that would make some No. 3 wideout options around the league jealous.

“I think 50 [receptions] is really realistic,” he said. “I think 50 for both of those guys is realistic.”

Primary reasons for Rodgers’ expected usage of his running backs are the struggles some of the new additions at wide receiver have displayed over the course of training camp.

“It’s, unfortunately, some of the same guys,” Rodgers added Tuesday. “Repeat mistakes are a problem, so we’ve just got to clean those up a little bit. The young guys, especially young receivers, we’ve got to be way more consistent. A lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, running the wrong route, so we’ve got to get better in that area.”


Packers Could Choose to Add Big-Name Free Agent Wide Receiver

Odell Beckham Jr.

GettyOdell Beckham Jr. remains one of the best free agent wide receivers available.

Should the Packers decide to pursue them, a couple of quality pass catchers remain available on the free agent market.

Atop that list is Odell Beckham Jr., who won a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams last season after forcing his way out of the Cleveland Browns organization. However, Beckham tore his ACL in that championship game, an injury that is expected to sideline him until mid-season or later.

Another option is deep threat receiver Will Fuller, who is coming off a disappointing campaign with the Miami Dolphins last year that was cut short due to a broken finger. Fuller could provide another veteran option for Rodgers, who is notoriously frustrated by the mistakes of young receivers, while also providing an extra dimension of speed to the Packers’ offense.

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