If the Green Bay Packers’ win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is any indication, rookie wide receiver Romeo Doubs is ready for a big-time role in the NFL — and it would seem that quarterback Aaron Rodgers agrees.
Rodgers had a lot of positive things to say about the Packers’ fourth-round rookie receiver after his breakout performance in Sunday’s 14-12 victory over the Buccaneers. Doubs caught all eight of his targets for 73 yards and a touchdown, stepping up with fellow wideout Sammy Watkins and Christian Watson out of the lineup with injuries.
Doubs became the first rookie wide receiver to catch a touchdown pass from Rodgers since Marquez Valdes-Scantling in 2018. He is also the first Packers wide receiver not named Davante Adams to record eight receptions in a single game since Randall Cobb accomplished the feat in the season opener of the 2018 season, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
“Wow,” Rodgers said, wide-eyed after a reporter informed him of the latter stat during his postgame press conference. He then shot down speculation that the Packers only went to Doubs so often because they had no other choice due to injuries.
“No, we called some plays for him and he made nice catches,” Rodgers continued. “The thing about Romeo that gives you confidence is the majority of the time he catches the ball with his hands. I was teasing him in practice on Friday because he had the ball on the left sideline short and he kind of bodied it, and I was calling him a body catcher because he has such great hands. And then two plays later, I threw him this over-the-shoulder corner route and he just went [and got it with his hands]. He just has such great hands. A couple balls were off the frame today that he caught very nicely. He’s learning. I feel like his route runner seemed like it was pretty solid today, but we’ll go back and look at the tape and see if there were some more opportunities I could have given him.”
‘More Opportunity’ Was Key To Doubs’ Strong Game
Doubs has been a heavily discussed name ever since he started his first NFL training camp with a few head-turning plays that got Rodgers talking about him to the press. The 22-year-old was somewhat overlooked due to them trading both of their second-round picks to move up for Christian Watson at No. 34 overall, but he quickly flipped the script in camp when Watson had to miss time with a knee injury and took full advantage of the additional reps that came his way.
Despite his strong camp, the Packers didn’t put an immediate focus on getting the ball to Doubs. He caught six passes for 64 yards on eight targets through the first two weeks, which was solid enough production given how much they spread the ball out. According to head coach Matt LaFleur, though, there was only one thing that separated Doubs’ performance in Week 3 from his previous two games.
“More opportunity,” LaFleur said during his postgame press conference on September 25. “We knew that we were going to have to give him some more opps and he took advantage of those. I think you guys can all see his acceleration and his strong hands. Aaron was giving him so good balls and he was taking advantage of it. Certainly, I thought for the most part the protection was good, at least on those plays, and he took advantage of the opportunity.