Aaron Rodgers is going to have to make do with just four wide receivers for the remainder of the Green Bay Packers’ prime-time duel with the Buffalo Bills.
The Packers have officially ruled out second-round rookie wide receiver Christian Watson with a concussion for the rest of Week 8’s game against the Bills. That leaves Green Bay with just Sammy Watkins, Amari Rodgers and rookies Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure as their only healthy receivers for the remainder of the matchup.
Watson had taken a hard shot to the head at the end of his 12-yard reception in the first quarter and remained down on the field after the hit, prompting players to take a knee and the Packers’ training staff to hustle onto the field to attend to him. While he was able to walk off the field under his own power, he was quickly taken into the locker room and determined to have a concussion, cutting his return performance short.
The Packers had been looking forward to getting Watson back in their rotation after the No. 34 overall pick missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, but another tough break for their prized rookie could motivate them to make some adjustments to their receiving corps in the coming days. They are currently missing their top two veterans — Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb — due to injuries and had been getting inconsistent production from the rest of the crew prior to Sunday’s game.
The Packers were trailing 24-7 to the Bills at halftime.
Packers Also Lose Rookie Linebacker to Ejection
Just before the end of the half, the Packers also saw All-Pro inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell head into the blue medical tent on the sideline to be evaluated for an injury. He then emerged with an ice pack wrapped around his right knee and began walking toward the locker room with trainers before getting ruled questionable to return.
Obviously, losing Campbell would be a massive blow to the Packers defense. He has been their leading tackler (68 tackles) through the first seven games and is also tied with Jaire Alexander with a team-high one interception. What makes matters worse, though, is that the Packers’ No. 2 linebacker — first-round rookie Quay Walker — isn’t available to step up as the team’s defensive signal-caller against the Bills, either.
Walker — who was the Packers’ top pick in the 2022 NFL draft at No. 22 overall — was ejected earlier in the second quarter before Campbell sustained his injury due to an altercation on the Bills’ sideline that ended with Walker shoving one of Buffalo’s coaches. While he initially drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for his actions, the NFL home base reviewed the incident and phoned in the determination that Walker needed to be disqualified for the remainder of the game.
Without Campbell or Walker, the Packers are down to recently signed veteran Eric Wilson and second-year Isaiah McDuffie as their only options at inside linebacker.
Update: Campbell was ruled out for the game in the fourth quarter.