Packers Sign New Receiver After Losing Starter to Injury

Doubs Injury Lions Week 9

Getty Romeo Doubs suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter of Week 9's game against the Lions.

The Green Bay Packers are adding a new young receiver to their practice squad after losing their top rookie playmaker to an injury in Week 9’s loss.

According to the team’s official transaction wire, the Packers signed former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jeff Cotton to their practice squad on November 9, giving him the roster spot that was cleared one day earlier when they released wideout Kawann Baker. The move keeps the Packers at three practice-squad receivers, with Cotton now joining Juwann Winfree (out of elevation opportunities) and Travis Fulgham.

The Packers also placed outside linebacker Rashan Gary on injured reserve after he suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the loss to the Detroit Lions.

The Packers are going to be spending extended time without standout rookie Romeo Doubs after the fourth-rounder suffered an ankle injury in last week’s 15-9 loss to the Lions. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Doubs was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain and could miss between four and six weeks as he recovers.

Doubs is the latest in a long line of receiver injuries the Packers have endured through the first nine games of the season. Sammy Watkins and Randall Cobb have each had stints on injured reserve with Cobb still ineligible for activation until Week 11. Allen Lazard is also currently playing through a shoulder injury that held him out of Week 8’s loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Will Packers Sign Winfree to Active Roster?

While Cotton would not be the Packers’ first choice for promotion as a newcomer, he does provide them with depth in the event they decide to sign Winfree to the 53-man roster. Winfree has used up all three of his game-day elevations from the practice squad and would need to be signed to the active roster to play again in 2022, but he appears to be their next most trustworthy receiver and would offer an in-house solution if they wanted to avoid signing more outside help.

Winfree caught just one pass — for 17 yards — on four targets and 26 routes run over his three games of action this season, which isn’t too inspiring. He also had a drop in Week 6’s loss to the New York Jets in his final elevation opportunity. At the same time, Aaron Rodgers talked him up a few times during training camp as one of the standouts, alongside Doubs.

“Between [Winfree] and [Doubs], there’s been a lot of positive things that make you feel good about the depth we could have in that room,” Rodgers said during camp on August 9.

Christian Watson Did Not Sustain Concussion vs. Lions

The Packers practically became an infirmary in Sunday’s loss to the Lions, with eight of their players leaving the game due to injuries. Some of those injuries — such as those to Doubs or Rashan Gary, who tore his ACL — will result in long-term issues for the Packers, but one player they don’t have to worry about is rookie Christian Watson.

Watson was taken out to be evaluated for a concussion and did not return to the game, giving the impression that he had sustained a concussion and would need to clear concussion protocol before playing again. He had already been forced to go through the protocol in the week leading up to their trip to Detroit after sustaining a concussion in the previous week’s loss to the Bills, but another one could cause some serious availability issues for the second-round rookie.

Fortunately, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur clarified that Watson did not sustain a concussion against the Lions and was held out purely due to precautionary reasons.

“That was not a concussion; that was all precautionary,” LaFleur said November 7. “That’s just the times we live in right now, and with what transpired in Buffalo. But it was 100% ruled it was not a concussion. Matter of fact, he was dying to go back in the game. We thought it was best to shut him down because of what transpired in Buffalo.”

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