The Green Bay Packers have tried to stay patient with one of their former draft picks, but fans and analysts alike are continuing to question why general manager Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur are keeping Amari Rodgers around.
During Green Bay’s Week 10 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, the second-year wide receiver was once again kept to almost exclusively punt return duties. Unfortunately, Rodgers couldn’t even do that one job effectively, muffing one punt return in the first half before fumbling the ball away on a return attempt in the second half.
Not surprisingly, Packers fans took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with Rodgers staying on the roster.
“Amari Rodgers is a case of a team sticking with their guy/pick for way too long,” former Packers tight end Tom Crabtree shared. “Trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.”
“Amari Rodgers is just another example of the Packers sticking with someone for way, way too long,” another fan tweeted.
“Can find a way to roster 2 kickers, but 0 returners. You have 69 roster spots, find a freaking returner,” Pack-A-Day podcast host Andy Herman tweeted.
“Once again Amari Rodgers’ fumble leads to points,” another fan tweeted. “I am so beyond done seeing him on the field.”
“It’s not even like Amari pops a good return every once in a while,” one Packers fan shared. “He’s either fumbling or hesitantly returning for five yards.”
To say that Packers fans are fed up with Amari Rodgers would be an understatement.
Amari Rodgers Has Earned the ‘Draft Bust’ Label
Things couldn’t be much worse for Rodgers right now, but the second-year wide receiver was a promising receiver for the Packers at one point.
Coming out of Clemson, Rodgers was a productive player for a top-tier college program and a national champion. As a senior, he was a first-team All-ACC selection with 77 receptions for 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns.
Despite being a smaller receiver, Rodgers garnered enough attention to be taken in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Packers. Unfortunately, he’s never had a serious impact on offense, racking up just eight career receptions heading into Week 10 of his second NFL season.
Even as a return man, Rodgers hasn’t been effective. He has posted some mind-blowing stats when comparing his return numbers to his receptions because of all of his miscues. After his fumble against the Cowboys, he had seven career fumbles compared to just eight career receptions.
The Packers continue to roll him out on punt returns, however, and fans are continuing to voice their frustration.
Who Could Replace Amari Rodgers?
If the Packers finally decide to bench or cut Rodgers, there are at least a few options currently on Green Bay’s roster to replace him as a return specialist.
Both rookie wide receivers Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson have experience returning punts from their college days. However, Doubs is dealing with a high-ankle sprain while Watson continues to deal with injuries that would likely point to him being limited to just a role on offense, especially after coming away with his first career receiving touchdown against the Cowboys.
The Packers recently signed speedy veteran return specialist Corey Ballentine to the active roster, and he’s the most realistic replacement for Rodgers. However, fans will wait to see an actual move to replace their current punt returner before they believe that anything is going to happen.