Not much has changed on the Green Bay Packers offense since the start of the season. Most years, that would be joyous news. But in 2022, it’s a real problem.
The Packers began the season unable to move the ball effectively through the air. Eight games in and Green Bay remains in the bottom half of the league at just over 217 passing yards per game — good enough for 22nd out of 32 teams, per ESPN. The franchise unsuccessfully attempted to address that weakness via a trade for a playmaking wide receiver. Now that plan has failed, it’s time to return to a discussion about a player that was prevalent throughout the preseason.
Fuller Still in Prime, Could Add New Element to Packers’ Pass Attack
Fuller’s case is curious, to say the least. A finger injury cut his 2021 campaign short after just three games with the Miami Dolphins, but the former first-round draft pick of the Houston Texans remains among the fastest players on any field and fully capable of taking the top off of an NFL defense.
That’s precisely the kind of help Rodgers needs, as he owns an average of just 6.6 yards per pass attempt, his lowest mark in 15 years as the Packers’ starter. Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report on September 7 laid out the argument for Fuller landing with the Packers, the finer points of which haven’t changed much in the nearly two months since.
Aaron Rodgers throws one of the best deep balls in the game. When healthy, Will Fuller V is one of the best in the league at simply running past defenders and tracking down long throws. It’s a marriage that just makes sense.
The key term there, though, is “when healthy.” Teams are likely staying away from the 28-year-old at this point because of his lengthy injury history. He’s played fewer than 12 games in every season since 2017 and can’t seem to stay off the injury report.
With the uncertainty surrounding the Packers’ receiving corps, Fuller is a low-cost option who could wind up being a huge addition if he stays healthy.
Odell Beckham Jr. Would Cost Packers More Than Fuller
Fuller will be entering his seventh professional season should he land with a team in 2022. The fact that he hasn’t been inked to a deal yet shows that apprehension exists around the league about his tendency to miss games due to injury. However, that also means the Packers are in a great bargaining position.
Green Bay can take a flier on Fuller at a price that doesn’t hamstring the team should he find himself hurt. And if he pans out, Fuller adds the kind of speed the Packers are desperately missing.
The only other real option is Odell Beckham Jr., though his price as a three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion is likely to continue trending upwards, especially while teams like the Packers continue to struggle. Beckham won’t just cost more, but will take longer to get on the field than would Fuller due to his current rehab schedule, which may not see Beckham ready to go until December.
Clearly, Fuller is less than a cure-all for Green Bay’s woes, but if the franchise is serious about making something out of this season, it’s time they took a shot on some kind of player who can help add an element of dynamism to the offense.