It doesn’t get much more high-stakes than the Packers’ matchup against the Vikings on Sunday. In addition to being a bitter divisional rivalry, the matchup could very well decide the Packers’ playoff push. If Green Bay loses, than their path to the postseason becomes incredibly difficult.
Facing an offense led by the otherworldly ability of Justin Jefferson and augmented by players like Dalvin Cook, K.J. Osborn, and T.J. Hockenson, the Packers will likely have to put up some serious offensive production of their own. Unfortunately, budding star Christian Watson, arguably Green Bay’s most explosive weapon, is dealing with a hip injury. After missing the first two practices of the week, the rookie returned to practice on Friday. He is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Ideally he will be available, but even if he plays he may be hampered by the injury he sustained against the Dolphins.
Could Toure Provide a Boost?
Christian Watson’s ability to stretch defenses with speed has proven to be an invaluable trait. Although fellow rookie Samori Toure certainly doesn’t have the burners that Watson does, he did run a respectable 4.4 40-yard dash.
Toure has flashed explosive ability several times this year – notably, he caught a second-reaction 37-yard TD against the Bills, and was open on an underthrown deep pass against the Lions in Week 9. The Vikings defense has struggled mightily this season. Injecting at least some element of speed to open up short and intermediate concepts for players like Aaron Jones and Romeo Doubs could prove vital.
With the release of Sammy Watkins, Toure may have to play increased snaps for an injured Watson anyway. Using him on deep concepts could help clear up space, force the Vikings defense to account for a multi-dimensional offense, and put pressure on the communication lines in Minnesota’s zone coverage. The best-case scenario would see Watson in that role, but if he can’t go, then Toure could play a crucial part in deciding the divisional matchup.
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