The Green Bay Packers have won two games in a row and are on the precipice of returning to the NFL Playoffs in their first season without Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre under center. First-year starter Jordan Love has put together a better season than many expected and, though there were learning moments, has proven that he is the future at quarterback in Green Bay.
Not only has Love established himself as the cornerstone around which the Packers can build their future, many of his young pass catchers have proven they belong in long-term visions as well. Jayden Reed broke Sterling Sharpe’s franchise record for receptions by a rookie during his six-catch, 89-yard performance on Sunday night that also included two touchdowns.
While Reed may be the best Packers rookie this season, he is certainly not the only one who has proven that he is going to be a big contributor for years to come. Dontayvion Wicks, Luke Musgrave, and Tucker Kraft have all made substantial strides this season and will be even better going forward.
Over the last two games, Bo Melton (who was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft) has shown signs that he, too, may be worthy of being a part of the Packers’ future. After his third elevation from the practice squad (and catching 10 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown in his last two games), the Packers made the decision to sign him to their 53-man roster.
Samori Toure Has Not Produced When Given the Opportunity by the Green Bay Packers; Bo Melton Has
In order to make room for Melton on the 53-man roster, the Packers placed wide receiver Samori Toure on injured reserve, ending his 2023 season. Like Melton, Toure was a seventh round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Unlike Melton, though, Toure has not taken advantage of the opportunities he has been given.
In the win over the Vikings, Toure had just one reception for -6 yards. When Reed exited the game after aggravating his chest injury, Toure filled in for him as the team’s punt returner. His fumble on his lone return opportunity led to the Vikings’ only touchdown of the game.
The fact of the matter, though, is that Toure’s poor play against the Vikings is not anything new. Over the last two seasons, the Packers’ wide receiver room has been plagued with injuries. Christian Watson missed time both last season and this year; Romeo Doubs missed games last year with a sprained ankle; Reed and Wicks have missed time this year. Yet Toure has not played well enough in practice or in games for Matt LaFleur to give him substantial playing time.
It Has Been Anyone But Samori Toure for the Green Bay Packers
In addition to Melton’s elevations from the practice squad, undrafted rookie wide receiver Malik Heath has gotten more snaps when injuries have piled up. It seems that whenever a receiver goes down, anyone but Toure is asked to step up.
With his move to injured reserve, one has to wonder if Toure has a place in Green Bay after this season. When everyone is healthy, the Packers have six wide receivers who are all better: Watson, Reed, Wicks, Doubs, Melton, and Heath.
Of course, Toure is not making big money as a former seventh round pick. The Packers could keep him on their practice squad next year if they so choose. That being said, he has probably played his last regular season game with the team.