The Green Bay Packers have, unfortunately, already ruled several star players out for their Thursday night matchup with the Detroit Lions. Elgton Jenkins, David Bakhtiari, and De’Vondre Campbell will all miss the game following a short week of preparation.
Other injured stars like Aaron Jones, Christian Watson, and Jaire Alexander are listed as questionable on the Packers’ final injury report prior to the game. While fans are left wondering what their final status will be, NFL insider Jordan Schultz revealed on X (Twitter) that Watson will indeed make his season debut on Thursday night.
Not a surprise after he told reporters he had “planned” to play.
Watson had an impressive 9 TDs as a rookie in 14… pic.twitter.com/sYNPcO5CaI
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) September 28, 2023
Watson missed the first three games of the season with a hamstring injury he suffered in the final week of training camp.
What Having Christian Watson on the Field Does for the Green Bay Packers
Watson is one of the fastest players in the NFL, let alone on the Packers. Having him sprinting down the sidelines on go-routes will spread defenses out and open up the middle of the field. Jordan Love and the rest of the offense have attacked the middle of the field at a much higher rate this season than they did last year with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.
In addition, Watson presents a lethal downfield option for Love to target. He has the speed to chase down catches that other receivers cannot. His speed also helps him create separation, which will allow for Love to throw less 50/50 balls.
Finally, Watson is a good blocker, much like Allen Lazard was. If Jones is able to join Watson on the field, the Packers’ offense is going to be infinitely better.
Christian Watson for the Green Bay Packers in 2022
Last season, Watson had the best season of any rookie wide receiver on the Packers in the Aaron Rodgers era. He ended the year with 41 receptions for 611 yards and seven touchdowns. He also had seven rushing attempts for 80 yards and two more touchdowns.
From Week 10-Week13, Watson became the first rookie wide receiver in the NFL since Randy Moss to score eight touchdowns in a four-game span. He had three receiving touchdowns in the Packers’ 31-28 win over the Dallas Cowboys; two receiving touchdowns in their 27-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans; one receiving touchdown (from Jordan Love) in the 40-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles; and a receiving and rushing touchdown in 28-19 win over the Chicago Bears.
The Green Bay Packers Have Yet to Play a Game with a Fully Healthy Offense
In the Packers’ Week One victory over the Chicago Bears this season, Watson missed due to his hamstring injury. Going into the game, his fellow wide receiver Romeo Doubs was also questionable with his own hamstring issue.
During that first game, Jones injured his hamstring and missed Weeks Two and Three as a result. Additionally, Bakhtiari hurt his knee and will miss his third consecutive game as a result.
Jenkins sprained his MCL against the Atlanta Falcons and will miss his second consecutive game.