The Green Bay Packers are 2-3 coming out of their bye and are desperately looking for a spark on offense. That spark seemed to disappear after Aaron Jones started missing a significant amount of time due to a lingering hamstring injury.
For three straight games the Packers have failed to score more than 20 points. They have gone 1-2 in that stretch. During Jones’ absence, many thought more opportunities would be given to a certain fan favorite, however, that hasn’t been the case and it doesn’t look like it’s changing any time soon.
Green Bay Packers Head Coach Says Running Back Emanuel Wilson Won’t Get More Playing Time
Robin Adams of Wisconsin Sports Heroics highlighted this story:
Wilson has appeared in three games this season and has played 14 total offensive snaps in that time. He has rushed the ball five times for 11 yards and has one reception for six yards. Wilson has also fumbled one time.
Additionally, Wilson has not seen any playing time on special teams. Typically, a team’s third running back is one of the most-utilized special teams players. Instead of allowing Wilson to fill that role, the Packers have used Patrick Taylor. Due to reaching the limit on how many times they could promote Taylor, the team released him last week. Taylor has since signed with New England Patriots.
Now, instead of sticking with their three running backs, the Packers also signed free agent James Robinson, who ran for over 1,000 yards for the Jacksonville Jaguars back in 2020. He has been assigned to the team’s practice squad.
So where does that leave Wilson now? During his press conference on Wednesday, head coach Matt LaFleur was asked if Wilson would start seeing more playing time. To put it plainly, he will not, and LaFleur explained why:
“I just think it’s, there’s a learning curve for every young player in this league, and you just kind of have to prove it through practice. He’s a talented guy, no question about it. But it’s just that trust that he can go out there no matter what the defense gives us that he’s going to be able to go out there and execute.
“Because it’s not just running the football. It’s protections, it’s all that. I think he’s progressing nicely. We’ll give him more opportunities throughout practice in order for him to be able to go out there and do it in a game.”
It is important to remember that when Wilson lit the NFL preseason on fire, he was doing so against backups. Now that he is facing first team players in practice, he is struggling.
Packers Fans Reacted To Wilson Likely Not Seeing The Playing Field Any Time Soon
Wilson became a fan favorite during the pre-season. In the pre-season, Emanuel Wilson ranked first in the NFL in rushing. Over the course of the pre-season, he carried the ball 38 times for 223 yards and two touchdowns. One of the highlights of his pre-season was an 80-yard touchdown run against the Bengals in the preseason opener.
Wilson’s impact on the pre-season was also noticed by Pro Football Focus, who noted his ability to evade tackles with 11 forced missed tackles and his knack for explosive runs with five of at least 10 yards. When Packers fans saw he won’t be getting more playing time, they reacted on social media:
Packer fans have a trust factor with Lafleur his coaching performance to date could affect his longevity.
— Paia Pax (@PaiaPaxton) October 18, 2023
Omg. So over the entire “trusting a guy” saga.
— CheddarBalls (@Cheddars_Balls) October 18, 2023
But no trust issues with newman?
— Bob Kohls (@bk5931) October 18, 2023
Yet he trusts Joe Barry. Whatever.
— Eric Brehm (@EricBrehm9) October 19, 2023
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