The Green Bay Packers have had some excellent success in the passing game over the past two games. First year starting quarterback Jordan Love is tied for the league lead in touchdown passes while also leading the NFL with a 118.8 passer rating. Unlike previous seasons, the ball is being spread out pretty evenly among pass catchers.
In fact, the Packers’ leading receiver in terms of yards is running back Aaron Jones, who missed the team’s 25-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons with a hamstring injury (he had 86 receiving yards in Week One against the Chicago Bears). Jayden Reed, one of Green Bay’s second round draft picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, is second on the team with 85 receiving yards.
Additionally, prior to the Thursday night game between the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants, the Packers had scored the second-most points in the NFL. And they have been able to do all of this without the help of their top wide receiver, Christian Watson.
Watson injured his hamstring ahead of Green Bay’s first game of the regular season and has yet to be active for a game. However, he practiced earlier this week, a good sign that he may be ready for the home opener against the New Orleans Saints in Week Three.
On Thursday, Watson did not practice again leading many to believe he had suffered a set-back. However, after practice, head coach Matt LaFleur and Watson himself said there was nothing to worry about.
Green Bay Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur Addresses the Christian Watson Injury
As reported earlier, Watson’s non-participation in practice on Thursday was a planned day of rest for him. After practicing for two days in a row in limited fashion, head coach Matt LaFleur and the coaching staff wanted him to have a day off, to not push his recovery and risk further injury:
“He ran a couple days in a row, and [the plan] was to give him a day of rest and we’ll see how he looks tomorrow,”
The Packers are famously conservative when it comes to bringing players back from injury. They would rather a player miss a few games early than be out for more games later in the season. It appears this is the approach they are also taking with Watson.
Christian Watson Addresses His Injury Status
When addressing the media after practice, Watson said:
“Honestly, I’m going into every week thinking I have a chance. That’s definitely how I’m approaching it and, as of right now, I still have that same mentality of thinking I have a shot to go this week.
“Obviously, I want to play more than anyone else out there in the world wants me to play, so I’m definitely trying to play. And in my head, my plan is to try to prepare like I’m going on Sunday. If that is what it is, then obviously I’m going to be really excited. And if it’s not, then it is what it is, as well.”
There have been many fans that have been frustrated with Watson’s injury status, especially since he had an injury (and surgery) last year that forced him to miss the entire preseason. What many fans do not realize is that players as fast as Watson have these injuries pop up.