The Green Bay Packers have one of the youngest teams in the NFL. First-year starter Jordan Love is still just 24 years old despite having sat behind Aaron Rodgers for three years. In addition, his wide receivers and projected starting tight ends are all rookies or players with just one year of NFL experience. As such, the offseason programs that Green Bay has held, the most recent of which were OTA’s, are vital for these young players to start building chemistry and displaying what they’ve studied in the playbook on the practice field.
Last year, Christian Watson missed much of the offseason programs due to a right knee procedure. It was unfortunate because, as a rookie, he missed out on valuable learning opportunities. It was the right thing to do, but it did lead to early struggles. Now, seventh round pick Grant DuBose has reportedly missed all of the Packers’ offseason programs with an undisclosed injury.
Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Grant DuBose Is Falling Behind
The thing that Watson had going for him that DuBose does not is that he was a high second round pick (would have been a first round pick had the Vikings been willing to trade the final pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft to Green Bay). Watson was drafted to contribute right away. As a seventh round pick, DuBose is going to have to battle for playing time and a spot on the 53 man roster.
It is going to be hard to make a case for a spot on the 53 man roster if he cannot practice. According to Paul Bretl of PackersWire, Matt LaFleur said of the situation:
“Anytime you’re talking about a young player that hasn’t been able to participate in practices, those are valuable reps. We talked about it the other day after practice, just how meaningful these reps are for these young players, especially when you’re learning something new.
“It’s one thing to sit there and learn it in the meeting rooms, on the board, watching the tape, but it’s another thing to go out there and do it. I do think naturally you fall behind, and it’s going to be on him to try to stay into as best you can mentally and get those mental reps, but there’s nothing like the physical reps.”
In addition to Watson, Doubs, and Samori Toure, the Packers have Jayden Reed and Dontayvion Wicks from this year’s draft. They also have undrafted free agents from both last year and this year in camp: Bo Melton, Jeff Cotton, and Malik Heath. If, and that’s an uncertain if, the Packers carry six wide receivers into the season, DuBose will be competing with these players. They are all on the field right now; DuBose is not.
Hopefully he can get healthy and be ready for mandatory mini camp and training camp so that he can make a case for himself.