The Green Bay Packers are getting closer and closer to their Week One matchup against their division rival Minnesota Vikings. Unfortunately, Allen Lazard was held out of practice today due to an injury. With Lazard’s status for Sunday in question, there is a possibility that Sammy Watkins will fill the role of wide receiver one against the Vikings. For much of the preseason, it has been assumed that the role would go to Lazard. However, if Lazard is unable to play, Watkins sees no reason why he can’t be effective as wide receiver one.
Aaron Rodgers to Sammy Watkins, which could be QB1➡️WR1 on Sunday against the Vikings if Allen Lazard doesn’t play. pic.twitter.com/yYVp0t2hlc
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) September 7, 2022
What Sammy Watkins Had to Say on Wednesday
Multiple Packers players addressed the media after practice on Wednesday. Notably, Aaron Rodgers echoed the sentiments Matt LaFleur had in regards to the Za’Darius Smith comments regarding his exit from Green Bay. Additionally, Sammy Watkins addressed the possibility that he will be the Packers top wide receiver on Sunday. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Watkins believes that he has never been sharper:
Aaron Rodgers has called Allen Lazard a WR1 all year. If Lazard (ankle) can't go, then Sammy Watkins could be the No. 1 option.
Watkins sounds ready: “I’ve never been this sharp. Just to be this sharp, it feels good to go out there and play freely and play fast."
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) September 7, 2022
There is no doubt that when he is healthy, Watkins is among the most lethal receiving threats in the NFL. In 2014, his rookie season, he played all 16 games (the only time he has played a full season in his career). That year, he had 65 receptions for 982 yards and six touchdowns for the Buffalo Bills. The next year, he played in 14 games and had 60 catches for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns. Injuries have plagued him ever since, though, and he has struggled to stay on the field. Since 2015, his best season came in 2019. That year he played for the Super Bowl winning Kansas City Chiefs. Watkins was a major contributor hauling in 52 receptions for 673 yards and three touchdowns.
To be clear, though, Watkins does not believe that he will be productive this year based on his own talent alone. He has been singing the praises of Aaron Rodgers all offseason, and continued to do so on Wednesday:
Sammy Watkins today: “I think you can get a scrub off the streets and I think they’re going to make some plays if you throw them out there with Aaron Rodgers.”
— zach jacobson (@itszacharyj) September 8, 2022
If Lazard is not able to go on Sunday, it will be very exciting to see a fresh and reinvigorated Sammy Watkins playing wide receiver one.