The Green Bay Packers are entering their toughest challenge of the season in Week Eight. A trip to the Buffalo Bills is undoubtedly a daunting task for a Packers team that is 3-4 and losers of three straight games. The Bills, meanwhile, are 5-1 and winners of three straight. Their most recent victory was a thrilling 24-20 win on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. Very few are giving the Packers much of a chance of even making the game a close one. ESPN and FanDuel have the Bills as 10.5-point favorites. To make matters worth, the Packers will be down several wide receivers and have not done anything to improve their most-depleted position. Perhaps with the position so much weaker in terms of depth, Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers will do what fans have been calling on them to do for weeks: run the ball.
Packers Wide Receivers Are Injured and Questionable
The Green Bay Packers lost three of their 2021 wide receivers during the offseason. Davante Adams, of course, was traded to the Los Vegas Raiders. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown both departed via free agency. In order replace them, the Packers signed Sammy Watkins in free agency and drafted Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Samori Toure.
To say that the offense has been missing a few steps would be an understatement. To be sure, it is not all on the wide receivers. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been more inaccurate on his deep throws, a trend that fans started seeing last season, too. Unfortunately, this inaccuracy couple with the youth of the wide receivers has made the offense struggle.
In addition to the on-field struggles, there have been injuries piling up among the wide receivers. Randall Cobb was just place on injured reserve with an ankle injury that he suffered in the Packers’ loss to the New York Jets. Christian Watson has been injured more than he has been healthy this season after missing all of training camp as he recovered from a knee procedure. Sammy Watkins just came back from a hamstring injury, but looked like he was not fully recovered in the Packers’ loss to the Washington Commanders. Finally, Allen Lazard was spotted wearing a sling in the Packers’ locker room on Monday. Reportedly, he suffered a shoulder injury against Washington. His status for the Bills game is unknown.
The Healthy Wide Receivers for Week Eight vs Bills
With all of these injuries, the Packers will trot out a wide receiver group consisting of the following players:
- Sammy Watkins (nagging hamstring may still be bothering him)
- Romeo Doubs
- Amari Rodgers
- Juwann Winfree
- Samori Toure
Of course, the Packers have not ruled Lazard out of the game yet. However, given the fact that his arm was in a sling, it is not likely that he will be very productive if he does play.
Aaron Jones Remains the Best Weapon the Packers Have
This statement has been true all season long: Aaron Jones is the best chance the Packers have at being productive on offense. This was seen last week when he scored both of the team’s offensive touchdowns. Unfortunately, he only receiver eight carries, which was far too few.
The Packers are 8-0 since 2017 when Aaron Jones carries the ball at least 18 times, which feels like a healthy number. He averages over six yards per carry and topped 100 yards on the ground in seven of those eight games.
— zach jacobson (@itszacharyj) October 24, 2022
As seen in the above Tweet, the Packers are much more productive on offense when Jones gets 18 or more carries. Without healthy or productive wide receivers right now, the Packers NEED to bite the bullet and trust in Jones. It may truly be the only chance they have of pulling off an upset.
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