The Green Bay Packers have been waiting for Amari Rodgers to emerge in his young NFL career that has lasted under 500 days. The second-year receiver had a rough rookie year sitting behind the likes of Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. He only registered four receptions. However, he took a big step on Friday night in Green Bay’s first preseason game of the 2022 season against the San Francisco 49ers. He only made two key plays, but they told Packers fans everything they needed to know about how Rodgers is attacking 2022.
The first big play came late in the first quarter when Rodgers returned a kickoff 51 yards into San Francisco territory. That play was significant for a couple of reasons. Green Bay’s special teams struggles have been long-documented. New Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia, who has been coaching football for nearly 40 years, has certainly made a great impact on this unit already. Rodgers had 11 kick returns last season and averaged a mediocre 18.1 yards-per-return. To see the former Clemson star make that play, to flip the field, was really special. It is proof that the Packers return game is in a much better place than it was last season.
The second big play that Rodgers made came on his lone catch of the night. He caught a deflected pass from backup quarterback Danny Etling in the flat and would go on to score a 22-yard touchdown while breaking multiple tackles up the sideline. Rodgers slimmed down this offseason by going from 218 lbs to 202 lbs. He showed his speed and elusiveness on this play. He was focused, confident, and showed his balance all in one play. It was his first NFL touchdown in his brief career.
Rodgers’ performance on Friday was a great sight for the Packers. He came into the game as a big question mark but left as an important piece of Matt LaFleur’s offense. His versatility on offense and special teams could be a huge plus for a Green Bay team that is looking for new playmakers with the losses of Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Amari Rodgers appears to be headed towards a much-improved sophomore NFL season in 2022.