Fears surrounding Jimmy Graham‘s status have been confirmed. The former All-Pro tight end does indeed have a broken thumb and will be out for the foreseeable future, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link).
Graham left Thursday’s game against the Seahawks because of this malady, and his first Packers season will be paused as a result. The Packers are determining how long their big-ticket free agent acquisition will be out, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter).
While Graham’s touchdown numbers have taken a hit, with the longtime red zone dynamo sitting on two after posting a 10-TD season in Seattle last year, he’s been a key component of the Packers’ passing attack all season. Graham’s 452 yards nearly match his 16-game total from 2017. His 13.3 yards-per-catch figure is more in line with his pre-2017 career averages; he came to Green Bay on the heels of a 9.1 yards-per-reception season.
Green Bay does have an experienced tight end contingent behind Rodgers. Both Lance Kendricks and Marcedes Lewis reside on the Packers after their previous teams released them, and each veteran should be a bigger part of the Packers’ passing attack during Graham’s absence.
This hits a Packers passing game that already saw Geronimo Allison head to IR. Randall Cobb has also struggled with injuries this season. Aaron Rodgers has needed to rely on rookies plenty and will now have to turn to auxiliary tight end options for a Packers team that’s teetering on missing the playoffs for a second straight year.
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