Packers WR Christian Watson Addresses Hamstring Rehab

During his first two seasons in the NFL, Christian Watson has missed considerable time. A goal for he and the Packers this offseason was to find a long-term solution to his hamstring issues, and progress on that front has been made.

The No. 34 pick in the 2022 draft, Watson joined Green Bay with considerable expectations. His rookie season was limited to 11 contests, though, and questions lingered last offseason relating to his ability to stay on the field for a full campaign. In 2023, the 25-year-old wideout missed the first three weeks as well as the final five games of the campaign dealing with recurrences of his hamstring ailments.

Green Bay sent Watson to see a specialist after the end of the season, and he tested at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health. When speaking about his recovery process during that time, the North Dakota State alum noted that a lack of symmetry in his legs (with respect to strength in his hamstrings) was the cause of his problem. Rectifying that will go a long way in preventing further missed time.

“For me, it really was the asymmetry between the legs,” Watson said at OTAs (via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky). “It comes from a lot of things. Obviously, the issues I’ve had in the past with hamstrings, not fully recovering from those strength-wise. I’ve been attacking the strength side of it, trying to get that symmetry back and it’s been huge for me. I feel really, really good.”

Watson added that the difference in muscle mass between his right leg and his left was roughly 20% not long after he tested at Wisconsin. That figure has dropped considerably since, although he has yet to reach his goal of 6% at this point. Of course, that progress will be worth monitoring throughout OTAs and through training camp, and his ultimate success will come down to his gameday availability during the season.

For now, Watson and the Packers are confident this offseason will mark a turning point from a health standpoint. The team’s young receiving corps also includes the likes of Jayden Reed, Romeo Doubs and Dontayvion Wicks, and that unit fared well last season as Jordan Love took on starting quarterback duties. Watson (who has averaged 15 yards per catch and totaled 12 touchdowns in his career) will play a notable role in 2024 and beyond if he can remain healthy. Signs currently point to that being possible, if he can follow through on his recovery plan.

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