The Packers extended their win streak from three to six games without Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who has missed the mandatory three weeks while on IR. But Green Bay’s wide receiver situation suddenly looks dire ahead of its Week 8 matchup with Arizona.
Davante Adams and Allen Lazard are out for Thursday night’s game, and ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler tweets Valdes-Scantling is looking unlikely to be activated by this afternoon’s deadline. MVS made the trip and became eligible to come off IR this week. But the contract-year wide receiver may have 10 more days to recover from the hamstring injury that sent him to IR.
Green Bay placed Adams and Lazard on its reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Adams tested positive for the coronavirus, while Lazard landed on the virus list as a high-risk close contact — a distinction only pertaining to unvaccinated players in 2021. Adams is vaccinated but did not complete the two negative tests required to return to action.
Adams has served as Green Bay’s No. 1 wide receiver for years, and his 744 receiving yards lead the 2021 Packers by a staggering total. Aaron Jones and Lazard have 186 and 184, respectively. MVS serves as the Packers’ top deep threat, having led the NFL in yards per reception (20.9) last season.
This trio being sidelined leaves Randall Cobb and rookie Amari Rodgers as Aaron Rodgers‘ top wideout options, though Jones certainly factors into this equation alongside tight end Robert Tonyan. The Packers are also elevating wideout Juwann Winfree for tonight’s game, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. A 2019 Broncos sixth-round pick, Winfree has played in three Packers games over the past two seasons but has yet to record a regular-season reception.
Already set to be without their top deep threat in Week 4, the Packers are likely to see their receiving corps miss a key weapon beyond Sunday.
They are expected to place Marquez Valdes-Scantling on IR, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets, with Sports Talk 790’s Aaron Wilson indicating earlier Friday this was in play (Twitter link). This would shelve the veteran wide receiver for at least three games. MVS is dealing with a hamstring injury; the Packers had previously ruled him out for Sunday.
An IR stay would not only be Valdes-Scantling’s first extended absence; Sunday will mark his first missed game as a pro. The Packers do have more options than they did last season, though offseason additions Randall Cobb and Amari Rodgers are primarily slot players. The team still has Allen Lazard, who should expected to see a bigger role alongside Davante Adams over the next few weeks.
A former fifth-round pick, Valdes-Scantling broke through in 2020 by leading the NFL in yards per catch (among qualified targets) with a 20.9-yard average. Valdes-Scantling, however, has been a key part of Green Bay’s receiving corps since his rookie season. The 6-foot-4 pass catcher amassed 690 receiving yards in 2020 and has six receptions for 76 yards this year.
Aaron Rodgers and MVS failed to connect on a few deep throws through two games but were on the same page in San Francisco, when the reigning MVP found his No. 2 receiver on a 47-yard strike and later located him for a touchdown. The contract-year wideout will see his recent momentum interrupted.
The Packers already signed fifth-round punter J.K. Scott and seventh-round long snapper Hunter Bradley, leaving only three draft picks left to sign in first-round cornerback Jaire Alexander, second-round cornerback Josh Jackson, and third-round linebacker Oren Burks.
Moore is viewed as a largely green prospect with a tendency to drop passes and has some questions about his maturity, but his physical tools prompted the Packers to use a fourth-round pick on him. Last year, he was Missouri’s leader in catches and receiving yards with 65 grabs for 1,082 yards and ten touchdowns.
Madison started all 13 games at right tackle for Washington State in 2017, but the Packers plan on using him at guard. The position change could suit him well as he lacks the ideal wingspan for a tackle and doesn’t always do a great job of anchoring himself against oncoming defensive linemen.