The Packers will be without their leading receiver when they attempt to pull of an upset of the Bills Sunday night. The team announced that Allen Lazard has been ruled out due to a shoulder injury, adding further to the question marks surrounding Green Bay’s pass catchers.
Lazard had played in six straight contests after missing the season opener due to an ankle injury. He has operated as the team’s new No. 1 wideout, as expected given the departures of Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling during the offseason. Lazard has seen at least six targets in all but one game this season, eclipsing 100 yards just once as the Packers have struggled to find a consistent passing game.
The news also comes only one week after fellow veterans Sammy Watkins and Randall Cobb swapped places with one another regarding their availability. The latter being placed on IR made room for the former to make just his third appearance of the season. Cobb’s absence could be acutely felt, as he ranks second on the team with 257 yards on the campaign.
In more positive news at the position, Christian Watson is listed as questionable and could return after missing three games, including each of the last two. The second-round rookie said during the week that he was “feeling really good, feeling really confident” about his recovery from a hamstring injury. He could see a large role upon his return, given the loss of both Cobb and Lazard, though his and fellow rookie receiver Romeo Doubs‘ lack of consistency and rapport with quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been a talking point amidst the team’s struggles.
That has led to the Packers being named as a team interested in making a move at the position via trade. Their league ranking in passing yards per game (19th, with an average of 239), along with their relatively flexible situation with respect to cap space would make it unsurprising if they executed a move to boost their pass-catching corps. Two nights before the deadline, they will take on the AFC’s top seed; a victory would be made even more noteworthy given Lazard’s absence.