Allen Lazard's injury adds uncertainty in a Packers receiving corps that isn't 'where it needs to be'

Kassidy Hill
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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GREEN BAY − The Green Bay Packers are in wait-and-see mode with receiver Allen Lazard for the rest of this week, coach Matt LaFleur said, after Lazard left the Packers' 23-21 loss to the Washington with a shoulder injury Sunday.

“He hurt his shoulder, and I'm going to leave it at that and see how he feels through the course of the week,” LaFleur said Monday. 

Lazard was seen in the locker room Sunday night with his left shoulder wrapped in a bandage. On Monday, Lazard walked through the locker room while reporters were present with his left arm in a sling. 

Lazard injured his shoulder during the fourth quarter against the Commanders as the Packers were attempting to mount a comeback. He left the game and was considered questionable but did not return. 

If Lazard’s shoulder does not heal throughout the week, the Packers will be facing a Sunday night game against the Buffalo Bills without their top two receivers. Randall Cobb is on injured reserve with an ankle injury. The Bills are 5-1 and coming off a bye week. 

The Packers also have been without rookie Christian Watson the past two weeks as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Green Bay was able to get veteran Sammy Watkins off injured reserve (hamstring) and he finished with two catches for 36 yards Sunday, including a late catch that moved the Packers into Hail Mary range, getting the ball clocked in time.

Still, the carousal of receivers has been one of many persisting issues with the offense. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers went 23 for 35 for 194 yards and two touchdowns (both to running back Aaron Jones) Sunday in the loss. The 12 incompletions were a combination of miscommunication between quarterback and receiver, along with drops. 

“Outside of (Lazard and Watkins) there’s too many mental mistakes,” Rodgers said of the receiving corps Sunday. “I talked about simplification last week; I don’t really know where to go when it comes to that. It has to be something inside, but it has the accountability for our performance. We’re just having way too many detailed mistakes. It’s just not winning football. 

“It could be the total wrong route. It could be the wrong stem, it could be the release. We’re just not good enough to overcome some of those things right now. We have talent on our team for sure, but it has to consistently show up. From all ends, otherwise why would we have any confidence in going forward. (The offense) had 14 points today. Seven in the 2-minute, seven on a short field. Last week we scored 10 points, three in the 2-minute, seven in the no-huddle. It hasn’t been winning football on offense.”

For the first time this season, the Packers activated rookie Samori Toure for game day. Toure had one reception on one target for 4 yards, as well as what was a promising carry in the moment in the Packers end-of-game hook-and-ladder attempt. After taking a lateral for 11 yards, Toure jetted sideline-to-sideline to get in the open and lateral the ball to Rodgers.

With a receiving corps continuing to experience injuries, Toure could see more and more action, beginning Sunday. No matter who is on the field against the Bills, though, LaFleur needs to see more production from top to bottom. 

“It's definitely not where we want it to be in terms of that room,” LaFleur said. “But injuries are a part of this game. And you got to adjust, you got to adapt. It's not the first time we've gone through this before here. So we got to get some guys ready to play. Bottom line, and it doesn't matter who it is. That expectation does not change ever. 

“There's a high standard in terms of what the expectations of what our players and coaches and everybody in this building feel, as well as our fan base. And so when those expectations aren't being met, the bottom line it’s not good enough and we got to find some solutions.” 

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