Allen Lazard expects to miss Packers game at Buffalo Bills with left shoulder injury
GREEN BAY – On the final play of Sunday’s third quarter against the Washington Commanders, Green Bay Packers receiver Allen Lazard caught a pass from Aaron Rodgers on an in route for 17 yards.
It looked like a harmless play. Lazard trotted back onto the field for the start of the fourth quarter, earning an illegal formation penalty on the first play. He left shortly after with a shoulder injury.
Lazard doesn’t expect to return this week when the Packers travel to the Buffalo Bills.
The Packers top receiver said he felt a “snap, crackle, pop” in his left shoulder when cornerback Benjamin St-Juste tackled him. “The three Rice Crispy men showed up, too,” Lazard quipped, showing he still has his sense of humor.
What Lazard doesn’t have is a healthy shoulder. He tried to gut it out in Washington, but he said it quickly became apparent the pain was too intense. He said it has limited the range of motion in his shoulder, an obviously important function for any receiver.
“There’s always worry,” Lazard said, “when there’s not a full understanding or sort of diagnostic of what it is, but knowing my body and everything, in that moment I wasn’t too stressed out or anything. I mean, I tried to play. So I knew obviously I could bear through the pain and everything. As time kept going, it’s just like, ‘That’s probably not the best thing to do.’”
Lazard does not expect the shoulder will keep him out long term. On Sunday, when the Packers play one of the NFL’s best teams on the road in prime time, they’ll likely be without their best receiver.
It’s yet another setback for the Packers receivers room that has essentially dealt with injuries all season. Sammy Watkins missed four games on injured reserve with a hamstring injury before returning Sunday. Rookie Christian Watson has injured his hamstring twice. Veteran Randall Cobb remains out with an ankle injury.
About the only receiver in the offense’s rotation who hadn’t been injured this season was Lazard and rookie Romeo Doubs. Now it’s just Doubs.
“Definitely you could say things aren’t going as planned this year from a top-to-bottom perspective, but that’s just the game of football, and really life itself," Lazard said. "We’re still staying positive. Even last week, obviously didn’t get the results we wanted and everything, but even going into that week, I was still very confident in our room.
“I think we’re only really less than five plays away from really changing the game and flipping momentum, and really instilling that confidence in us as an offense, but even more so as a team.”
Watson was limited at practice again and appears to have a chance to play Sunday. Watkins also was limited in practice. Both could help the receiver room if they return, especially if Lazard is unable to play.
Lazard has not practiced this week. He said his confidence in the Packers receivers remains high enough that the team does not need to make a trade at the position before Tuesday’s deadline.
“No,” he said. “No. Not at all.”
Rashan Gary practices on a limited basis
The Packers had good injury news Thursday. Outside linebacker Rashan Gary was limited at practice, a sign he’s progressing through the concussion protocol and might have a chance to play this week.
Left tackle David Bakhtiari missed practice for the first time since Oct. 7, indicating the Packers are trying a new plan to preserve his knee for game day. Aaron Rodgers was limited with his throwing thumb taped.