Romeo Doubs returns to practice, giving Packers possible rookie pairing with Christian Watson
GREEN BAY − As the Green Bay Packers approach the time in their season when more attention may be devoted to developing their younger players, they may be inching closer to seeing what Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson can do on the field together.
Doubs returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since spraining his ankle Nov. 6 at Detroit. After rehabbing on the sideline last week, Doubs appeared to be getting closer to his return. The Packers could give him another week to rest, considering next week is their bye, but it's a good sign in the right direction for the rookie receiver.
Since Watson exploded into a potential star the past three weeks, the Packers have not had an opportunity to pair him with Doubs. The two have been available together only for five games this season, but Watson left with a concussion on the opening drive in Buffalo, and Doubs left with the ankle injury on the opening drive in Detroit.
Coach Matt LaFleur said the focus this week is beating the Chicago Bears. The Packers still have a small chance at sneaking into the playoffs if they win their final five games, though they are extreme longshots at this point.
"I think we're always trying to develop," LaFleur said, "and look for opportunities to get some guys in there that you might not know about, but I think right now the focus is 100% on winning this football game and doing whatever it takes."
If Doubs can return this week, it would give the Packers a better chance of beating the Bears. The Packers might also get reinforcements from inside linebacker De'Vondre Campbell.
After being ruled out Sunday night, missing his fourth straight game with a knee injury, Campbell returned to practice Wednesday. Campbell practiced Friday, giving him a better chance of returning Sunday against the Bears. After Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts' 157 rushing yards last week flirted with an NFL single-game record for his position, the Packers could use Campbell − especially if Chicago quarterback Justin Fields returns from a separated shoulder.
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LaFleur said the "majority" of his defense's plan will focus on stopping Fields instead of backup Trevor Siemian, who started against the New York Jets last week.
"We'd be foolish not to plan for Justin," LaFleur said. "Because if you don't, you will get gutted. That quarterback run game they have is pretty spectacular, and it doesn't even always show up just in the run game, but just on his ability to drop back and if nothing is there to find a window and an escape lane and make you pay in that regard. We have to have everybody in tune on the same page, and you can't give this guy a sliver of light, or he will make you pay."
LaFleur reiterated again Wednesday he expects quarterback Aaron Rodgers to play Sunday. Rodgers missed practice along with offensive linemen David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins. Safety Darnell Savage also did not practice after injuring his foot on his lone snap against the Eagles.