Jeff Janis: Packers wide receiver’s preseason legacy grows

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 26: Jeff Janis /
GREEN BAY, WI – AUGUST 10: Jeff Janis
GREEN BAY, WI – AUGUST 10: Jeff Janis /

Jeff Janis, also known as the the “people’s champ” among fans of the Green Bay Packers, is up to his old tricks – and continuing to grow the legacy he’s created over the past three seasons.

Janis once again showed the Packers‘ coaches and fans that despite the funeral processions that have been held in his honor recently, he keeps coming back from the dead.

So many, including this author, have predicted that Janis wouldn’t survive the final cut and would find himself on the street come September. After all, if there’s a position with burgeoning talent on this 2017 edition of the Green Bay Packers, it’s at the wide receiver position.

Just a couple of weeks ago, nobody was talking about Jeff Janis. Instead, it’s been guys like Geronimo Allison, Michael Clark, Max McCaffrey, Trevor Davis, DeAngelo Yancey, Malachi Dupre, and even Montay Crockett who have been stealing all the ink.

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But don’t mention that to Janis, who enters his fourth year – one of importance because it is a contract year for the up-and-down wide receiver.

But there’s one thing for certain: Every time Janis makes his way onto the field, he finds ways to make plays.

We remember two seasons ago when the Packers were down a couple of healthy receivers heading into their Divisional Playoff game at Arizona when Janis was forced onto the field.

All he did was catch two consecutive passes deep in the fourth quarter to rally the Packers to a tie ball game that went to overtime. One of those passes came on fourth and forever when Janis found a way to get open and catch the Aaron Rodgers‘ bomb for a first down at midfield.

But Janis wasn’t done … he then caught a Hail Mary from Rodgers for a touchdown that sent the game into OT.

Though the Packers’ defense faltered in overtime and the Packers lost the game, it was Janis’s heroics that only continued to bolster his legacy.

Fast forward to preseason 2017.

Janis, in the preseason opener, Janis caught just one pass, but he made it count. That one pass came on a 20-yard scoring strike that he hauled in over his left shoulder as he beat the cornerback to the end zone.

This past Saturday, Janis led the team in receiving by catching three of the four passes tossed his way for 63 yards. The big play came on a 38-yard bomb he caught while battling the cornerback all the way down the right sideline and hauling in the Brett Hundley pass.

DETROIT, MI – JANUARY 1: Jeff Janis /

For a guy who has caught just 15 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown in his regular season pro career over the past three seasons, he’s made a lot of noise in each preseason to not only elevate him to the “people’s champion” status, but has secured him a spot on the 53-man roster.

Maybe that roster spot came about because of his potential; maybe it’s because he has not only done well at receiver in preseason, but has become one of the best at the gunner position on kick returns. His work on special teams has become one of the main reasons he has made the team in the past.

Will it all be enough this preseason for him to once again make the team?

Do the Packers part ways with the likes of a McCaffrey, or a Yancey, or a Clark, or a Allison or Davis?

That remains to be seen as the final couple of weeks of Training Camp continues and this bevy of receivers keep battling for a roster spot.

One thing is for certain … this is a team deep in talent and no matter which players from the wide receivers get cut, it will be players who will most likely land at some point with another organization.

Competition is what preseason is all about and it’s been Janis who knows this better than anyone else, or so it seems.

We certainly wouldn’t be surprised if Janis once again makes the cut and is wearing #83 when the season starts.

Next: Breaking down the Packers roster: Outside linebackers

If he continues to play like he has, expect him on the roster come September.

After all, how can the “people’s champ” just go away?