How does Devin Funchess’ injury impact the Green Bay Packers’ wide receiver depth chart?
Devin Funchess was one of many wide receivers competing for the Green Bay Packers‘ final roster spot at the position.
After impressing in the preseason opener, showing his experience and that he’s still a talented player, Funchess was very much in the mix.
However, a hamstring injury that kept him out of the team’s second preseason game has now seen him land on injured reserve, ending his season. It’s unfortunate for Funchess, who hasn’t completed a regular-season game since 2018.
What impact does Funchess’ injury have on the Packers’ wide receiver room?
Which receivers are roster locks for the Packers?
Five receivers are almost certain to make the initial 53-man roster in a couple of weeks: Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard, and Amari Rodgers.
Barring a season-ending injury, there’s no chance any of these five receivers aren’t part of the 53-man roster.
In previous years, the Packers have only kept five receivers. If they choose to go that way again, the top five is already set. However, given the depth they’ve got and competition on the roster, there’s a good chance they’ll keep a sixth receiver.
Who is competing for the final spot?
Maybe the Packers will keep seven receivers, which would give those on the roster bubble a huge opportunity. However, it would be hard to justify that as it would impact their depth elsewhere. If we assume they’ll keep six, which receivers are competing for the final spot?
Malik Taylor is likely the clear frontrunner for a spot on the 53 now.
It was a surprise this time last year when Taylor earned a roster spot ahead of fan-favorite Jake Kumerow, but he proved the Packers right for that decision. Taylor provided some depth at receiver but crucially played a key role on special teams.
When needed on offense, he contributed, catching five of his six targets for 66 yards and a touchdown.
Taylor can play special teams, knows the offense, and has shown he can contribute in the past. He is the clear leader in the race for the WR6 spot.
But the competition isn’t over yet.
Let’s not forget that just a couple of weeks ago, it seemed almost impossible that Juwann Winfree could be cut. He was playing that well. However, a shoulder injury has kept him out of action the past couple of weeks, including both preseason games.
If Winfree can return in time for Saturday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, he will have a chance to remind the Packers how well he was playing. Maybe that will be enough to get his name back in the conversation for a spot on the 53, but it certainly feels like his chances of making the roster are slipping, and by no fault of his own.
Equanimeous St. Brown has the experience and is a former draft pick. He, too, has missed some time with injury, but should be back for this week’s game. St. Brown struggled in the regular season last year, so he needs to finish the summer strong to remain in the mix.
The other two receivers on the roster are Reggie Begelton and Damon Hazelton. At this stage, it seems a long shot either will make the 53.
The competition is still very much on but, with Funchess now on IR, it feels like it’s Taylor’s roster spot to lose.