Packers likely without key player vs. Vikings in Week 1

Green Bay Packers, Matt LaFleur (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Matt LaFleur (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers will likely be without top wide receiver Allen Lazard in their season opener against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1.

All summer long, the top question has been how the Green Bay Packers will replace All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams.

Even after drafting three receivers earlier this offseason, Allen Lazard has been the clear choice to be the Packers’ WR1 in 2022.

However, the Packers are now likely to be without Lazard in their season opener versus the Minnesota Vikings.

The Packers have released their final injury report for Week 1, and Lazard is listed as doubtful to play due to an ankle injury.

While that doesn’t guarantee Lazard won’t play at Minnesota, it effectively does. It’s rare that players listed as doubtful on the injury report actually play. And considering it’s Week 1, the team is unlikely to rush any players back from injury too soon.

Assuming Lazard is out, Sammy Watkins and Randall Cobb will be the top targets in the passing game, and it could also mean plenty of snaps for rookie Romeo Doubs, a standout performer over the summer.

Cobb will play mostly in the slot. If Lazard doesn’t play, there will be an opening on the outside opposite Watkins.

It’s also unclear whether the Packers will have their star tackles available in Week 1. David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins are questionable to play.

If the team decides to keep them both out another week, Yosh Nijman will likely start at left tackle, and either Royce Newman or rookie Zach Tom would make sense at right tackle. It could be a big task against the talented pass-rush duo of Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith.

The good news is that outside of Lazard, Bakhtiari, and Jenkins, everyone else is off the injury report. That includes Robert Tonyan, who is ready to go.