"The third receiver's going to get some opportunities. We have a talented two-headed run game, a great offensive line. We're going to have good balance this year. There's going to be some one-on-ones outside, and we look for matchups, so that third guy could get the matchup and is going to need to produce."
Janis most closely resembles Nelson in terms of physical ability and stature, but he's currently running behind the rookie Montgomery in practice. Whoever wins the job will be fantasy relevant, but they may not be dependable. Davante Adams wasn't startable last year and James Jones was inconsistent in his days as the team's third receiver.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 9:20pm
In tiny Green Bay sits a No. 2 quarterback who's played in just three NFL games and remains a mystery to many. But Scott Tolzien just might be one of the top 32 signal callers in the league.
And it would be a surprise to absolutely no one if Tolzien is steering a quarterback-starved franchise by 2016.
"Could he start in this league? I don't see why he couldn't," Packers quarterbacks and wide receivers coach Alex Van Pelt said. "I think he's had an exceptional camp."
Tolzien has certainly looked like that during another stellar summer in Green Bay. And Tolzien, who will become an unrestricted free agent next March, is putting together some impressive résumé tape for the rest of the league to study, the story said. Last month, NFL.com ranked the backup quarterbacks from 1 to 32 and listed Tolzien at No. 21. When several Packers were told of that in recent weeks, they all laughed, the piece added.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 8:42pm
Aaron Rodgers already made it clear how he feels about preseason games, so it surely wouldn't break his heart if he doesn't take another snap before the Green Bay Packers' regular-season opener on Sept. 13 at Chicago.
With three of his five starting offensive linemen likely out for Saturday's preseason home opener against the Eagles, that's probably not a bad idea.
In Wednesday's practice, Rodgers' reps were lighter than they've been all training camp -- he took only the first snap in most team drills and no more than three in the others. That could be a sign coach Mike McCarthy does not plan to play him at all the rest of the preseason, which finishes with a Sept. 3 game against the Saints.
McCarthy pulled Rodgers after the first quarter of Sunday's game at Pittsburgh after backup left tackle Don Barclay allowed Rodgers to get sacked for a safety. Rodgers took a hit on his right hand and was seen icing it on the sideline. After the game, the one in which receiver Jordy Nelson was lost for the season because of a knee injury, Rodgers referred to preseason games as "meaningless."
Without Nelson, the 25-year-old Cobb becomes the senior member of the receiving corps in just his fifth NFL season, and the 22-year-old Adams moves into the No. 2 role in just his second season.
"He's poised for a breakout year," Cobb said Tuesday. "He's poised for a big year. I look forward to helping him accomplish that."
Perhaps the good news is Cobb said he sensed that since the end of last season, when Adams finished off his rookie season with eight catches for 124 yards and a touchdown in the playoffs - seven of those catches, 117 of those yards and the touchdown came in the win over the Cowboys in the divisional round. Sounds like Cobb expected big things from Adams before Nelson's injury. We do too and have him ranked 18th on our WR list.
If the Packers hadn’t re-signed wide receiver Randall Cobb this offseason, there would probably be a lot more concern in Green Bay right now about the impact that the Jordy Nelson’s torn ACL will have on the Packers.
Cobb had 91 catches last season, though, and that kind of connection with Aaron Rodgers makes it easier to see how the Packers offense can keep on rolling this season. Cobb said that there’s “no need” for him to put more pressure on himself with Nelson out because Rodgers will get the ball to the right people at the right times and because he doesn’t think he’ll be playing a different role on the field.
“If we’re in a three-receiver set, most likely I’ll be inside,” Cobb said, via ESPN.com. “If we’re in a two-receiver set, I’ll obviously be outside. It just depends on what we do. We’ll move around. We planned on moving around this year, so I don’t think our plan changes. It’s just finding that guy that’s going to be able to plug in and be able to fit into what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Cobb was playing inside with Nelson and Davante Adams outside in three-receiver sets this summer. Rookie Ty Montgomery stepped in for Nelson during Tuesday’s practice and the team could also look at Jeff Janis as they look for another receiver to count on behind Cobb in 2015, the story said.
As predicted, third-rounder Ty Montgomery appears to be the guy.
On the first snap of Tuesday's practice, the offense lined up in a three-receiver set with Randall Cobb wedged in the slot between Davante Adams and Montgomery out wide, according to ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky.
That lines up with what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel projected Monday after the team announced that Nelson will miss the remainder of the 2015 season with a significant right knee injury.
Future practice time and game snaps will sort this out, but Montgomery holds the early lead over Jeff Janis, the second-year target still seen as a project despite his Nelson-like measurements. (Nelson is listed at 6-foot-3 and 217 pounds, while Janis measures in at 6-foot-3 and 219 pounds.) Both Adams' and Montgomery's values are climbing in fantasy drafts, especially Adams who is all the way up to 18th on our WR list.
Consider this: They're the only twosome who played together the last two seasons and totaled more than 3,000 rushing yards where the No. 2 back -- in this case Starks -- had at least 800 of those yards, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
So if the Green Bay Packers want to rely more on their running game to make up for the season-ending knee injury that Jordy Nelson sustained in Sunday's preseason game at Pittsburgh, then coach Mike McCarthy and play-caller Tom Clements certainly have that option.
While Lacy has been the workhorse, rushing for 2,317 yards combined in his first two NFL seasons, Starks' total of 826 yards the last two seasons has helped the Packers rank sixth in the league in rushing yards during that stretch. This could be great news for Lacy's fantasy value, but it also may give some value to Starks in deeper formats.
Nelson, one of the top targets for NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, was injured Sunday in a preseason loss at Pittsburgh. The team said Monday only that he suffered a "significant right knee injury" that would cost him the season.
Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said the team had hoped for good news in a re-evaluation of Nelson's injury. Instead, the Packers will be without a playmaker who set career highs in receptions (98) and yards receiving (1,519) in 2014.
There was some hope leading up to Monday's MRI since Nelson was moving around on the sideline and walked to the locker room under his own power after the injury. The team is still only calling it a significant knee injury, however reports surfacing from Sunday said it was an ACL tear.
In an interview on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan radio show this morning, Gronkowski said that he's ready to go whenever summoned, but he's always taking his marching orders from Belichick.
“It’s always up to the coach’s decision,” Gronkowski said. “I’m ready to play when my number’s called, whenever they want me to go in. I mean, it is preseason, we’ve been practicing hard, we’ve been going against each other. We had great practices with the Saints; it’s been going well.”
The good news is there isn't anything keeping Gronk from playing in preseason games outside of the coaching staff. It's a trend we're starting to see more and more - teams just aren't risking losing players in a game that doesn't count. He's still the top TE available in fantasy drafts.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and coach Mike McCarthy almost certainly won't ask any one player to take on the kind of yeoman's work that WR Jordy Nelson gave them, but they've made it clear throughout the offseason that Davante Adams was ready to a step forward even with Nelson in the mix. This spring, McCarthy called him the MVP of the offseason after Rodgers said he has a "humongous upside, and he's starting to reach that upside."
The Packers might look to add a veteran receiver but if not, then Jeff Janis and Ty Montgomery will get increased opportunities. Physically, Janis (at 6-3, 219) most resembles Nelson, but he remains raw. He played in only three games last year as a rookie, although he has three preseason touchdown catches in his career. The rookie Montgomery, a third-round pick, has proven to be a quick study and can probably play on the edge or in the slot. Packers college scout Sam Seale described the 6-foot Montgomery as a bigger Cobb.
"We've got a lot of guys right now fighting for spots, and we're still trying to figure out who's going to be the impact players for us on our team," Aaron Rodgers said. "That could change after this week or that could not. We'll see what happens."
The Packers seem confident in their depth but it remains to be seen how they react to the potential loss of Nelson if the ACL reports prove to be true. The story went on to say in the red zone, they already were preparing for Richard Rodgers to play a bigger role, and the second-year tight end showed his potential in that area of the field with a 21-yard touchdown catch from backup quarterback Scott Tolzien in the second quarter Sunday.
Aaron Rodgers would leave Sunday's game to injury, after being sacked for a safety by James Harrison late in the first quarter. Rodgers sustained a bruise to his right arm. Mike McCarthy said Rodgers would’ve remained in the game had it been the regular season.
“Into the second quarter was the plan. Aaron got hit on the sack but it was nothing that he couldn’t play in the game,” McCarthy said.
This is a bit surprising since he was reportedly moving well along the sideline. We would recommend waiting until the MRI confirmation before cutting Nelson loose as it's still pretty early in the process. This is a big blow to the Packers offense, but the team does have some depth at the position. If Davante Adams is available on the waiver wire, pick him up immediately, as he suddenly becomes a fantasy WR2. Jeff Janis and rookie Ty Montgomery will compete for snaps as the team's WR3.
Click the link to see a clip of the play. Nelson stayed down for a moment then hopped up and jogged off the field. He was limping badly at first but as he made it to the sideline the limp was less noticeable. He was examined on the sideline and reportedly walked to the locker room under his own power.
Adams had his moments during his rookie season, specifically against the Patriots (6-121 on 11 targets) in Week 13 and in the postseason against the Cowboys (7-117-1 on 11 targets). However, he only saw 66 passes come his way since he played alongside target hogs Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Aaron Rodgers has been highly complimentary of Adams this offseason and says he has “humongous upside.” In 20 games from 2012-13, the team’s WR3, James Jones, managed WR3-type numbers (3.7-50.3-.60 on 5.6 targets) with both Cobb and Nelson in the lineup, but that was mainly due to his unusually high TD rate. In 13 games that Cobb and/or Nelson missed, Jones averaged solid WR2 numbers (4.6-58-.46 on 7.3 targets), but his TD rate regressed. We’re bullish on Adams since he has more potential than Jones. The Packers are also without a tight end of Jermichael Finley’s caliber, so there may be more targets available for the team’s third receiver. Owners should expect fantasy WR2 numbers if Cobb or Nelson go down, making the second-year wideout a great handcuff for either player.
"Richard Rodgers has definitely taken a step from last year," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said earlier in training camp. "He's taken a step offensively in the passing game and completely understands it. You think about where he was this time last year. He's comfortable and he's catching the ball very well."
Rodgers has some of the best hands on the team, which has earned him points from his quarterback. He's also a dependable short-to-intermediate receiver, even though his yards after the catch (1.9 in 2014) must improve.
Rodgers caught 20 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie. We shouldn’t be too quick to write him off as a budding fantasy asset since rookie tight ends rarely make much of a fantasy impact. Andrew Quarless is dealing with a legal issue and may be suspended to start the season, which opens the door for Rodgers to play big snaps. He is reportedly a ‘frequent target’ in the red zone in practice, so it’s possible that he works his way into TE2 numbers in his second season.
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