Despite not having all of his weapons available, Aaron Rodgers looks like a top candidate to take home NFL MVP honors this season. And just a day before they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Green Bay Packers just added another potential weapon for their star quarterback.
Aaron Rodgers has shined despite the Packers’ injury issues
Considering the Packers drafted his possible successor in April, Aaron Rodgers entered the season with an extra layer of motivation. So far, the 36-year-old has played at such a high level that it seems downright silly that Green Bay spent a premium draft pick on a player who won’t see the field anytime soon.
Even with Davante Adams and Allen Lazard missing time with injuries, Rodgers has put up stellar numbers in his first four games. The two-time MVP has thrown 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions while leading the Packers to a 4-0 start. Green Bay’s star quarterback has completed 70.5% of his attempts, which would easily rank as the best mark of his Hall of Fame career.
Rodgers has managed to do all of this despite not having a full cast of weapons available. Lazard had to undergo core muscle surgery on the heels of a breakout performance against the New Orleans Saints. Meanwhile, Adams hasn’t played since Week 2 due to a hamstring injury. Plus, the Packers lost rookie tight end Josiah Deguara to a torn ACL in their 30-16 win against the Atlanta Falcons.
Green Bay just added another potential weapon for Rodgers
With Adams set to return on Sunday, Aaron Rodgers will have his No. 1 receiver back in the fold. However, the Packers just added another potential weapon for their franchise icon.
On Saturday, the Packers activated Equanimeous St. Brown from the injured reserve list. The 24-year-old wideout has yet to play this season due to a knee ailment. Last year, St. Brown didn’t play a single down due to a serious ankle injury.
However, the 2018 sixth-round pick showcased intriguing potential as a rookie. The 6-foot-5, 214-pound receiver racked up 328 yards on 21 catches (15.6 yards per catch) as a depth piece. Now, though, the Packers need St. Brown to become much more than that.
Can Equanimeous St. Brown become a reliable receiver for the Packers?
Though he hasn’t played an NFL game since 2018, Equanimeous St. Brown has the potential to become a key weapon for Aaron Rodgers. His combination of size and speed makes him a tough matchup, especially since he does not have to face No. 1 corners given Adams’ presence.
After flashing dynamic ability as a rookie, St. Brown’s health issues have prevented him from continuing his development. But given Green Bay’s health issues at receiver, the third-year pro has to step up moving forward.
While Adams’ return gives a big boost to the Packers’ offense, the team still lacks reliable playmakers at receiver. Marquez Valdes-Scantling has caught just 48% of his targets this season—a slight improvement over his 2019 catch rate of 46.4%. He needs to become more consistent if he wants to keep getting targets from Rodgers.
Both Valdes-Scantling and St. Brown possess the physical tools teams look for in starting-caliber wideouts. The latter simply needs to stay on the field in order to continue building chemistry with No. 12.
Ultimately, if St. Brown stays healthy, the Packers could have a potential breakout star on their hands. And that will only make Rodgers even more difficult to defend as the season continues.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.