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Romeo Doubs Packers
NFL

Can Romeo Doubs Emerge As Packers’ Go-To WR This Week?

  • Justin Melo
  • September 23, 2022
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The Green Bay Packers are facing a crucial showdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday. Both squads are fairly banged up, but it serves as a potential NFC Championship Game preview nonetheless. The Packers are especially injured at wide receiver. Sammy Watkins was ruled out on Friday. Randall Cobb and Christian Watson are listed as questionable. Allen Lazard has been cleared despite suffering a scare earlier in the week, but an ongoing ankle ailment threatens to hamper his upside. Rookie wide receiver Romeo Doubs will be forced to take on a larger workload. 

Is this the week Doubs becomes a go-to receiver for quarterback Aaron Rodgers? Head coach Matt LaFleur hinted at the possibility.

“He’s [Doubs] going to have to take on a larger workload this week,” LaFleur told reporters Friday.

The No. 132 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, Doubs has enjoyed an intriguing start to his NFL career. Through two contests, Doubs is Green Bay’s second-most targeted receiver with eight opportunities. Running back Aaron Jones has also totaled eight targets. Fellow running back A.J. Dillon leads all Packers pass-catchers with nine. Rodgers was always going to rely on his two running backs catching passes coming out of the backfield this season, but the numbers still indicate Doubs has quickly endeared himself to his elite quarterback.

Doubs finds himself in a four-way tie alongside Watkins, Jones, and Dillon for the team lead in receptions with six. Doubs has converted 75% of his targets into those six receptions for 64 receiving yards. Doubs is averaging a chain-moving 10.6 yards per catch. Perhaps most notably, Doubs is averaging 6.3 yards after the catch per reception, which insinuates he’s making defenders miss in open spaces. Rodgers has also enjoyed a strong 97.9 passer rating when targeting Doubs, per Pro Football Focus. A larger target share would point towards a productive showing for Doubs (and Rodgers).

It’s worth noting that Lazard is expected to be Green Bay’s go-to receiver when Rodgers needs a completion in the passing game. Lazard scored a touchdown in Green Bay’s dominant Week 2 defeat over the Chicago Bears, which also served as his 2022 debut. But Lazard missed the Packers’ first game with an ankle injury, and that same ankle injury initially placed his Week 3 status in doubt. Lazard can’t become Green Bay’s most productive receiver from the sideline.

It won’t be easy for Doubs to take advantage of a stingy Buccaneers secondary, however. Through two contests, the Buccaneers’ defense is allowing just 190.5 passing yards per contest. That mark ranks eighth in the league. Rodgers will be the best quarterback Tampa has encountered on the opposite side of the field thus far, and the reigning back-to-back MVP will be searching for a streaking Doubs with consistency. Something has to give.

Rodgers is still getting accustomed to life after Davante Adams. It’s been death by a thousand paper cuts so far. Mounting injuries at the receiver position have further slowed the acclimation process for all parties involved. LaFleur is waiting for somebody to emerge. Romeo Doubs could seize the opportunity by becoming Rodgers’ go-to receiver against the Buccaneers Sunday.

Written By

Justin Melo