NFC North: Packers WR Sammy Watkins begins camp on NFI list

Sammy Watkins

Chicago Bears wide receivers have been an easy target for NFL critics this offseason, but the Green Bay Packers’ collection of unproven pass-catchers is arguably more worrisome entering the 2022 season.

The offseason trade of Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders leaves quarterback Aaron Rodgers with few targets he can rely on. Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb are familiar names, but neither moves the needle much. Rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs have upside, and 2021 draft pick Amari Rodgers is a sleeper. But they’re hardly a group that strikes fear in opposing defenses.

The most notable offseason addition at wide receiver for the Packers was veteran Sammy Watkins, whose career in Green Bay is off to a typical start: he isn’t healthy enough to play. Watkins was placed on the non-football injury/NFI list Tuesday.

The NFI list is reserved for players who fail their physical due to an injury unrelated to football activities. Much like the physically unable to perform/PUP designation, the Packers must activate Watkins at some point prior to the fourth game of the season, or they lose him for the year.

It’s likely Sammy Watkins’ injury is of the short-term variety, and I assume he’ll be back on the practice field soon. But for a player who’s struggled to stay healthy throughout his career, this is a bad sign.

Maybe the Chicago Bears don’t have the worst wide receiver corps in the NFC North after all.

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