If it weren’t for the fact that Rodgers doesn’t embellish plays, players or situations for the cameras, how this all went down would be difficult to believe. It’s worth pointing out that Lazard’s only career catch coming into Monday wasn’t even from Rodgers, as it came in Week 17 last year when the veteran QB exited early with a concussion.
In some respects, Rodgers had no choice but to trust Lazard. With Davante Adams out, Geronimo Allison leaving early in the third quarter after taking a shot to the head, and Shepherd struggling, Rodgers was down to Marquez Valdes-Scantling (who left with a leg injury but returned), Jake Kumerow and Lazard at receiver.
He likened it to a 2016 road game in Atlanta, when injuries thrust Allison, Jeff Janis and Trevor Davis into prominent roles, and all three produced their first NFL touchdown receptions. Those into eerie coincidences will remember that was a one-point game as well with a similar score, 33-32, only the Packers lost.
“It’s about spreading it around,” Rodgers said of games like this, which he did once again, completing passes to nine different players for the second straight week. In the two straight victories without Adams, a total of 12 different players have now caught a pass from Rodgers.
“I think the most important thing that we’ve done on offense, and it starts with the staff, is really zeroing in on roles, specific roles for players,” Rodgers said. “Because I think it allows guys to really buy into their part in the offense.”
Or declare their role on the fly, as Lazard did. Either way works.
“A guy basically his second time playing (is) telling me what routes he wants,” Rodgers said. “I felt pretty good about where he was at confidence-wise.”