The week was a serious gut-check for Valdes-Scantling, who has now played in 23 straight games since the Packers drafted him last year in the fifth round out of the University of South Florida.
The streak appeared to be in jeopardy coming out of last Monday’s 23-22 win over Detroit, but the young receiver managed to play against Oakland despite not practicing.
Knowing his importance to an offense already without Davante Adams (turf toe) and potentially without veteran Geronimo Allison (concussion), Valdes-Scantling stayed in the training room all week before getting cleared to play Sunday morning.
“The trainers did an amazing job getting as ready as I could to go out and produce,” said Valdes-Scantling, who had a career-high 133 receiving yards on those two catches. “Obviously my reps were limited just so I can make sure I’m able to play. But they did a good job of getting me ready to go out and produce when I could.”
Through seven games, Valdes-Scantling leads the Packers with 416 yards and two touchdowns on 21 catches. His five catches of more than 40 yards also are the most in the NFL, while his 19.8 yards per catch are second among qualifying receivers only to Cincinnati’s John Ross, who’s currently on injured reserve.
Most importantly, Valdes-Scantling hasn’t dropped a pass yet this year on 35 targets. When his team needed him Sunday, the 6-foot-4, 206-pound receiver did everything he could to be on the field.