This story is getting tired, isn’t it? Jeff Janis plays, Jeff Janis makes plays, but Jeff Janis rarely plays because Jeff Janis either doesn’t run good enough routes, doesn’t have the trust of quarterback Aaron Rodgers or, you know, just… Buffoon.
Well, Jeff Janis is finally playing meaningful offensive snaps for the Green Bay Packers. He’s doing so for the same reason he’s always played any offensive snaps for the Packers — they have no other option.
It’s like last season’s playoff game in Arizona, when the Packers were without Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb. They had to play Janis.
This year, it’s a slightly different situation. Because of the lack of a viable running game, the Packers have had to resort to a short passing game that employs more than three receivers. Add in the fact that the Packers have no tight end production, Ty Montgomery has been used extensively in the backfield and both he and Randall Cobb missed last week’s game and again, the Packers have no choice.
They have to play Janis.
What has Janis done with the first extensive regular-season action of his career? Not much.
Eight catches, 53 yards, a 6.6 yard average and one touchdown.
The average, like that of most of the Packers’ receivers this year, is pathetic. However, that touchdown catch, which came last week in Atlanta, is giving people hope.
That includes Janis himself, who suggested that maybe he finally has the much-coveted Aaron Rodgers’ trust nod.
“He was pretty jacked,” Janis said. “He kind of smacked me on the chest, I think, once. He was pretty excited, and it was a cool moment. Any time you can score on something like that, it’s huge confidence-wise, trust-wise for Aaron and the coaches. It kind of opens their eyes a little bit.
“Just to see him react that way, it just kind of gives you that feeling, I guess, where in the back of your mind, you know that he’s going to throw me the ball if he really needs to. He’s going to trust me to make a play.”
The funny thing there is this part of the quote — “if he really needs to.”
Everyone has been waiting for Janis to break out. That obviously hasn’t happened yet and it may never happen.
And here’s Janis suggesting that Rodgers only throws him the ball if he absolutely has to. Frankly, that’s not surprising.
For whatever reason — let’s call it “trust” — Rodgers rarely looks anywhere other than Nelson, Cobb or Adams. Recently, the exception has been Montgomery, who has 20 receptions over his last two games played. That comes after zero receptions (albeit on very limited snaps) prior to those two games.
So things can change.
Will they finally change for Janis?
We still have our doubts, but it’s probably closer to happening now than it ever has been before.