It was a little bit of a surprise when the Green Bay Packers put receiver Jake Kumerow on injured reserve to open the season. Kumerow, a camp standout, injured his shoulder while summersaulting into the end zone in week 2 of the preseason.
At that point, he led the league in preseason receiving yards with 190. He didn’t play another game because of the injury. Then, sent to IR.
However, there are two other things that are significant here.
Despite his production and Rodgers’ approval, the Packers put Kumerow on injured reserve to stash him. That is to say, the injury was not of the season-ending variety. Kumerow could have perhaps returned as soon as week 2 of the regular season.
Typically, when they make such a move with a young player, they end up keeping him there all year. Then they bring him back next year and let him try to make the team again. Sometimes, they just release the guy with an injury settlement.
Point is, not many guys drafted in the late rounds or undrafted guys have been sent to IR and actually gotten a return engagement with the Packers. Kumerow is one of those undrafted guys.
The second significant consideration is the Packers current receiving corps. And there are two considerations with that.
The first is health. Geronimo Allison has missed two games, first because of a concussion and then because of a hamstring. Randall Cobb has missed three games because of a hamstring.
It’s worth pointing out that Cobb has not been able to stay healthy for years, right now.
Allison is expected to be back after the bye and Cobb may be too, so the Packers maybe don’t NEED another receiver right now.
The second is the rookies.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling has been thrust into a prominent role with Cobb and Allison out. He has 12 catches for 212 yards and a touchdown on the season. Dude can legitimately stretch the field.
If given the reps, Valdes-Scantling might end up being the most-successful rookie receiver Aaron Rodgers has ever thrown to. He could easily surpass the 446 yards Davante Adams gained with Rodgers as a rookie in 2014.
And yes, that is the best Rodgers has ever done throwing to a rookie receiver.
Equanimeous St. Brown hasn’t been as flashy, but he definitely has shown flashes. He has just four catches on the season, but they’ve gone for 108 yards. That sideline catch — his only catch on the night — on the final drive against the 49ers was nothing less than impressive.
J’mon Moore, the highest draft pick of the three, hasn’t found his footing yet. He has just one catch on the season.
The thing is, the Packers kept these guys around because they drafted them. They think they have long-term potential. Honestly, Moore had no business beating out Kumerow for a roster spot. St. Brown probably didn’t either.
And yet they did.
So that says something. It says the Packers want to see these guys develop.
It has been mentioned that Kumerow doesn’t have the upside of, say, Moore. And yes, Kumerow played at Division III UW-Whitewater. What isn’t mentioned when someone is making that argument is that he played at Illinois before that. The same school Geronimo Allison played at.
And Allison is currently the Packers’ No. 3 receiver. And he’s proven to be a pretty decent one.
Guess what else? Both of those guys went undrafted.
So I will have a hard time buying an argument that a guy drafted in the fourth round has a bigger upside than an undrafted guy that Aaron Rodgers loves.
Antonio Brown, the best receiver in the league, was a sixth-round pick. Donald Driver, the Packers’ all-time leading receiver, was a forgotten seventh-round pick. And that is not to suggest Jake Kumerow will have that success, but he deserves a chance.
Are we going to get to find out?
Maybe. When asked if the Packers could use one of their return from injured reserve designations on Kumerow, we got this.
“We talked about that a little bit today, but that’s a decision we’ll have for you next week,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.
Not the “hell yeah” we wanted to hear, exactly.
And if the situation couldn’t get more complicated… well, of course it could!
Receiver and return man Trevor Davis was also put on injured reserve to start the season. Both players are eligible to practice when the Packers return from the bye. They can’t play until week 8, but a decision will likely be made on both of their fates before then.
Davis was projected as the team’s No. 1 return man entering the season. However, he has offered nothing as a receiver in two seasons. Eight catches, 94 yards.
That’s in total.
Those are Jeff Janis-like numbers.
Well, slightly better, but still. It’s clear Rodgers doesn’t want to throw Davis the ball and McCarthy doesn’t want to put him on the field.
But Davis was a draft pick and Kumerow wasn’t…
Just like Moore was a draft pick and Kumerow wasn’t…
So, the dilemma.
The Packers aren’t going to carry eight frickin’ receivers. These seem to be the viable options.
The final point to note is this. Each team only gets to designate two players to return from IR.
It is highly unlikely the Packers will use both of those designations at this point in the season and that they will use them on two receivers.
Based upon the scenarios above, I would handicap this as follows.
I think it’s time to shed a little light on something, I made it all the way down to the subject of how rookie receivers don’t flourish in Green Bay.
Yes, you need to know the playbook, yes it helps to catch the ball, yes it helps to run correct routes, yes it helps to know, process and react to situations that Rodgers wants. But lets quit the “Rodgers has trust issues” drama. Davante Adams didn’t excel right away because Rodgers has trust issues. Adams didn’t excel in his first couple years because he wasn’t very good at the time.
But one of the larger reasons you don’t see 1st year receivers catch for a lot of yards in Green Bay is simple. They usually don’t need you. They already have established receivers that unless you are a freak of nature, you aren’t going to get a lot of attempts. They also don’t usually draft receivers high. Those guys usually have reasons they were later round draft picks.
Yes, this season might be different, MVS could and probably will surpass 500 yards, maybe going about 700 or more. But why is that? Sure, he’s running good routes and catching the ball as far as i can tell. But the reason is, Nelson is gone, Cobb has been out and Graham only gets open when we play bad teams. That’s a lot of attempts that aren’t going to their mainstay receivers, Scantling is taking advantage and i wish him well, he looks good so far.
Maybe the other two work to get some attempts also, but i’m not so sure that Moore has been impressing anyone, citing the fact they are isolating him in pass catching drills during the week.
Not. They usually draft WRs relatively high as in [email protected]#2, Nelson high #2, Cobb #2, James Jone @ a high #3, Adams @ #2….etc. What we usually do not see is rookiew Was making the team as #5 and #6 picks with the exception of DD, Donald Driver. True, they have not drafted a #! pick since the days of she/r/mon and Javon Walker. To bag a true game changer at the one pick you need to be in the top ten of the draft order. Right now, Cobbis washed up, Allison needs to stay on the field,but may lose hosranking to Scantling ( speed kills, the other team).
Yes, i guess you got me there. But non of those higher draft picks had great initial years either which was the point of my post. Jennings did have over 600 yards, but he also had a pathetic catch rate under 50% that would get most players benched. It was so bad, that in comparison Adams catch rate wasn’t so bad his first year.
This roster will be interesting next year. Cobb? bye…Matthews bye..or a dirt cheap deal…Ha’Sean…bye ( I hope) If they resign nobody they are $38M under the cap. But will re-up Allison and McCray. I forgot Bulaga…bye.
Tramon also wont be back, that an additional $5 million in space.
Re-up McCray, what am i missing here?
I hope so. He has huge play making ability AND he that Bosa blood in him. That means hes a man. Id release Cobb immediately and make Kumerow the focal point of the offense.
They seem to overvalue potential. Yes, there is a gamble to be made, and the correct answer is only available after the fact, in the hindsight. Potential may not materialize or may do so a couple of years down the road. By then, you have to extend the guy and start paying him at FA rates. If the guy develops quickly and realizes his potential, then you have a stud for cheap for a couple of years. You have Moore on this riskier side of the gamble. The other side is represented by Kumerow, who was praised by Rodgers and who we saw outplay the other guy in preseason. Yes, I know “it’s preseason”, but the point here is they were all being measured by the same (lowered) standards, and one guy made tons of plays, while the others did less well. Back to the point: Kumerow represents someone who looked like he can perform right now, even if his ceiling may be limited (he is a little up there in age).
There are only a handful of years for guys to materialize that potential, with a lot of other guys coming in to compete on each year’s offseason and the whole bottom-end-of-the-roster being reshuffled.That’s why the sensible choice for me would be to stand by current (even if somewhat limited) production, considering that Cobb is likely to have soft-tissue injuries and Adams is a ding away from a concussion and missed playing time. Someone else IS going to have to step up to the plate. And in that case, he better be ready right now, not in a couple of years.
I would love to see Kumerow (over Moore and maybe StBrown) and Tonyan (over Kendricks) get in-game reps. Heck, last game I joked around with some other fans about Tonyan being out there running routes before the game, since during gametime he doesn’t get to sniff the field.
Many were disappointed about the Pack not blowing out the 49ers. It must have been an exciting game to see in person?
Well… they made it more interesting than it should have been. At first I was disappointed I would not see Garoppolo. But having seen the game, I’m fine with them having Beathard in their lineup. It lead to a contested game that was indeed fun to watch.
Beathard had a insane passer rating of something like 147 in the first half, ended at about 115 if memory serves. I mean….before that game he can’t get out of his own way damn near. Amazing things happen when rookie QB’s go against the Packers the last few years.
As i watched the 2nd half, i thought Shanahan took his foot off the peddle, it kind of reminded me of McGravy.
I don’t know where you live MJ, but i’m happy you got to experience being at Lambeau Field.
J’ Moore was a wasted pick that should have gone to the O line or safety at best.
Thanks, PF. Indeed, a great experience. Attended the game, took the stadium tour and visited the HOF museum. Even walked along some of the streets named after players, coaches or managers.
Regarding Beathard putting up such numbers, I recall a previous article from this site saying that we give players their career days. Mediocre RBs? They will look like Bell. Mediocre QBs? We’ll make them look like prime Peyton Manning. It was written as a satire, but there was some truth to it.
An additional detail: Kumerow’s wonderlic result is 22, which doesn’t make him a rocket surgeon nor a brain scientist, but at the same time we can be sure he does not have a brick for brains. I couldn’t find the results for the three rookies, save for a detail about StBrown: he speaks German and French besides English. German we can chalk off to his mother being German (*). But at least he put in the time and effort to learn French up to a fluent level.
(*) I met some bilingual-raised people who were great with their second language, far beyond the others who were learning that same language the hard way. However, those bilingual people were not special at all when learning a third one like everyone else. Point here is, no true merit for StBrown for being a fluent German speaker, but props to him for having learned fluent French.
No one bought into the Hundley bullshit and Gutedkunst finally neutralized the Guru.
Bon oui Msr MJ.
Consider that French actually has far fewer words than English or German. It might, or should, be easier to learn. It’s all about immersion.
Last paragraph, totally agree. Tonyan caught absolutely everything tossed in his direction during the pre-season. I thought he was the legit TE prospect and maybe long-term development project. Kendricks always kind of underwhelmed and if he would have been cut it wouldn’t have mattered.
Moore has not lived up to his pick status and that seems to be the reason they are keeping him around. Big fourth round whoop.
Didn’t MM say at cut time this year that it is hard to go into the locker room when you keep player(s) that shouldn’t have made the team over someone who should have been on the 53. Geez you think MM? Kind of like losing a team when you keep feeding the Hundley is a good QB bullshit to a team. I felt that MM did not feel like Jordy bought into the Hundley bullshit enough last year and that is why Jordy was let loose this year.
I’m sure MM has been in that position many years, maybe because of MM’s own input in the final 53, in addition to TTs. You have to believe Kumerow earned a spot on the 53 if not injured. I don’t think Davis earned a spot. Davis is being kept in reserve in case he is needed as a punt returner.
Kumerow should get a chance. Who gets cut? I don’t know, but I think there is still a game or two to make that final decision. The attrition of an NFL season may make the final decision for the team.
Yes! I’ve been saying forever that McCarthy has way more input into the roster than people give him credit for. It is easier to simply keep it neat and clean by solely blaming Ted. McCarthy is telling Ted he is happy with his QB room and he (McCarthy) is going to stick with that turd Hundley because he (McCarthy) invested so much time in that turd Hundley. McCarthy thinks he can polish a turd like nobody’s business.
Ted sucked at a lot of things but you can’t really fault Ted for not bringing in another QB. You can fault Ted for not overriding his coach and telling McCarthy “time to cut our losses.” I don’t think Ted ever told McCarthy he needs to keep 5 TEs or 7 WRs or 2 FBs either. That kind of staffing evolved due to wet dreams McCarthy had when he envisioned how his offense would perform with all these “options” he never used.
Speaking of the reimagined playbook that none of us seem to have witnessed as of yet. I can tell you what happened there. McCarthy is old school. His plays were all laid out on old school transparencies using an overhead projector. They were probably the same ones from before Joe (related to Regis by chance?) Philbin left to coach Miami. All McCarthy did was flip the transparencies over and voila! new plays, just add new names. Done with time to spare to earlier hit the buffet.
How about cutting Kendricks? It’s not like he can catch.
You guys are a bunch of homers. Sheesh, some of you are calling for Kumerow to be the focus of the offense? Really?
Kumerow has been on several different NFL teams. The Patriots are waaay short on receiver talent and yet the Patriots cut him. Do you think the Patriots don’t know how to recognize talent? Just because someone with 4 years experience in the NFL can beat a corner who is to be cut doesn’t mean he can beat NFL corners.
MVS, St. Brown and
….and Moore are all better receivers.
Deepsky is absolutely correct as far as proving a player has talent in pre-season, and the regular season. Been saying that forever myself. Making plays in pre-season raises eyebrows, but it’s the rest of what you have to offer that earns you playing time.
Fringe or rookie players separate themselves by flashing talent, and working hard in practice, film room, and the off season. Coaches and team mates see and respect that. If you do those things, and you have some talent, one way or another you will find yourself in NFL games.
I’m all for that logic. Preseason is like playing the game on easy mode. The point is, even in “easy” mode, you have a guy that makes plays and another one that doesn’t… the former MAY have something going for himself… but what does this say about the latter?
Remember when Hundley had his great pre-season in 2015? A 129 passer rating.
Well, what people don’t consider is that fact that Hundley at the time was the #3 QB. Therefore, when does he mostly play, mostly in the 2nd half, against some 2nd’s, 3rds and fourths. But everyone went ga ga over him…lol. Not everyone, but a lot of fans.
No one said Kumerow should be the focal point of our offense. But if on one hand you saw Moore’s drops, and this guy make play after play, doesn’t it pique your curiosity to see if he can contribute right now when Cobb leaves with an injury or a dirty player headhunts Davante? Doesn’t even have to be all at once, but at least give him some snaps here and there, even if you don’t choose to throw the ball his way, you can still see how well he ran his routes and gets open or not. Heck, that may even give time to Moore to polish his skills before being thrown out there. And no, I have not given up on Moore midway through his rookie season. In any case, this looks like a high-level problem (too many guys, not enough time to play them) as opposed to the lower level issue of not having enough talent to go around.
I would try to shop Cobb around if he isnt already, even if its just for a low level draft pick. They really dont need him, Mont or Kum could man his spot in the slot.
Yeah they might get a bag of chips for him. Stale chips.
Should have traded Cobb during the preseason when he had some draft value. Now, damaged goods. Can’t make a full productive season.
Kumerow just runs the correct routes, ctaches the ball, and has Rodgers trust. Now, if dumb shit MM will give him the chance!