The Green Bay Packers will go into camp 2022 next week with at least nine of their players on the physically unfit (PUP) list, including second-round rookie wide receiver Christian Watson.
According to the July 22 NFL transaction bulletin, the Packers put Watson on their PUP list when rookies reported for camp on Friday, which was unexpected since there were no reports of him staying with an injury this offseason had fight. The 23-year-old North Dakota receiver was a full-fledged participant in OTAs earlier this year.
The Packers traded their two 2022 second-round picks to move up and put Watson 34th overall during last spring’s draft. In doing so, they used some of the assets acquired in the Davante Adams deal to add a young and talented new passcatcher to their offense this season. It’s Green Bay’s highest for a receiver in two decades, leading many to ponder his potential to eventually become the new No. 1 for the Packers.
Now Watson will have to wait until he’s medically cleared to begin forging a connection on the field with four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Fortunately, according to Ross Uglem of Packer Report, the vulnerability that put Watson on the PUP list “is not considered serious/long-term and is expected to become available sooner or later”. However, there are no details yet on what kind of injury Watson has.
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Eight other packers joined Watson on the camp opening PUP roster, including veteran placekicker Mason Crosby, defensive end Dean Lowry, rookie defensive tackle Hauati Pututau, outside linebacker Randy Ramsey, running backs Patrick Taylor and Kylin Hill, tight End Robert Tonyan and Pro Bowl offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins.
Tonyan, Jenkins and Hill are all recovering from cruciate ligament tears they sustained midway through the 2022 season, which should be limited at least for the start of camp. Ramsey also has a season-ending injury picked up last season and could still recover, but Crosby, Lowry and Taylor are all a little unexpected.
Additionally, the Packers have three rookies — linebacker Caliph Brice and offensive tackles Caleb Jones and Rasheed Walker — declared on the non-football injury lists. Brice and Jones are both part of the Packers’ UDFA group, while Walker was her third of four seventh-round picks in the 2022 draft at 249th overall.