Aaron Rodgers called for a little-known receiver to play against the Lions, and he wound up making the biggest play
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
- Aaron Rodgers led the Packers on a brilliant fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Detriot Lions 23-22.
- One of the other heroes of the Packers fourth quarter was wide receiver Allen Lazard, who before coming into the game in the fourth quarter, had never caught a regular-season pass from Aaron Rodgers.
- After injuries left Green Bay without two of their top receivers, Rodgers said that he pushed for Lazard to get a shot on the field late in the game.
- Lazard wound up scoring a critical touchdown for the Packers, and then made three more catches on the team's final drive to help set up the game-winning field goal.
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For fans of the Green Bay Packers, many aspects of Monday night's comeback win against the Detroit Lions felt familiar. With his back against the wall, Aaron Rodgers orchestrated two masterful fourth-quarter drives to set up kicker Mason Crosby with a game-winning chip-shot field goal to win the game as time expired.But one aspect of the Packers comeback was unfamiliar - the play of second-year wide receiver Allen Lazard, who had one of the biggest catches of the night to save the game for Green Bay.Advertisement
Read more: Lions players blast NFL officials after phantom calls cost them a win over the Packers
Lazard went undrafted in 2018 after four years at Iowa State, joining the Packers in the 2019 offseason off of the Jaguars practice squad. With the Packers already without Davante Adams due to a case of turf toe, and fellow receiver Geronimo Allison knocked out of the game after a collision at the start of the second half, Lazard finally got his chance.On his first catch of the season, Lazard pulled in a 35-yard touchdown to bring the Packers within a field goal of the Lions.
Lazard stayed hot from there, catching three more passes on the Packers' final drive of the game to help set up Mason Crosby for the game-winner.Lazard may have never gotten the chance had it not been for his quarterback personally advocating for him to get some plays."I may have put in a good word there in the fourth quarter to get him some opportunities," Rodgers said after the game, per ESPN, adding that he had asked wide receivers coach Alvis Whitted "if [No. 13] could come in for a little bit."Advertisement
Rodgers said that he struck up a relationship with Lazard, sitting next to him in team meetings. Despite his limited game opportunities, Rodgers said that the most impressive aspect of Lazard's game was his confidence.Advertisement
Lazard's confidence was still high after the game. "I'm made for this s---," Lazard said.
"I knew what my capabilities were. I know the talent that I have, I know the production that I produced before. It's a different stage, but it's the same to me."Lazard also spoke about the importance of stepping up in the absence of two of the team's top receivers.Advertisement
With the severity of the injuries to Adams and Allison still unclear, it's possible that Lazard will have some more opportunities to prove himself next week against the Raiders. After putting up four catches for 65 yards and a score in just one quarter of NFL action, he's already shown he's more than ready.
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