Packers’ top 2 WRs miss Wednesday’s practice with injuries

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Jordan Love might be without two of his best receivers when the Packers play the rival Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field.

SHARE Packers’ top 2 WRs miss Wednesday’s practice with injuries

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson celebrates after catching a preseason touchdown last month.

Mike Roemer, AP Photos

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Jordan Love might be without his two best receivers when the Packers play the rival Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field. Taking their place could be a rookie from Naperville Central.

Christian Watson, who is the Packers’ leading returning receiver from 2022, did not practice Wednesday because of a hamstring injury that was not previously reported. Fellow receiver Romeo Doubs, who is second among returning Packers in receiving yards, did not practice because of an ongoing hamstring injury.

It’s bad timing, with a rivalry game awaiting them.

“The one thing about this league is, ‘Nobody cares,’” said Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, who is 8-0 against the Bears. “You have to find a way to get it done.”

Jayden Reed, a rookie who spent his senior season at Naperville Central High School, would be the Packers’ leading receiver in their place. He was the Packers’ second-round pick in April after starring at Michigan State.

A Devin Hester fan as a child, Reed cheered alongside his parents when the Bears played on television. He’s never been to Soldier Field to see an NFL game, though — his lone trip was to watch his cousin play a high school contest there.

Landing in Green Bay and opening against the Bears feels fated to Reed. When he moved from Aurora to Naperville for his senior year, he noticed a previous tenant had left an unopened package under his bed. He never opened it — “I’m not that adventurous when it comes to mysteries like that,” he said — but his mom saved it for five years. Last week, curiosity got the best of her. She opened the package.

Inside was — get this — a Packers toy train set.

“Crazy,” he said.

Watson came on strong toward the end of his rookie season last year. After averaging 14.7 receiving yards over his first six games in 2022, he averaged 65.4 in his final eight. Watson had seven catches for 48 yards and a touchdown in the Dec. 4 rivalry game — and one 46-yard touchdown run.

“It was a good draft pick for them,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said Monday of Watson. “He’s obviously very talented. He’s got that speed. He’s got a lot of good things that he does. He’s powerful, he’s big, big catch radius. So I think he’s a talent for sure.”

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