Valdes-Scantling was their last chance to have one of their top three receivers for the game, but the Packers (6-1) are not expected to activate him, giving him more time to recover from his hamstring injury, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He has missed the past four games because of the injury.
Adams and Lazard were ruled out because of COVID-19 protocols — the vaccinated Adams because of a positive test and Lazard as an unvaccinated close contact.
The Packers held out hope as late as Wednesday that Lazard could be cleared to play before the NFL officially ruled him out in a phone call to the team, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported. Lazard, who is unvaccinated, and his agent, Peter Schaffer, made a case to the league that Lazard was not a close contact to Adams and thus had no chance of COVID-19 transmission. Lazard was negative on five straight days of rapid COVID-19 and PCR testing. He also argued that his five-day quarantine period should have started Saturday instead of Sunday. The NFL didn’t budge on all that, and now Lazard could be cleared as early as Friday, one day too late. Though the Packers weren’t sure whether Adams would have been available for a typical Sunday game, Lazard most likely would have.
Adams ranks third in the NFL with 744 receiving yards on 52 receptions, which is tied for second. Adams’ receptions this season are twice as many as their next pass-catcher, running back Aaron Jones, and 37 more than Lazard (15), which is the largest gap between No. 1 and No. 2 receivers on a team in the NFL.
Valdes-Scantling had only six catches for 76 yards and a touchdown in the first three games combined, but Aaron Rodgers lamented missing him on more than one deep ball in those games. Last season, Valdes-Scantling led the NFL with an average of 20.9 yards per catch last season with 33 catches for 690 yards with six touchdowns.
The two receivers on the practice squad, Juwann Winfree and Chris Blair, could play against the Cardinals (7-0) if elevated by 4 p.m. ET. Tight end Dominique Dafney is also eligible to come off injured reserve.
The Packers also will be without defensive coordinator Joe Barry because of COVID-19 protocols. Defensive backs coach Jerry Gray and inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti will handle Barry’s duties.