Green Bay Packers: Let’s Hope Kevin King Plays Against Tampa Bay

Kevin King will be a game-time decision on Sunday, but against this stout Bucs’ WR group, let’s hope he can take the field for the Green Bay Packers.

With the bye week in the rearview mirror, the Green Bay Packers did get some good news on the injury front this week as both Davante Adams and Kenny Clark are good to go for Sunday’s game in Tampa Bay. Unfortunately, there are still a few other key players whose status for this week’s game is up in the air, and one of those players is cornerback Kevin King.

King left the Atlanta game early and has been on the injury report all week dealing with a quad issue. Now, for some more good news, he did practice in a limited fashion for the first time all week on Friday, but he is listed as questionable, and Matt LaFleur called King a game-time decision.

After battling injuries during his first two NFL seasons, which forced King to miss 17 of his first 32 games, we saw him stay healthy for the most part in 2019 as he put together a very solid season. This year we’ve seen King helping more in the run game, while his 15.1 coverage snaps per reception allowed ranks as the 13th best among all cornerbacks, as does his 9.3 snaps per target this season, according to Pro Football Focus ($).

It goes without saying, but of course, a team never wants to be without one of their top corners. However, I’m going to say it anyway, if King is unable to play against the Buccaneers and their loaded wide receiver corps, he will be sorely missed.

On Friday, it was announced that Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Scotty Miller would all be playing on Sunday. Evans is tied for the league lead in touchdown receptions and has been a favorite target of Tom Brady’s in the red zone. Then there is Godwin, who has missed the last two games but is coming off a 1,333-yard season and has been very efficient in his limited action in 2020.

Meanwhile, Miller has proven to be another reliable target for Brady, hauling in 15 receptions on 20 targets at nearly 17 yards per catch.

Although Brady is certainly willing to take the easy throws in the flat or dink and dunk his way down the field, he’s also going to air it out as well. Through Tampa’s five games, Brady is tied with Aaron Rodgers for the most downfield throws this season, and the Bucs’ have 18 explosive pass plays, which is the sixth most in football.

If King can play, his 6’3″ – 200 pound frame makes him a good matchup with Evans. However, if he remains sidelined, the big question is, who takes over as CB2?

If the Green Bay Packers intend to leave Chandon Sullivan in the slot where he has been very good once again, that means they’ll have to rely on either Josh Jackson or Ka’dar Hollman out wide. While we heard good things about Jackson during camp, he has continued to struggle in his limited action during the regular season, especially against Atlanta. Hollman, on the other hand, hasn’t allowed a reception on three targets this season, but his inexperience against a quarterback like Brady is worrisome.

So although we want to continue seeing Sullivan in the slot, in a perfect world, I believe the best option is to move him out wide and have Raven Greene and Darnell Savage take over those slot duties.

Up against this Tamp Bay receiving corps, the Green Bay Packers secondary will have their toughest test of the season, and they could be without one of their top cornerbacks. With or without King, it’s going to be key that the defensive front puts pressure on Brady and makes him uncomfortable, but that rings especially true if they are without their CB2.

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Despite an okay 3-2 record, this is a very talented Buccaneers team with plenty of weapons on offense, so let’s hope King is good to go for Sunday’s game. Otherwise, Green Bay may end up relying on a few unproven and inexperienced players to take his place.