The Green Bay Packers announced their inactives list ahead of their Week 1 matchup with the Chicago Bears, which included seven players. After elevating Innis Gaines and Patrick Taylor, the Packers had 55 players eligible for Sunday’s game, but per NFL rules, only 48 players are eligible to be active.
After already being ruled out on Friday, Christian Watson was one of those inactives. Not only will the offense miss the big play potential that he brings to all levels of the field – and his experience – but his presence helps create opportunities for others with the attention he draws from defenders and the spacing he forces defenses to create.
However, more so than last year, with the speed that the Packers have elsewhere on offense, Green Bay does seem to be better equipped to handle Watson’s absence this year than last.
Also on the inactives list is offensive tackle Caleb Jones. With David Bakhtiari, Zach Tom, Rasheed Walker, and Yosh Nijman, the team has plenty of tackle depth. Green Bay will also sit running back Emanuel Wilson, a move that became evident was going to happen when Taylor was elevated. Although the team loves Wilson’s upside, in terms of who is the better special teams contributor today, that is Taylor, who played the second most starting special teams snaps of any Packer during the preseason.
Green Bay will be going somewhat light along the offensive line with Sean Rhyan inactive as well, leaving them with eight linemen available. If an injury were to occur along the interior offensive line, the Packers could move Tom to anyone of the positions with Walker or Nijman taking over at tackle, or Royce Newman is another option off the bench.
On defense, edge rusher Brenton Cox will be out as well. While he comes with a ton of upside, he is at the bottom of the depth chart at a very deep position group. Lastly, safeties Zayne Anderson and Anthony Johnson will also be on the inactives list. Anderson, like Sims, just joined the team a few weeks ago. He is in Green Bay to primarily be a special teams contributor, and with the elevation of Gaines, he will help fill that role.
Johnson, meanwhile, is still relatively new to playing safety, with this being only his second season at that position, along with also having to navigate the learning curve that comes with making the jump from college to the NFL. Along Gaines helping on special teams, if the Packers were to find themselves in a pinch, he could provide safety depth if needed.
As ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier in the day, wide receiver Romeo Doubs will be available, although he could potentially be on a snap count.