The Green Bay Packers held their first mandatory small-camp training Tuesday, and only wide receiver Juwann Winfree was one of the standouts.
According to reporters in practice, Winfree was the first to line up during wide receiver drills, catching everything in his path. That carried over to the 7-on-7 segment where he got a massive 31-yard catch during a two-minute period with Jaire Alexander in coverage.
Juwann Winfree makes a nice adjustment to catch a 31-yard TD jump from Love in 2 minutes #packers
– Wes Hodkiewicz (@WesHod) 7 June 2022
Winfree is playing with great confidence after taking a step in the right direction last season. Unfortunately, a brilliant start to training camp was derailed by a shoulder injury that kept Winfrey on the sidelines in all three of his pre-season games. The injury likely cost him a place in the initial 53-man squad as he spent time switching between the coaching staff and the active roster.
In 2021, Winfree played in seven games, most notably filling in a wide receiving team against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 8. Sans Davante Adams and Allen Lazard, Winfree had four receptions totaling 30 yards. He finished his season with eight catches on 13 goals from 58 yards.
Winfree recently told Packers.com that “consistency and availability” are what they’re focusing on in heading into 2022.
“I feel like I was ready last year,” he said. “I was ready to take that next step, and I hit camp.”
Fast forward to today, Winfree is healthy and playing again. It comes at a good time with Adams now a member of the Las Vegas Raiders and Lazard still waiting to sign his contract bid. Now that Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target is no longer in the picture, Winfree’s goal is to support the standard created by previous Green Bay receivers.
“There is a reason this team wins every year,” Winfrey said. “If Tay is not there, the game will not fall. You never see the match regress because Davante is not there because it is the standard and quality of play that is set here.”
The Packers took three wide receivers into the 2022 NFL draft to help make up for Adams’ loss, but Winfree is entering his third season with Green Bay. Perhaps a surprising candidate for escalation in Adams’ absence.