Sammy Watkins knows he has to stay healthy to revive his career with the Packers

Another injury Sammy Watkins was overweight and thinking his NFL career could be over. He has another chance to downsize and produce with the Green Bay Packers, but the veteran receiver knows he must stay healthy and be available for a career turnaround.

“This was the knockout blow to my career, staying on the court,” Watkins admitted on Wednesday.

Watkins, who turns 29 next week, has played 13 games or less in five of the NFL’s eight seasons. He missed six matches during the 2020 season and four more last year. Of his 129 total regular season games since he was drafted to fourth in 2014, Watkins has played 99, which means he has missed 25 percent of his total NFL games.

Ongoing injuries can fatigue the player and dry up job opportunities.

Watkins admitted he gained about 220 pounds while recovering from an injury last year, but said Green Bay could be a place where he can “revive his career.” He’s now down in the 215-pound range and wants to play close to 210. He knows he can’t stop injuries, but he will do everything in his power to prevent them.

“I just do everything in my power and strength to stay on the field,” Watkins said. “When I am on the field, I can ball, I can catch the ball, I can score. I am a dominant player. But the key is to stay on the field.”

Watkins said his “back against the wall” because his career thus far has not lived up to his expectations, mostly due to injuries. But he believes playing with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay could be “the best situation he’s been in” during his NFL career.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to come here, play hard, catch a lot of balls, compete at the highest levels and win matches and fight to stay healthy,” Watkins said. “Having this opportunity is a blessing…I hope to have a healthy season, play hard and win many matches.”

Watkins thinks he has a lot to prove. He hasn’t produced over 500 yards since 2019.

On Tuesday, Aaron Rodgers expressed confidence in Watkins’ opportunities. Head coach Matt LaFleur said earlier on Wednesday that Watkins will be a “big part” of the Packers attack in 2022. His experience could be valuable at Green Bay as the Packers try to replace Davante Adams and Marquess Valdes-Scantling in the pass match.

After last season, when he only got 27 assists for the Baltimore Ravens, Watkins wasn’t sure where his career would go or whether it would last.

“Last year I hurt again, and I think I’m sitting on the couch, I’m going to be out of work. To get that call (from the Packers), it feels like I have another chance, another chance, to get in and play hard and stay healthy,” Watkins said.

Could playing a full season with the four-time best player renew the career of one of the top five of the 2014 season? Only if it is in the field. Watkins is a desperate man to avoid injury and has played an entire year.

Perhaps divine intervention is required.

“I pray to have a healthy season.”

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