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Green Bay Packers Won’t Activate WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling Before TNF

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GLENDALE, Ariz. — No Davante Adams, no Allen Lazard and now no Marquez Valdes-Scantling for the Green Bay Packers on Thursday against the undefeated Arizona Cardinals.

Valdes-Scantling was their last chance to have one of their top three receivers for the game, but the Packers (6-1) failed to activate him, giving him more time to recover from a hamstring injury. He missed the last four games because of the injury.

Adams and Lazard were excluded due to COVID-19 protocols – the vaccinated Adams because of a positive test and Lazard as an unvaccinated close contact.

The Packers hoped on Wednesday that Lazard would be allowed to play before the NFL officially banned him in a phone call to the team, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported. Lazard, who has not been vaccinated, and his agent, Peter Schaffer, have argued to the league that Lazard was not in close contact with Adams and thus had no chance of transmitting COVID. Lazard was negative on five consecutive days of rapid and PCR testing. He also argued that his five-day quarantine period should have started Saturday instead of Sunday.

The NFL did not flinch and now Lazard could be acquitted as early as Friday, a day late. While the Packers weren’t sure if 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, tying in second. He has 37 more receptions than Lazard, the Packers’ second-closest wide receiver. That’s the biggest gap between a team’s two best receivers in the NFL. Adams has twice as many catches as the next closest Packer (Aaron Jones, 26).

Valdes-Scantling had just six catches for 76 yards and a touchdown in the first three games combined, but Rodgers complained that he missed 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 reception, on 33 catches for 690 yards and six touchdowns.

The Packers’ top remaining receivers are Randall Cobb, Equanimeous St. Brown, Malik Taylor and Amari Rodgers. Taylor had been on the COVID list since October 15, but was activated on Tuesday. The Packers have also brought wide receiver Juwann Winfree to the practice team’s active roster as a COVID replacement.

The Packers also activated IR tight end Dominique Dafney and raised guard Ben Braden from the exhibition squad to the active roster for Thursday night’s game.

The Packers are also without defensive coordinator Joe Barry due to COVID protocols. Defensive backs coach Jerry Gray and inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti will take over from Barry.

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