Matt LaFleur: ‘It’s tough’ for rookie Christian Watson to miss training camp time

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Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur admitted there will be a challenge ahead for rookie wide receiver Christian Watson, who has missed the first five practices of training camp – and will likely miss more – while on the PUP list with a knee injury.

LaFleur specifically pointed to some of the pre-snap adjustments within the Packers offense that are best learned by a young player while on the field in a practice environment.

“Yeah, it’s tough, because there’s nothing like getting those real live reps, even if it’s in a walkthrough situation,” LaFleur said Monday. “Just some of the subtleties that our quarterbacks can do at the line of scrimmage, to change a play or tweak a play, when you’re not out there doing it, it is an adjustment.”

Watson, the 34th overall pick, had surgery on his knee in June to fix an issue that popped up during the offseason workout program. He’s missed the start of training camp, and there’s no timeline for him to return currently.

It’s increasingly possible that Watson could miss a preseason game. The Packers will hold their annual “Family Night Scrimmage” this Friday and then start the preseason next Friday in San Francisco.

Watson said he’s taking mental reps during practice to make sure he’s not falling too far behind, but there’s no way to fully replace the value of on-field snaps.

While Watson heals on the sideline, fellow rookie Romeo Doubs has been the talk of training camp while making big plays on throws from Aaron Rodgers.

“Not having Christian out here has probably been tough for him, but I expect him back in a couple of weeks,” Rodgers told NFL Network on Saturday.

LaFleur is banking receivers coach Jason Vrable to get help get Watson caught up once he’s healed and ready to return.

“I’ve got confidence in, not only Christian, but Vrable, and we’ll get him back up to speed once he’s back out there,” LaFleur said.

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Story originally appeared on Packers Wire