Texans might have just thrown the Packers a WR lifeline

Zach Kruse
·2 min read

The Green Bay Packers attempted to upgrade the wide receiver position at the trading deadline but passed on the price tag required to acquire Houston Texans receiver Will Fuller.

A month later, the Texans might have just thrown the Packers a lifeline at wide receiver.

It’s not Fuller, who caught two touchdown passes for the Texans during Thursday’s win over the Detroit Lions, but Houston is releasing receiver Kenny Stills, according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.

He will go on waivers. It’s certainly possible no team will claim him, given his injury situation and remaining salary in 2020.

If Stills goes unclaimed, the Packers will have a perfect opportunity to add quality help at the receiver position without sacrificing draft capital or significant salary cap space.

Stills, 28, caught just 11 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown for the Texans over 10 games in 2020, and he’s currently dealing with a quad injury. However, Stills has 24 career touchdown catches in 117 career games and is averaging 15.6 yards per catch and 9.3 yards per target for his career.

Just last season, Stills caught 40 passes for 561 yards and four scores. He caught almost 73 percent of his target and averaged 10.2 yards per target, both terrific numbers at the position. He was No. 5 among all receivers by DVOA in 2019, showcasing his efficiency measured against others at his position.

A reliable deep threat with speed, Stills could provide the Packers offense with another field-stretching option to pair with Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who has been up and down throughout his career, and he’d be a clear upgrade – both talent-wise and experience-wise – over receivers such as Malik Taylor and Darrius Shepherd.

In fact, a top-four receiver group of Valdes-Scantling, Stills, Davante Adams and Allen Lazard could be formidable.

The Packers have performed exceedingly well in the passing game for long stretches in 2020 but could become more consistent and far more dangerous by adding Stills and his skillset into the mix over the final six games.

This is the type of move a Super Bowl contender like the Packers could make to solidify their position as the postseason approaches.

Several other contenders are likely in the market for a receiver, so it’s possible Stills will get claimed or have more money waiting for him elsewhere. If not, the fit couldn’t be better between Stills and the Packers, who need better depth at receiver and more reliability in the downfield passing game.

Fuller didn’t happen at the deadline. Stills could happen now. The Texans have offered up a lifeline for the Packers at receiver.