Green Bay Packers star might’ve discovered a career-altering revelation this offseason

Green Bay Packers news, Christian Watson
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers used the 34th overall pick on wide receiver Christian Watson in the 2023 NFL Draft, hoping the supreme athlete would develop into a consistent playmaker. After consecutive seasons that saw him limited by injury, Watson might’ve discovered something that could change the course of his career.

Watson showed a lot of athleticism and big-play ability as a rookie in 2022. He hauled in 41 receptions for 611 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns, seemingly emerging as the Packers’ No. 1 receiver. While there were questions about how he’d perform in the transition from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love, the rapport the two built on the practice field suggested it would be a strong on-field connection.

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  • Christian Watson stats (2023): 28 receptions, 422 receiving yards, 15.1 yards per catch, 5 touchdowns in 9 games

That chemistry appeared in flashes last season, with Watson averaging 15.1 yards per catch and scoring 6 touchdowns in 9 games. However, hamstring issues bothered him once again. With his absence, Dontayvion Wicks and Jayden Reed emerged as the leading receivers in Green Bay.

Coming off an injury-marred season, Watson used his free time this offseason to try and figure out the hamstring issues that have frequently been a problem for him. Thanks to the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health, the answer might’ve been found.

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In an excellent story detailed by Rob Demovsky of ESPN, Watson reveals how it was uncovered that symmetry could be the key to it all. Testing found that a muscle imbalance in Watson’s legs, which likely contributed to the hamstring issues that has forced him to miss 11 games in his first two seasons.

  • Christian Watson contract: $1.545 million salary in 2024 ($2.52 million cap hit), $1.965 million salary in 2025 ($2.94 million cap hit). 2026 NFL free agent

“For me, it really was the asymmetry between the legs. It comes from a lot of things. Obviously, the issues I’ve had in the past with hamstrings, not fully recovering from those strength-wise. I’ve been attacking the strength side of it, trying to get that symmetry back and it’s been huge for me. I feel really, really good. I gotta continue grinding at it.”

Green Bay Packers receiver Christian Watson on the discovered cause of his hamstring issues

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Before meeting with Wisconsin’s specialists, Watson had a 20 percent difference in muscle strength between his right and left legs. Coming out of the offseason, that figure is now hovering between 8% to 10%. Given perfect symmetry isn’t realistic, there’s hope he can get to 6%. If he does, many are hopeful it leads to fewer issues moving forward.

When he’s on the field and not limited by issues with his hamstring, Watson has been an explosive playmaker for Green Bay. He ranked 22nd in yards per reception last season and averaged the sixth-highest average target distance (15.4 yards), per PlayerProfiler.com. He also showed special talent as a rookie, averaging the 12th-highest yards per route run (2.40) with the seventh-best true catch rate.

If Watson’s hamstring injuries are behind him, a much-improved Packers offense will have another dynamic weapon at the disposal of quarterback Jordan Love and head coach Matt LaFleur. Already boasting a receiving corps headlined by Reed and Wicks, the Packers may finish the 2024 season with one of the best NFL receiving corps and that could lead to MVP-caliber play from Love.

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