“Eager and confident,” Juwann Winfree knows what the Packers receiver competition will demand

GREEN BAY — This time last year, Packers wide receiver Juwann Winfree was turning heads.

Becoming a popular and reliable target for quarterback Jordan Love during OTAs and minicamp, Winfree had a strong spring into a solid start to training camp before a shoulder injury sidelined him. gap for the three pre-season games.

The extended absence cost him a potential spot on the 53-man roster at the time of the downsizing, and he’s spent 2021 moving between the practice squad and the active roster, only to finally see action. in seven games.

In this context, it makes perfect sense for Winfree to quickly answer the following questions when asked the keys to advancing in 2022 in a crowded and competitive Green Bay receivers room:

“Consistency and availability,” Winfree said after Tuesday’s OTA workout. “I feel like I was ready last year. I was ready to take the next step and I got injured in camp.”

That said, there’s no denying he’s still made progress despite the health setback.

Originally a sixth-round pick by Denver in 2019 who played three games as a rookie, Winfree was signed to the Packers’ practice squad on Oct. 1, 2020 and was brought up twice on game day. .

He didn’t have any stats to show for his efforts, though, until he was called on duty in Week 8 last season at Arizona when the Packers’ receiving corps was decimated by injuries and the COVID.

In the big win on the road to Green Bay, Winfree contributed four receptions for 30 yards. Getting some extra action late in the season, he caught four more passes for 28 yards in the final two games of the regular season.

But the performance was uneven, hence the word “consistency” so quickly rolling out of his tongue. Against the Cardinals, he dropped a quick pass from Aaron Rodgers, and later fumbled after a short catch with the ball luckily going out of bounds. At Detroit in Week 18, he lost a fumble after a narrow reception in the Packers’ second-half opener, and the Lions scored a TD the following game.

Winfree has long shook off mishaps, and he doesn’t believe they happened because the lights were too bright, so to speak. No matter the ups and downs, the gaming experience was “everything” for him as he headed into some fierce competition in his position this summer.

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