GREEN BAY, Wis. — Packers coach Matt LaFleur wouldn’t say how close the team came to a trade for Houston Texans receiver Will Fuller before Tuesday’s deadline, but he said there was no disagreement when it came to how Green Bay should handle the negotiations.
“I don’t know if anything ever got that serious,” LaFleur said after Tuesday’s trade deadline.
Multiple media reports indicated the Packers offered the Texans a fourth-round pick, but Houston wanted no less than a second-rounder. ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that there was a disagreement within “the highest levels of the organization” over whether adding a top-end receiver in the short term was worth the price.
LaFleur said he was in regular contact with general manager Brian Gutekunst throughout the process.
“I have no idea where anything like that would ever come from,” LaFleur said. “We’re in constant communication, we’re on the same page and there is no truth to that. I promise you that.”
Had the Packers traded for Fuller or any other player on Tuesday, he would not have been able to play Thursday at San Francisco because of COVID-19 intake protocols.
“I wouldn’t say we necessarily need to, because I think we’ve shown what we can do,” Packers receiver Davante Adams said Tuesday when asked about adding a receiver. “When I went down, guys stepped up and did what they had to do. Stepped up big. I wouldn’t say it’s a need. Obviously, I’ve said this before, I don’t think it’s any secret that could help us potentially. I wouldn’t be opposed to it. It could help us. But I definitely got full faith and trust in my guys here to be able to get it done.”
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, when asked whether he has talked to Gutekunst about possible trade help, said: “I’m just going to reiterate what I’ve said and continue to say, is that I clearly understand my role and my place on the team, and that’s my focus.”
The Packers could actually get some receiver help for Thursday’s game at San Francisco in the form of Allen Lazard, who hasn’t played since Week 3. That’s when he had his eight-catch, 146-yard, one-touchdown game against the Saints. Just days after that game, he underwent core muscle surgery and was placed on injured reserve. He returned to practice last week but was not activated for Sunday’s loss to the Vikings.
“I think he’s really close,” LaFleur said. “I think he’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do, and the trainers have asked him to do, and it’s just a matter of when we feel like it’s safe for him to go out there, and then he’ll be out there. I know he wants to be out there in the worst way, and he wishes he was out there yesterday. But we’re going to take our time and be smart with him and make sure that he’s able to go out there and play to the level that he’s been able to do for the last year and a half.”
LaFleur sounded less optimistic about running back Aaron Jones‘ status, saying, “We’ll give him up to game time, and then we’ll figure it out. So, we’ll see.”
Jones has missed the past two games because of a calf injury, and the Packers already know they will be without two of their other top running backs, Jamaal Williams and AJ Dillon, because they were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week along with linebacker Kamal Martin.