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Packers WR Christian Watson questionable for Thursday Night Football vs. Lions in Week 4

Green Bay’s top wideout hasn’t played this season due to a hamstring injury. He’s expected to return to the lineup in a big NFC North matchup. We break down the impact.

Christian Watson of the Green Bay Packers looks on before a game against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field on September 24, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Update, Sept. 27 — Watson is listed as questionable for Thursday’s game. He is expected to suit up to make his seasonal debut, but his status will be determined after pregame warmups.

Green Bay Packers WR Christian Watson told reporters Tuesday that he plans to play in Week 4 vs. the Detroit Lions on Thursday Night Football. Watson has missed the first three games of the season due to a hamstring injury. He was able to practice in a limited capacity last week but was inactive for the Packers’ 18-17 comeback win over the New Orleans Saints to improve to 2-1. We’ll break down the fantasy football impact of Watson’s return.

Update — Watson logged a limited practice on Tuesday ahead of TNF. We’ll see if he enters the game with a designation of questionable. If he’s able to get a full practice in Wednesday, that’d be a good indicator he’s definitely going to play.

Fantasy football implications for Week 4

On top of Watson it appears that RB Aaron Jones is also going to be active for TNF this week. If that’s the case, the Packers’ offense should be at full-strength for the first time this season, at least the skill position players. The Packers have used a committee approach at wide receiver with Romeo Doubs, Jayden Reed, Dontayvion Wicks and Samori Touri all contributing in some capacity.

If Watson is back in Week 4, that shouldn’t impact Doubs much. He’s been the clear No. 1 option for QB Jordan Love with Watson out. That could continue even when Watson returns. Reed should also see snaps/targets. Wicks and Touri will probably take the biggest hit in usage, not that either way viable in fantasy anyway. Perhaps the biggest player impacted could be Love.

The first-year starter has looked great through his first three games in 2023. His completion percentage leaves a bit to be desired and his INT in Week 3 wasn’t great, but that’s been his lone pick. Love has just two turnovers on the season and has only taken three sacks. Getting another weapon like Watson back should help stretch the field and keep defenses more honest. Same goes for Jones being back.

If Watson is active, you’re starting him in fantasy football. The only reason to leave him on your bench would be if he’s on a pitch count of sorts. Even so, this is a good matchup vs. Detroit at home on a short week. Maybe in standard formats we think twice about rolling Watson out and wait and see how things go. In PPR, he should be a safe WR2 or FLEX option.