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Game notes: Bo Melton's perseverance rewarded with first NFL TD, 100-yard day

Jayden Reed breaks Sterling Sharpe’s rookie record; Aaron Jones again busts through

WR Bo Melton
WR Bo Melton

MINNEAPOLIS – The first two years of Bo Melton's NFL career have been an exercise in patience and persistence, but through all the ups and downs, the Packers receiver never lost sight of the end goal.

On Sunday, Melton finally got a taste of that.

Elevated from the practice squad for the primetime matchup against Minnesota, the 24-year-old receiver hauled in six catches for 105 yards and his first NFL touchdown in a 33-10 rout of the Vikings.

With his 37-yard catch from backup quarterback Sean Clifford late in the fourth quarter, Melton became the first Green Bay wideout to eclipse 100 receiving yards in a game this season.

"It means a lot to me," Melton said. "I just love competing, love coming out here with my guys, just competing every day no matter what position I'm in. I'm just going to compete and get better every day."

Melton spent the first 2½ months on the practice squad before injuries began sweeping through the receiver position, most recently sidelining Christian Watson (hamstring) and Dontayvion Wicks (chest).

After amassing 51 total yards on five touches last week in Carolina, Melton proved difficult for the Vikings to keep tabs on Sunday. He caught an early third-down conversion before coming free for a 28-yard reception near the end of the first quarter.

The 5-foot-11 receiver had one regret – failing to bring in a fourth-and-1 pass from the Vikings' 24 in the second quarter – but Melton more than made up for it when he caught a 9-yard touchdown from quarterback Jordan Love late in the third quarter to push Green Bay's lead to 30-3.

"When I saw the ball in the air, I was like I'm coming down with it," Melton said. "There's nobody around so I had to come down with it. I dropped one earlier and I was (ticked) off about it. Jordan threw a great ball. I dropped one and I told him, 'I'll get you back bro. I can't leave with that.'"

Melton took on an increased role after top receiver Jayden Reed left with a chest injury at halftime, catching an 11-yard pass on third-and-7 to extend a 13-play drive in the fourth quarter that drained nearly eight minutes off the clock.

Just 14 days removed from catching his first NFL pass two weeks ago against Tampa Bay, Melton notched his first 100-yard receiving day when he came wide open on a third-and-6 play-action pass from Clifford, after which the Packers kneeled out the clock.

In the postgame locker room, Romeo Doubs and several other receivers cheered Melton on as a horde of media surrounded his locker.

"When his number was called, he stepped up," said running back Aaron Jones of Melton. "You never know when you're gonna get another opportunity. Even last week, when he got his opps, he stepped up and this week even bigger. It was what, our first receiver with over 100 this year. That's just a testament to him, the receiver room, and our coaching, as well."

It was a little more than one year ago the Packers signed Melton off Seattle's practice squad. While he didn't make Green Bay's roster out of training camp, the former Rutgers standout chose to stay on the Packers' practice squad rather than testing the waters elsewhere.

On Sunday, Melton moved his team one step closer to the NFC playoffs.

"It's just amazing. I don't have any words for it," Melton said. "I'm just happy to be in this position, happy to have a team that believed in me to go out here and play."

Check out photos from the Week 17 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023.