Supporting cast's diversity has kept Packers' offense rolling

Green Bay rotating both stars and complementary pieces for QB Aaron Rodgers each week

RB Aaron Jones and TE Marcedes Lewis

GREEN BAY – The diversity of the highly productive Packers' offense goes beyond having a different individual standout in the first three games.

It's the complementary pieces that have changed each week as well.

While Davante Adams, Aaron Jones and Allen Lazard all have taken a star turn in the victories over the Vikings, Lions and Saints, respectively, the next-most-productive roles have been shared, too.

From Marquez Valdes-Scantling at Minnesota, to Jamaal Williams vs. Detroit, to the tight ends as a group down in New Orleans, the Packers' key supporting pieces for quarterback Aaron Rodgers are constantly changing.

That's not only made one of the league's top-ranked units (No. 1 in scoring, No. 2 in yards) more difficult to defend, it's also fostered a team mentality and togetherness in a relatively short period of time.

"I think that's what the Green Bay Packers are about," said tight end Robert Tonyan, who led a position group that collectively posted nine catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints. "I think that even our superstars don't really have superstar mentalities, they don't have superstar egos. When you're behind these doors and when you're in this locker room, you're loved by everyone, you're pushed by everyone, you're held to a certain standard.

"You've got to be wanting that pressure and wanting those moments so when they come to you and when your number's called you've already experienced it in your head. You're just ready for that moment."

So who's the next player(s) who must be ready? With the Packers hoping to get Adams back from a hamstring injury Monday night vs. Atlanta (he said Thursday he's feeling better but won't play unless he's 100%), Lazard has now been added to the injury report (core).

That would suggest continued unpredictability regarding who might step forward.

It could be time for Valdes-Scantling's first 100-yard game of the season, after coming so close in Week 1 (four catches, 96 yards, TD). Even though he only had one catch for 5 yards last week, he had a reception of 40-plus yards in each of the first two games.

Or perhaps Jamaal Williams is ready to bust loose following his quiet 17 yards from scrimmage last week after averaging 7.9 yards per carry against the Lions (eight rushes, 63 yards).

Or maybe someone amongst the tight ends will emerge more prominently with a big game. Tonyan has a touchdown catch two weeks in a row now for the first time in his young career. Marcedes Lewis got his first TD reception of 2020 last week, and second in three seasons with the Packers. Jace Sternberger bounced back from a couple of dropped passes in Week 2 to contribute three receptions for 36 yards last game, all in the fourth quarter.

Or, someone who hasn't had a significant opportunity yet will get his turn at some point soon, particularly if Lazard is out for any length of time.

Running back Tyler Ervin has yet to find a whole lot of space when he's touched the ball, but his speed makes him a regular threat. Rookie AJ Dillon's carries have been limited. Receivers Malik Taylor and Darrius Shepherd have played sparingly on offense, but that could change.

Whatever develops in the coming weeks, there's already a confidence within the offense as a whole that anybody can carry a meaningful load at any time because so many players already have done so.

"It just shows the depth that we have," Adams said. "We have multiple people at every position that can get it done.

"We've got a lot of guys who make sure they prepare like it'll be their week, and I feel like that's the best thing. Everybody's just always going full-tilt, got their mind right … everybody's on standby ready to make it happen."

That's how an offense can score 113 points in three games against vastly different defensive approaches.

The Vikings clamped down against Jones and the running game, so Adams and Valdes-Scantling burned them. The Lions turned a lot of attention to Adams, so Jones and Williams led a 259-yard rushing effort. Adams missed the Saints game, but Lazard and the tight ends became Rodgers' go-to guys.

Can the unit as a whole keep up this nearly 40-point-per-game pace? If contributions big and small keep coming from all angles, they believe so.

"That's kind of the mentality we're taking as we go through it," Adams said. "It hasn't been a crazy strain to do what we've done. I feel like it's not realistic to think we'll have 40 every game but it's not unrealistic to think we can do it either."

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