Once in the game, Lazard took over. Equipped with a humble but confident persona, the 23-year-old receiver was even telling Rodgers different routes he wanted to run in the huddle.
The highlight came when Rodgers threw a tight spiral through the narrowest of windows down the sideline and connected with Lazard on a 35-yard touchdown.
“I told him to throw it to me every play but he didn’t listen,” said Lazard in a joking manner. “It felt great for him to call my number and throw an amazing ball and put it right there in the breadbasket.”
Rodgers has been a big fan of Lazard since he signed with Green Bay from Jacksonville’s practice squad late last season. While Lazard was one of the Packers’ preseason MVPs (six catches for 114 yards and a TD), he still was among the team’s final cuts.
As disappointing as it was for Lazard to start Week 1 on the practice squad, Green Bay promoted him to the active roster in time for its regular-season opener against the Chicago Bears.
Rodgers, who sits next to Lazard in meetings, came away relieved to still have the receiving prospect on the roster and impressed by how Lazard didn’t let it affect his performance.
“I was definitely worried he was going to get picked up, because the production was there in preseason,” Rodgers said. “And the body type, there’s just not that many guys like that who can run. Now, again, I go back to his mindset was the right one.”