Heat from Packers TEs could burn Vikings

Posted Nov. 17, 2010 @ 3:51 p.m.
Posted By Dan Arkush

Each Wednesday throughout the season, we identify one Packers player, coach or area that is most under the microscope. This week the Packers’ TE corps is the choice.

It’s not imperative that the Packers get some mileage out of their TE corps this Sunday in Minnesota. But it certainly wouldn’t hurt. Last week in the Bears' 27-13 victory over the Vikings, Chicago's tight ends turned out to be a major factor, with Greg Olsen and Kellen Davis registering a combined four catches for 50 yards and two touchdowns (one TD apiece).

It was obvious that Green Bay’s offense was going to feel the effects of life without TE Jermichael Finley, who suffered what turned out to be a season-ending knee injury in the Week Five loss to the Redskins. But in their Week Seven win over the Vikings, both TEs Donald Lee and rookie Andrew Quarless made key contributions with a combined four catches for 43 yards, with Quarless providing a nine-yard TD catch. But over the past four games, Lee, Quarless and rookie Tom Crabtree have combined for only eight catches for 108 yards — or two catches and 27 yards per game.

With the addition of recently re-signed Spencer Havner, who had four TDs among his seven catches for the Packers last season, in addition to a TD in the playoff loss to the Cardinals, Green Bay’s tight ends could provide a big boost with better production than they have managed in the past month when matched up against a Vikings "D" that has had some obvious problems handling the TE position this season.