Jimmy Graham‘s stat line against the Eagles wasn’t bad, he caught six passes for 61 yards and a touchdown.
But for a guy the Packers paid to be an integral part of their offense, the stuff that’s not there stands out as well.
There was a potential touchdown against the Eagles lost when he tried to one-hand it, as well as the two games previous when he made no impact on the box score.
“He’s well aware that he should have gone up with two [hands] on the last one,” Packers tight ends coach Justin Outten said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “. . . He’s a true competitor, and a true competitor obviously wants to have a big part in helping the team win. He was a little frustrated going into this game. It was our job to get him the ball. In previous weeks, when you have him as the first look and first read, sometimes the defense has other plans.
“Certain situations the last couple weeks against good defenses, they took away some of those situations. It was good to see him get rolling [against the Eagles].”
The Packers gave Graham a three-year, $30 million contract last offseason, and the veteran tight end caught just two touchdowns (after 10 the year before in Seattle). They could clearly use him (especially this week when wide receiver Davante Adams‘ status in question because of a turf toe injury).
While the struggles have been real, quarterback Aaron Rodgers still believes in him.
“The trust is high with Jimmy,” Rodgers said. “I’ve got a lot of faith in him. He made a great adjustment on the touchdown in the first half, the two-minute drive. Not something we talked about — he just wheeled it up. I saw him, and he made a nice catch on the ball. I know he probably expects to make one of those two plays there [from the 1-yard line], but I have a ton of confidence in Jimmy.”
Perhaps at some point the Packers will get more of a return on their financial investment in Graham, along with some justification for the quarterback’s faith.