The Green Bay Packers famously passed on adding a wide receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft—taking quarterback Jordan Love in the first round. The team had added a pretty notable weapon before the draft, in former Carolina Panthers wideout Devin Funchess.
Funchess was a pretty productive player for Carolina from 2015-18. In 2017, his best season as a pro so far, he caught 63 passes for 840 yards and eight touchdowns.
Unfortunately his 2019 season was derailed before it really began. In the first game of the season, he suffered a season-ending broken collarbone. He finished with three catches for 32 yards in his lone appearance.
Last year, after signing with Green Bay, he elected to be with his family through the first year of COVID-19. In the announcement that he would be sitting out of the 2020 season, he revealed that he had close relative that had caught the virus and experienced its “life-threatening impact.” His decision was certainly understandable, but now he’s ready to play for the first time in basically two years.
"It's just a blessing to be able to have the opportunity to play with these guys with the 'G' on my helmet."@D_FUNCH stepped back on an NFL field for the first time in exactly 21 months & it felt like he never left. 📰 https://t.co/gPINY419JS
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) June 10, 2021
“I’ll never doubt myself,” Devin Funchess said during minicamp this week, per the Associated Press. “The moment you start doubting yourself, you lose. I like to win. I don’t like to lose. So I guarantee I’ll keep a smile on my face and we’re going to be dancing a lot.”
“I’m ready to play… I’m 27 years old. There’s nothing to question. I’m about to step into my prime, probably this year, next year, whatever it is.”
Funchess is something of a new addition for the Green Bay Packers, given the circumstances. He was understandably excited to get out there with his new-ish teammates this week.
“I was eager, anxious this last week just to get back around big, grown men and the team, the camaraderie, just the atmosphere,” he said.
The big question is which quarterback will throw him his first pass since 2019 when the season gets underway in September. He doesn’t seem concerned about it. “Mind each other’s business, and we play with the 11 we have in the building,” he told the media this week. “Let the man (Aaron Rodgers) handle his business, and we play with the 11 we have on the field at the time.”