Late in Monday night’s game with the Detroit Lions, Aaron Rodgers was running low on options as the Green Bay Packers were trying to stage a comeback.
Davante Adams wasn’t playing, Geronimo Allison wasn’t able to finish the game after taking a shot to the head and rookie Darrius Shepherd was struggling.
Enter an unlikely hero, who had the guts to call his own route.
‘How can you not have confidence in that?’
In the fourth quarter, receiver Allen Lazard was in the huddle with Rodgers. The undrafted rookie last year who had but one career catch (for 7 yards) to his name was given a chance after Rodgers asked Green Bay receivers coach Alvis Whitted to put him on the field.
And Lazard started telling Rodgers the routes he wanted to run.
And Rodgers didn’t bristle.
“For a young guy to do that, how can you not have confidence in that?,” Rodgers said, via the team’s website.
With 9:17 to play and the Packers down 22-13, Rodgers looked to Lazard on a deep ball on second-and-5 from the Lions’ 35. That was incomplete. But he threw to him again on the next snap, down the left sideline, and though Lazard was well covered by Lions corner Justin Coleman, he made the catch for a touchdown.
He had three more catches on three targets on the Packers’ last possession, for 30 yards, helping Green Bay get into position for its last-second, game-winning field goal.
Preparation and practice
Undrafted out of Iowa State last year, Lazard had seen little game time — he’d played 21 total offensive snaps this season before Monday — but he’d earned Rodgers’ respect in the preseason and practice.
When it was time for final cuts to get to the 53-man roster on Sept. 1, the Packers released Lazard and signed him to the practice squad. But it didn’t last long.
“As disappointed as he was [in not making the initial 53] he didn’t hold any bitterness and let it affect his preparation and the way he practiced,” Rodgers said. “Sure enough he was back up [on the active roster] quickly.”
Rodgers noted that the offensive coaching staff has focused on specific roles for players, which he believes allows everyone “to really buy into their part on offense.”
“A guy basically his second time playing, telling me what routes he wants,” Rodgers said. “I felt pretty good about where he was at confidence-wise.”
More from Yahoo Sports: