Bay Packers' Jarrett Boykin (11) dives into the eend zone
oCleveland Browns' Buster Skrine (22) and Joe Haden (23) for a
touchdown catch during the second half of an NFL football game
Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, in Green Bay. The Packers won 31-13.
GREEN BAY - Jarrett
Boykin wasn't sure what the big deal was.
The Green Bay
Packers' second-year wide receiver had caught eight passes for 103
yards and a touchdown to help his injury-depleted team to a home
victory over Cleveland on Sunday.
It never occurred
to him that such a performance in his first NFL start — with
fellow wide receivers Randall Cobb and James Jones sidelined by
injury — might be considered newsworthy.
It took wide
receiver Jordy Nelson and a public-relations staffer to convince him
to stick around for what would turn out to be an extended session at
his locker with reporters.
about his attempted quick getaway, as he prepared to make his second
straight start Sunday night against the Minnesota Vikings at the
Metrodome, Boykin smiled.
"I'm just used
to taking off and just going. I didn't know I had to stay,"
said Boykin, who would try the same thing in college at Virginia
Tech — even though he left there as the school's all-time leader
in receptions (184) and yards receiving (2,884).
really like giving interviews. I don't really like to draw too much
It's too late for
that, as Boykin's play has gotten the Vikings' attention.
not a whole lot of people knew about him. Now, they do,"
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday.
"He has to
overcome that challenge of people now have film on him, how are they
going to play him and how are they going to game-plan (him)? That's
all part of being successful in this league."
Bay Packers' Jordy Nelson (87) celebrates his touchdown catch
with teammate Jarrett Boykin (11) during the second half of an
NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Sunday, Oct.
20, 2013, in Green Bay. The Packers won 31-13.
chuckled at the suggestion that the Vikings would be concerned about
him, "I mean, I don't necessarily think people are scheming for
me or anything," he said.
There's no doubt
the Packers will be counting on him again this week.
With Cobb on
injured reserve with the designation for return (the earliest he
could play is Dec. 15 at Dallas) with a broken leg and Jones
unlikely to play after sitting out practice again Thursday, the
6-foot-2, 218-pound Boykin is likely to see Aaron Rodgers throw some
passes his way.
And with tight end
Jermichael Finley out after suffering a frightening neck injury, the
Packers will be relying on previously unheralded players such as
"If you have a
player truly say, 'It's not about me, it's about the team,' then he
would be one of the guys who'd be, as they say, the poster child of
that campaign," wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett said.
stress enough, I love that quality about him. You've seen guys where
they go out and have success and it goes to their head. This kid is
"I love his
mindset. Whenever we get to the point where we think we've got it
all figured out or we've arrived, then it's all downhill from there.
... What you did last week — that doesn't matter.
"What will you
do this week? When you step on the field, they don't care about what
you did last week. Show what you're capable of this week."
As an undrafted
rookie free agent last year, Boykin saw action in 10 games and
played 96 snaps after making the roster as the No. 6 wide receiver.
reception was a fourth-down catch against the Vikings in the
regular-season finale that picked up a key first down, although he
injured his ankle on the play and missed the playoffs.
With McCarthy using
Cobb, Jones and Nelson almost exclusively in the team's
three-receiver sets, Boykin had played just 10 snaps through the
first four games this season.
Then at Baltimore
on Oct. 13, Jones injured a knee in the first quarter and Cobb was
lost to a broken leg just before halftime.
After a rocky start
— he dropped the first two passes thrown his way — Boykin had a
43-yard catch-and-run that jump-started the Packers' offense in the
In the past two
weeks, he's played more snaps (128) than he had in his career up to
first day he came here, you could see he belonged on the
field," said McCarthy, recalling that Boykin came as a tryout
player to the 2012 post-draft rookie orientation camp — after
being cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars after just four days on their
roster — and earned a contract with his play.
physical kid, would compete, really competed on special teams. So I
liked that about him initially. I just think he has learned to relax
a little bit and play.
"He puts a lot
of pressure on himself. He's a very tough young man and I think
you're seeing the benefits of it now. I can't say enough about his
work, what he's put into getting ready for his opportunity."