With Jimmy Graham having departed in free agency, Sternberger has an opportunity to see an expanded role in 2020, Zach Kruse of USA Today reports. The report relays that the Packers have plans to use Sternberger "in the slot a lot" this coming season. Robert Tonyan could also see added opportunities in 2020, but Sternberger, who Green Bay selected 75th overall in last year's NFL Draft, is viewed by Larry McCarren of the Packers' official site as a player with the skills to move into a more prominent pass-catching role. Though the Texas A&M product didn't catch any regular-season passes in 2019, Sternberger did haul in three receptions for 15 yards and a TD in two playoff contests. Veteran Marcedes Lewis remains in Green Bay's tight end mix as well, but Sternberger's ability as a route runner could help him emerge as a fantasy sleeper in his second campaign as a pro.
Sternberger appeared in six regular-season games during his rookie season and did not catch a pass while being targeted only once. He did tally three receptions for 15 yards and a touchdown over two postseason games, though. Sternberger got a late start to his career after missing the first eight games of the season with an ankle injury, and he played mostly a bit role after that. He did end the season on a high note, playing a career-high 28 offensive snaps in the Packers' divisional-round victory and finding pay dirt for the first time in the NFC Championship Game. Sternberger was a third-round pick last season, so while he was quiet as a rookie, he'll surely get more chances to contribute in his second season. He could even be in the mix for a starting spot should the Packers part ways with Jimmy Graham and/or Marcedes Lewis.
Sternberger (coach's decision) is officially inactive for Monday's game against Minnesota. The 23-year-old had suited up the past three games, playing 36 total snaps, but failed to haul in a pass. In Sternberger's stead, Jimmy Graham, Marcedes Lewis and Robert Tonyan will operate as the team's tight ends for Week 16.
Sternberger played 14 snaps but was not targeted in Sunday's victory over the Bears. Sternberger has now appeared in five games since being activated from injured reserve, but he is still looking for his first career reception. Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of Sternberger's Week 15 participation is the fact he played the third-most snaps among the team's tight ends for the first time in a game where there were four active players at the position.
Sternberger was targeted for the first time in his career but did not catch a pass in Sunday's victory over Washington. Sternberger didn't see a pass in his direction in the first three games he appeared in after spending Weeks 1-8 on injured reserve, but he finally had one thrown his way Week 14. It nearly resulted in his first touchdown as the pass was thrown into the end zone, but he and quarterback Aaron Rodgers couldn't connect. Sternberger has a future with the Packers after being selected in the third round of this year's draft, but at the moment he slots in fourth on the depth chart.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/28||@New Orleans Saints||8||6.12|
|6||10/18||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23||7.63|
|9||11/06||@San Francisco 49ers||6||5.42|
|3 Year Avg||1||0||0||0||0||0.00||0|