The Green Bay Packers entered the 2020 offseason with some pretty obvious needs. They had a glaring lack of playmakers on the perimeter, and badly needed to find a complement to Davante Adams at the wide receiver spot. Pretty much everyone agreed on this. Everyone except, of course, the Packers themselves. Green Bay’s only addition of note at receiver was Devin Funchess, who ended up opting out of the season due to COVID-19. Instead, the Packers made additions to boost their run game, drafting A.J. Dillon in the second and H-back Josiah Deguara in the fourth. (They also traded up to draft their quarterback of the future in the first, but that’s a conversation for another day.) 

But prior to making those draft picks, the Packers let one of the best run-blocking tackles in the NFL (Bryan Bulaga) leave in free agency. Bulaga got a deal with the Chargers, and the Packers signed former Ravens and Lions tackle Rick Wagner in his place. Wagner struggled in all aspects of the game last season, but even at his best he was often better in pass protection than the run game, so he made for a bit of an odd addition given the direction the Packers apparently wanted to shift the offense.

Wagner struggled a bit with injuries during camp, but he was also apparently behind Billy Turner in the competition for Green Bay’s starting right tackle job. Wagner returned to practice last week, but was apparently still just in a competition for one of the two spots on the right side of the line. Now, though, Turner has suffered an injury of his own, and there’s a possibility that neither he nor Wagner is actually ready for Week 1. 

One of the moves Packers coach Matt LaFleur is apparently considering is moving second-year guard Elgton Jenkins outside to tackle, simply to get the best five linemen on the field for the season opener.

“I think we’re looking at every combination,” LaFleur said while confirming Jenkins is an option at right tackle, per The Athletic. “The goal is to always get your best five out there. We’ll look at everything.”  

Alex Light is presumably another possibility at tackle, but all of these decisions are complicated by injuries to the two guys who would appear to be the top options at the position. They don’t necessarily seem like candidates for injured reserve, so figuring out who is going to make the roster at all has to play into it, as well. 

With the Packers already a candidate for regression after finishing 13-3 with the point differential of a 9.7-win team last year, issues along the offensive line could push them back even further. 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here