Packers head coach Matt LaFleur says tight end Josiah Deguara suffered a “pretty bad” knee injury in the fourth quarter of the team’s win over the Falcons Monday night, and a source has confirmed to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky that the rookie tight end tore his ACL.
“Unfortunately it looks to be a pretty bad one,” LaFleur said Tuesday afternoon. “We expect him to bounce back from it, and we still think he’s got a really bright future.”
Deguara went down with under two minutes to go in the game, covering JK Scott’s final punt of the evening. He’d been battling injuries since Week 1 and had returned to the lineup on a limited basis, playing just seven snaps on offense for the Packers.
Deguara finishes his rookie campaign having played just 39 total snaps (31 on offense, eight on special teams). He caught one pass for 12 yards in the Packers’ Week 1 win over the Vikings.
The Packers have a couple of options for replacing Deguara in the lineup. Tight end John Lovett, claimed on waivers from the Chiefs in training camp, has done much of what was expected from Deguara in his absence. 2019 third-round pick Jace Sternberger, meanwhile, has also performed many of the H-back duties the Packers had in mind when they selected Deguara in this spring’s draft. Given Robert Tonyan’s emergence as the Packers’ top tight end, slotting Sternberger into Deguara’s role might be the best way to work Sternberger into the offense.