In 2020, the Green Bay Packers planned to have third-round draft pick Josiah Deguara fill a variety of roles on offense. From tight end to fullback to H-back, the Packers viewed Deguara as a tool capable of pitching in at multiple positions. But when he suffered an injury early in the season and was later lost for the year with a torn ACL, the team turned to former Princeton quarterback John Lovett to fill one of those roles in particular: fullback.
Now, it appears that the team will need to find yet another option as a lead blocker. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Lovett has a torn ACL and will be out for the rest of the season. It appears likely that Lovett suffered the injury in practice on Thursday; he was listed as a full participant on Wednesday but was limited on Thursday’s report.
Lovett has played in all eight games this season for the Packers after starting the season on the practice squad. In the first two contests, Lovett was elevated to the active roster for gameday, but he was brought up fully onto the 53-man roster for week three. He has played just 45 snaps on offense, most as a lead blocker, though he did get three carries in garbage time against the San Francisco 49ers last Thursday. The other area where Lovett has contributed heavily is on special teams, as he has been on the field for more than half of the team’s special teams snaps this season.
The Packers will likely place Lovett on injured reserve before this weekend’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. While the team only uses a fullback on a handful of snaps in each game, Jace Sternberger could be a candidate to line up there moving forward. Another option would be for the Packers to elevate or promote another tight end/fullback from the practice squad, where Dax Raymond and Dominique Dafney both currently reside.
Lovett will now end both of his two NFL seasons on injured reserve. He missed all of 2019 on the Kansas City Chiefs’ IR list after suffering a shoulder injury in training camp.