With the Green Bay Packers returning to the practice field on Friday after an off day Wednesday and a day of societal reflection on Thursday, the team got some good news on the injury front. Two of Green Bay’s offensive linemen returned to the practice field, according to reports from media members in attendance, as Rick Wagner and Yosh Nijman are back and working.
Wagner, signed as a free agent over the offseason, is competing for the starting right tackle job. He has been part of a three-man competition for the two spots on the right side of the line, working against Billy Turner in particular at tackle while Turner and Lane Taylor try to decide the right guard position. Wagner’s chances seemed to take a hit last weekend, when he suffered an elbow injury that held him out of the team’s last few practices.
However, today’s return means the competition is back on in earnest. The Packers have eight days to go until final cuts come down next Saturday, and every drill and rep will be critical for deciding on the starters.
The Packers also got a boost to their depth on the ends of the offensive line today as Yosh Nijman practiced for the first time in camp. Nijman began training camp on the active/Physically Unable to Perform list, failing his physical to start camp following an elbow injury last season. That injury landed him on injured reserve late in the year after he had earned a midseason promotion from the practice squad to the active roster.
Nijman’s size and athletic ability make him an exciting candidate as a potential backup swing tackle in 2020 and beyond. As an undrafted rookie in 2019, he showed his exciting raw ability as well as his inexperience in last year’s training camp. If last season’s action and spending a virtual offseason learning the offense can translate to the field, he should be a strong candidate to make the 53-man roster next week as a backup.