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Lane Taylor’s accomplishments in Green Bay deserve attention

If Taylor’s knee injury means the end of his time in Green Bay, we should take a moment and appreciate what he’s accomplished.

Green Bay Packers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Rob Leiter/Getty Images

Lane Taylor’s season is likely over. The eighth-year Green Bay Packers guard left Sunday’s game against the Vikings with what looked to be a knee injury, and subsequent reporting has, at the very least, confirmed what the Packers feared. Taylor will require surgery and likely will not be available for the remainder of the 2020 season, and likely beyond.

A free agent after this year, Taylor already took a pay cut to stay in Green Bay. The Packers seemed prepared to move on, but Taylor wanted to be here. “We looked at all of our options,” he told reporters in training camp, “but we liked Green Bay and I feel like it’s the best spot for me.”

Green Bay should like him, too. An undrafted free agent in 2013, Taylor has been a remarkable success story. Just 11 offensive linemen taken in the 2013 NFL Draft have played more games than Taylor’s 79, and few can match his list of career accomplishments.

Taylor has been reliable and dependable throughout his tenure. It was Taylor the Packers had in mind when they dumped Josh Sitton on the eve of the 2016 season, and it was Taylor who provided a personal escort for Aaron Rodgers on his legendary strike to Jared Cook in the playoffs that very season. It was Taylor that stepped in on short notice to play left tackle early in 2017, doing whatever the Packers asked of him despite having limited — at best — experience in that spot.

It was that same Taylor who started 46 of 48 possible games from 2016 through 2018, itself a noteworthy feat for a former undrafted free agent.

The Packers will carry on without him, of course, as they have before. Just as Elgton Jenkins did last year, rookie Jon Runyan stepped in and filled the gap admirably. General manager Brian Gutekunst is no doubt scouring the waiver wire for whatever help might be available. But I think we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to appreciate what Taylor has done in Green Bay.

If this is indeed the end, and it very well could be, it’s been quite a ride.