The Packers announced on Monday that they placed running back Kylin Hill and tight end Robert Tonyan on injured reserve, expected moves following their knee injuries on Thursday Night Football against the Arizona Cardinals. In the same release, they stated they had activated Allen Lazard from the reserve/COVID-19 list, which was already known after he participated in Monday’s practice. For what it’s worth, head coach Matt LaFleur stated today that defensive coordinator Joe Barry and receiver Davante Adams, who are in the league’s COVID protocols, will likely return to the team on Thursday, signifying that they are in the 10-day protocol for team members who were symptomatic and tested positive for COVID.
Vaccinated individuals who are symptomatic must also return two negative tests taken at least 24 hours apart and must be asymptomatic for 48 hours. If vaccinated individuals don’t return two consecutive negative tests, they may return after 10 days.
Hill, a rookie, saw most of his snaps in his first season in the NFL as a special-teamer, notably starting as the team’s kick returner. LaFleur mentioned that receiver Malik Taylor was an option to replace him there and was who was back to return kicks following Hill’s injury. Dexter Williams, who was released during final cuts, was the only other player besides Hill to return a kickoff in the preseason for the Packers and is a street free agent. The Packers also only have two running backs on their active roster at the moment, meaning that practice-squadder Patrick Taylor, who essentially took an injury redshirt last season, could be moved up to the 53-man roster.
Tonyan will be much tougher to replace, considering he just started to flash similar production to what he posted in his 2020 season. With 37-year-old Marcedes Lewis listed as the team’s starter, the pitch count at tight end only becomes more of an obstacle. Dominique Dafney did just return from injured reserve, but Josiah Deguara is the most likely player to replace Tonyan’s snaps in passing situations. Last week, Deguara was barked at by quarterback Aaron Rodgers for not knowing where to line up, which caused the Packers to have to take a delay of game penalty. A few weeks ago, miscommunication between the two also caused Rodgers to dart what would have been an RPO pass into the dirt when the two weren’t on the same page.