The Green Bay Packers have officially placed offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins on the injured reserve list following his ACL tear last week against the Minnesota Vikings. Jenkins had previously started for the team across the offensive line, but more recently played left tackle with David Bakhtiari recovering from his own ACL tear from last season.
The Packers will now be starting Yosh Nijman, who got three nods as quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ blindside bookend earlier in the year, at left tackle until Bakhtiari is healthy enough to play games. It was reported on Tuesday that Bakhtiari had a follow up surgery on his knee and that he and the team are hopeful that he can return to the field in December.
The Packers’ corresponding roster transaction with Jenkins’ placement on IR was to bring up offensive lineman Ben Braden up from the practice squad. Early on in the summer, with both Jenkins and Bakhtiari out, Braden actually saw first-team snaps at left tackle with the Packers. When the final 53-man roster was composed, it was actually a bit of an upset that Nijman made the team over Braden, who had been active for four regular-season games in Green Bay in 2020.
Braden has been called up three times this season off of the practice squad, against the Bengals, the Football Team and the Cardinals, but has played all 27 of his snaps on special teams. It’s interesting that the team didn’t promote either outside linebacker La’Darius Hamilton or receiver Juwann Winfree, who were activated off of the practice squad to play against Minnesota. Hamilton seems to have been passed up by last week’s practice squad call-up Tipa Galeai, but Winfree out-snapped rookie third-round pick Amari Rodgers on offense versus the Vikings.
If for whatever reason the Packers do need to use another tackle off the bench, though, their options are now Braden or Dennis Kelly, who battled a back injury for most of the regular season and has played in just one game since Week 4. All of Kelly’s 21 snaps this season have come on special teams.