Shortly after the Green Bay Packers’ mandatory minicamp came to a conclusion, the NFL announced that former third-round pick Jace Sternberger would be suspended for the Packers’ first two games of 2021 against the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions due to a violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy. The league clarified he is able to practice with the team throughout the offseason and preseason, but cannot participate in practices or games in the first two weeks of the regular season.
Sternberger’s career in Green Bay has begun with a rocky start. In 2019, he sustained a concussion in his rookie preseason and an ankle injury led to him being placed on the injured reserve list for all of September through mid-October. Once he returned, he technically made a start as a rookie, but never recorded a reception and was a healthy scratch for multiple games.
Poised for an improved sophomore season, Sternberger was placed on the league’s reserve/COVID-19 list in the summer for two weeks. In-season, Robert Tonyan took over as the team’s primary pass-catching tight end in the absence of Jimmy Graham, who was released in March of 2020 as a cap casualty. Sternberger would sustain another concussion in Week 13 against the Eagles, holding him out of games in Week 14-16 against the Lions, Panthers and Titans.
Ultimately, Sternberger was a healthy scratch in Week 17 against the Bears and in the playoffs against the Rams and Buccaneers, leaving him with a stat line of 15 receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns over his regular season and postseason career in his first two years with the team.