A common theme for the Green Bay Packers a year ago was the constant shuffling of the offensive line. Remarkably, the group played consistently well despite little consistency of starters between games.
We are only two weeks into the 2021 season and it looks like more of the same may be occurring.
With David Bakhtiari on the PUP list and out for at least the first six games of the season, the Packers have already had to tweak their preferred five starters. After Monday’s win over the Detroit Lions, they likely will have to make more changes.
The biggest news is that left guard turned left tackle Elgton Jenkins on Wednesday was forced to miss practice with an ankle injury, leaving his status for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers in question. This would be a huge blow as Jenkins is just as vital to the line as Bakhtiari and having him out against San Francisco will risk exposing Aaron Rodgers’ blindside with an inexperienced protector.
In more positive news, Jon Runyan Jr. is giving the Packers something to think about after his performance Monday night following a strong rookie debut last year. Despite Lucas Patrick and Royce Newman getting the Week 1 start. Runyan started against Detroit due to Patrick suffering a concussion and he made a clear statement. Runyan did not allow a single snap or pressure in 35 pass blocking snaps per PFF.
Even when Patrick is out of the concussion protocol, Runyan should have one of the two guard spots and maybe should be the right guard opposite Jenkins when Bakhtiari returns.
Musical chairs along the offensive line is usually not a good game for a team to play but the Packers did it with aplomb last year and may have to do it again in 2021.
Jenkins has been the epitome of dependability since arriving in Green Bay in 2019, so you know he wouldn’t have left practice if not for something very painful. Matt LaFleur says Jenkins will have the week to see if he can go Sunday, but you know the Packers need him against the 49ers’ front.
Runyan is making a strong case to be a starter and
he should be even when Patrick is healthy. He could also go ahead of Royce Newman, allowing the rookie more time to develop.
LaFleur and Kyle Shanahan are still best of friends according to the Packers coach despite San Francisco putting out feelers to Rodgers in seeking a potential trade. The alleged tampering hasn’t dampened the respect LaFleur has for his former boss.
By all accounts this should be the year for Butler while players like Donald Driver and Nick Collins face much steeper climbs to Canton.
Parrots mimic the words they often hear the most and after the events of the past year and a half, it’s hard to criticize the bird for using such language. I’m