When starting left tackle Elgton Jenkins was not suited up for practice this week in Green Bay, it came as a shock to many. As head coach Matt LaFleur explained, Jenkins was injured during their Monday Night Football matchup against the Detroit Lions, leaving Jenkins with an ankle injury that was to be monitored throughout the week.
Now, Jenkins is officially listed as doubtful against the San Francisco 49ers, with LaFleur stating that there’s “an outside chance” that Jenkins gets in the game.
Final Packers-49ers injury report: pic.twitter.com/gjKY8glIK5— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) September 24, 2021
Left tackle problems are never good in the NFL. Left tackle problems after your All-Pro left tackle started the season on the injured reserve list is even worse. Left tackle problems when your starting left guard was played as a reserve due to a concussion last week is even worse than that. Compounding all of this is San Francisco’s strong defensive line, led by the 23-year-old Pro Bowler Nick Bosa.
Realistically, if Jenkins can’t play, the Packers have two survival options:
- They can flip Billy Turner to left tackle and play Dennis Kelly, who started at right tackle for the Tennessee Titans last season, as the right bookend.
- They can keep Turner at right tackle and bring Yosuah Nijman, who has not started a game at the NFL level, off the bench as Aaron Rodgers’ blindside blocker.
Beyond left tackle, the Packers still need to make a decision at left guard, where Jon Runyan Jr. performed well last week as the team decided to take it slow with Lucas Patrick’s concussion that he sustained in Week 1. The double-barreled question marks on the left side start to ramp up the Sunday scaries a little earlier than usual, but the good news is that the only Packer who wasn’t a full participant in practice on Friday other than Jenkins was tight end Dominique Dafney.
Yes, that means that both tight end Josiah Deguara (concussion) and safety Vernon Scott (hamstring) will be eligible for activation this week. Scott, specifically, gives the Packers a fourth safety who could make three-safety looks, which they have rarely run this season, a little more viable as a defensive personnel package.
On the flip side, three 49ers defensive linemen, including starters Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw, could miss the game. Offensively, running back JaMychal Hasty is already ruled out for San Francisco while Elijah Mitchell is listed as doubtful due to a shoulder injury. San Francisco already lost their starting running back, Raheem Mostert, to a knee injury in Week 1.
As it stands today, here are all of the San Francisco 49ers players who have recorded more than one carry this season and are without a doubt healthy enough to play on Sunday:
- Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo: 14 carries, 22 yards, 1 touchdown
- Quarterback Trey Lance: 3 carries, 2 yards (did not play a snap last week)
- Receiver Deebo Samuel: 2 carries, 8 yards