Following the swap of the now-released receiver Sammy Watkins for running back Patrick Taylor, there were no major surprises remaining on the Green Bay Packers’ actives list heading into Monday Night Football. All five of the players the Packers named as inactives were various degrees of assumed going into the matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.
For starters, left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee, abdomen) was ruled out by the team on Saturday and was named inactive tonight. Bakhtiari missed all of this past week’s practice due to his recovery from an appendectomy that occurred two weeks ago. In his place will start rookie Zach Tom, who has started three other games this season.
Aside from Bakhtiari, the four health scratches for the Packers were cornerback Shemar Jean-Charles, inside linebacker Krys Barnes, tackle Caleb Jones and defensive lineman Jonathan Ford. Ford, a rookie draft pick, has been inactive this entire season. Jean-Charles hasn’t played since Week 7, nearly two months ago, in part because of injury and in part because he’s slipped down the special teams depth chart. Barnes was a healthy scratch for the first time in Week 13 against the Chicago Bears, which might be the new normal if Isaiah McDuffie is now the team’s third inside linebacker. Last was Jones, who only recently was activated off of the non-football illness list for mononucleosis. Like I said, no major surprises were found here.
The same could be said about the Rams’ inactives. By Friday, Los Angeles had already ruled out five players from suiting up at Lambeau Field. Those Rams were defensive tackle Marquise Copeland (ankle), defensive tackle Aaron Donald (ankle), linebacker Travin Howard (hip), defensive back David Long Jr. (groin) and quarterback John Wolford (neck). Beyond those players, Los Angeles named guard Bobby Evans and defensive tackle Larrell Murchison as healthy scratches for the game.
The fact that Donald won’t play is a major break for the Packers in this game. Head coach Matt LaFleur stated earlier in the week that Green Bay was preparing as if Donald was going to be on the field, as many of their preferred plays go out the window with a defensive lineman that disruptive. I guess the offensive playbook is going to be wide-open tonight.
The biggest news on the inactives list tonight might have been that Rams center Brian Allen is going to play. Allen, who had been dealing with a knee injury all week, was listed as questionable on Friday.
Monday will also mark the return of receiver Romeo Doubs (ankle) and safety Darnell Savage (foot), who have been missing recently due to injury. Savage was replaced as the team’s starter in Philadelphia and went down on his first defensive snap as a dimeback. Doubs has been out of the lineup since the first offensive play against the Detroit Lions, when he sustained a high ankle sprain.
- OT David Bakhtiari (knee, abdomen)
- OT Caleb Jones
- DL Jonathan Ford
- ILB Krys Barnes
- CB Shemar Jean-Charles