Green Bay Packers starting left guard Elgton Jenkins left action on Sunday versus the Atlanta Falcons with a knee injury, which has now been identified as an MCL sprain. Following the game, head coach Matt LaFleur stated that it’s always a “concern” when a player isn’t able to finish a game, opening up speculation that Jenkins’ injury may be serious.
Shortly after LaFleur’s comments, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Jenkins was going to have an MRI on Monday to “determine the severity” of the knee injury. In the locker room on Monday, Jenkins was seen wearing a “sizable brace” on his knee — according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky — but believes that he will return to the field during the 2023 season.
You can go ahead and bet on Jenkins at least missing next Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, as LaFleur has essentially said as much already. When asked about Jenkins’ potential replacements, LaFleur said that both Royce Newman and Sean Rhyan will be competing for those reps. Rhyan, who finished his rookie season last year suspended due to PEDs, was inactive in Week 1 but was called up to the gameday roster in Week 2 with left tackle David Bakhtiari held out of action. Newman was actually the player who stepped in place of Jenkins at left guard against the Falcons.
Over three years, Newman has played a total of 1,572 offensive snaps for the Packers while Rhyan has played a single special teams snap in his regular-season career in Green Bay. It’s safe to pencil in Newman as the starting left guard, though, the bigger question now is who will start at left tackle. With Bakhtiari now questionable for the foreseeable future and Rasheed Walker and Yosh Nijman rotating as his injury replacement, it’s anyone’s guess who will get the starting nod versus the Saints there.