GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers have an All-Pro left tackle in David Bakhtiari. And they found one heck of a replacement with Pro Bowl left guard Elgton Jenkins.
For Sunday night’s NFC showdown at the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers might be forced to move to Plan C.
Jenkins injured an ankle on Monday night against Detroit and is doubtful after missing all three days of practice.
“There’s definitely an outside chance” of Jenkins playing, coach Matt LaFleur said after Friday’s practice. “If he can come around in the next 48 hours or whatever before we kick off, then we’d let him go.”
LaFleur says he has a plan for who will start at left tackle and contend with Pro Bowl defensive end Nick Bosa, who has three sacks this season.
When Bakhtiari suffered his torn ACL last season, the Packers shifted right tackle Billy Turner to left tackle and inserted Rick Wagner at right tackle. For this game, they could move Turner to left tackle and insert veteran Dennis Kelly at right tackle.
LaFleur could make a player-for-player switch and go with Kelly at left tackle. While he started all season at right tackle for the Tennessee Titans, the 31-year-old got the call at left tackle for the first four games in 2019 and has played there periodically throughout his previous nine NFL seasons. While it wasn’t much, he did get some left tackle snaps during the preseason.
Or, LaFleur could roll the dice with Yosh Nijman at left tackle and keeping Turner at right tackle. An undrafted free agent in 2019 with excellent natural ability, Nijman spent his rookie season on the practice squad and most of the 2020 season on the bench (14 garbage-time snaps on offense and 81 snaps on special teams). This summer, he started at left tackle in all three preseason games and fared well against quality competition. He allowed one sack and two pressure in 88 pass-protecting snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.
Jennings, Harris Will Be Inducted in Packers Hall of Fame After Rocky Endings
Greg Jennings and Tim Harris will be inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame on Sept. 1.
Eight Is Enough: Packers Survive Another Blast of Injuries
The Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday even with one-third of their starters out with injuries.
“It’s a collective effort across not only the offensive line but everybody’s got to be on point, whether it’s in the run or the pass but, especially, in the passing game,” LaFleur said. “When you’re talking about disruptive edge rushers, everybody else has a responsibility to be where they need to be within the timing of the play. The quarterback has a responsibility in terms of making sure he’s working through his progressions and the rhythm and timing with what the play is meant to be. So, it puts a little extra on everybody.”
A second-round pick in 2019, Jenkins has started 32 consecutive regular-season games. He missed two snaps during that time.
Jenkins and tight end Dominique Dafney are the only Packers players with an injury designation on the final injury report. Dafney is questionable after not practicing on Friday.
For San Francisco, running back Elijah Mitchell is doubtful but rookie Trey Sermon is out of the concussion protocol and is questionable after being full participation on Friday. Defensive end Arik Armstead, defensie tackle Javon Kinlaw and cornerback Emmanuel Moseley, two three starters, are questionable after being limited on Friday.
Packers Injury Report
Doubtful: LT Elgton Jenkins (ankle).
Questionable: TE Dominique Dafney (hip).
49ers Injury Report
Out: DT Kevin Givens (ankle), RB JaMycal Hasty (ankle).
Doubtful: RB Elijah Mitchell (shoulder).
Questionable: DL Arik Armstead (adductor), DT Javon Kinlaw (knee), CB Emmanuel Moseley (knee).