Jenkins will replace injured Taylor at left guard
Green Bay Packers rookie Elgton Jenkins will make his first NFL start at left guard on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, coach Matt LaFleur announced on Friday.
Veteran starter Lane Taylor showed up on the injury report on Thursday with a biceps injury and did not practice on Friday. LaFleur, who is generally tight-lipped about injuries, said Jenkins getting the start is “what we anticipate.”
The question is whether this will be a temporary or permanent changing of the guard. Taylor held off Jenkins, a second-round pick from Mississippi State, in a hotly contested battle in training camp. If Jenkins proves himself up to the task while Taylor is sidelined, there would seem to be little reason to switch back to Taylor, even though Taylor has acclimated himself well to the zone scheme.
Jenkins said he found out on Thursday that he’d get the start.
“I’m very excited,” he said. “I’m ready to go out there and help the team and showcase what I can do.”
While Taylor started the first two games of the season, Jenkins played four series and 18 snaps against Minnesota last week. LaFleur said he was “fired up” about the way Jenkins played.
“He just did his job, you know?” LaFleur said. “Typically up front, unless a guy’s just road-grading somebody and pancaking him, you don’t want to notice those guys too much. And he did his job. I just think the effort and the intensity with which he played with and just did an excellent job out there.”
Those snaps, and a bunch of first-team reps in the preseason, have Jenkins fairly settled in ahead of his first start against the Broncos.
“Not to sound cocky, but I don’t feel like I go out there with nerves. Because I prepare with the coaches and the guys in the room to go out there and perform at a high level,” he said.
“You have the butterflies,” he added, “but I always feel like I prepare throughout the week. If somebody is going to beat me or things like that, it probably will be off my mistake or something like that.”