Packers Promote Nijman to 53-Man Roster

Bill Huber

The Green Bay Packers filled the vacant 53rd spot on the roster by promoting rookie offensive tackle Yosh Nijman from the practice squad. The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman was the first to report the transaction.

Green Bay placed guard Cole Madison on injured reserve with a torn ACL on Saturday and lost starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga with a relatively minor knee injury on Sunday. Thus, Nijman will provide some needed depth. Assuming Bulaga doesn’t play, either Alex Light or Lucas Patrick will move into the starting lineup. The only other blocker on the roster is Adam Pankey.

Video: A few highlights from Sunday's loss.

Nijman is right out of Central Casting when it comes to offensive tackles. At the Scouting Combine, he measured 6-foot-6 7/8 and 324 pounds with 34-inch arms. He ran his 40 in 4.88 seconds with a sizzling 20-yard shuttle time of 4.50 seconds. That shuttle time is elite, which is why it was a surprise that he wasn’t drafted. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed one sack and 12 total pressures to rank 29th in its pass-protection metric among this year’s tackles.

“The guy hasn’t the slightest clue of how to play his position, especially as a run blocker,” a scout said before the draft when asked why Nijman wasn’t more highly regarded.

Nijman went undrafted and spent time at both tackle spots during training camp. He focused on left tackle during the preseason and gave up a team-high five pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.

Nijman started 33 games at Virginia Tech – at left tackle as a sophomore and junior and at right tackle as a senior. Nijman spent the 2014 season at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy, where he emerged as the No. 1 prep school defensive lineman in the nation. He opened his Hokies career on the defensive line.

His first taste of football came as a fifth-grader in a Pop Warner league in New Jersey. “One of the coaches told me to run out and catch a ball. I ended up dropping it. Then he told me to go the left. I didn’t know what he meant. From that day on, I became a lineman.”

His parents are from Suriname, a country in South America. 

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