Dennis Kelly Gets the Call From an NFC Team

The Tennessee Titans' starting right tackle in 2020 is set to sign with the Green Bay Packers for 2021.
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Dennis Kelly spent 2020 blocking for the NFL’s best running back. This year, he will have a chance to protect one of the game’s best quarterbacks.

The Green Bay Packers plan to sign Kelly, provided he passes a physical, according to an NFL.com report Wednesday.

There is a chance that the physical could prove problematic. Kelly started every game at right tackle last season despite the fact that he was on the team’s injury report and missed at least one day of practice every week beginning with Week 6.

Even with his injury issues, the 6-foot-8, 321-pound Kelly still played 98 percent of the offensive snaps and helped Derrick Henry produce the fifth-highest single-season rushing total in NFL history, 2,207 yards. It was the first time in his eight-year career that he started every game and just the third time that he appeared in all 16 contests.

The Titans released Kelly in March to help create salary cap space. His release came one year to the day after he signed a three-year, $21 million contract to remain with the Titans.

Green Bay’s offense is built around quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a three-time NFL Most Valuable Player who led the NFL with 48 touchdown passes and a 121.5 passer rating in 2020. The head coach is Matt LaFleur, who was the Titans’ offensive coordinator in 2018. That means he has some first-hand knowledge about Kelly and what he could do for that offense.

Even with Rodgers, though, the Packers were 12th in the NFL in rushing attempts and ranked among the top 10 in average yards per rush.

Their starting left tackle, David Bakhtiari, was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list this week because he is not yet recovered from a torn knee ligament sustained late last season.

For the majority of his five years with Tennessee (2016-20), Kelly was the primary backup at both left and right tackle.