The last time the Green Bay Packers played a game, they were embarrassed at home against the Detroit Lions. Not that there are ever any excuses in the NFL, but they were playing without most of their starting offensive line. David Bakhtiari, of course, did not play due to a knee injury, and he was recently placed on injured reserve, effectively ending his season.
Additionally, Zach Tom played right tackle on one leg as he fought through his own knee injury. Jon Runyan Jr. hurt his ankle during the game, but played through the pain as well. Elgton Jenkins missed his second consecutive game with a sprained MCL that he suffered in Week Two against the Atlanta Falcons.
What a difference having 11 days between games can make, though! Tom is off the injury report, as is Runyan. Perhaps most amazing of all, however, is that Jenkins is returning to the field three weeks after spraining his knee.
The Green Bay Packers Have Elgton Jenkins and a Healthy Offensive Line
Indeed, injuries have been the bane of the Packers’ existence since before the 2023 NFL season even began. Christian Watson missed the team’s first three games with a hamstring injury; Aaron Jones injured his hamstring in Week One and missed two games; De’Vondre Campbell suffered a high ankle sprain against the New Orleans Saints on the first series of the game and has not played since.
And these do not even take into consideration the injuries to Jaire Alexander, Rudy Ford, and multiple other players.
The good news, though, is that Green Bay’s Week Five game against the Raiders may be the first game with a [almost] fully healthy team. Astonishingly, after spraining his MCL three weeks ago, Jenkins is returning to provide some stability to the offensive line:
Elgton Jenkins and Jon Runyan Jr. won’t carry injury designations into Monday night, per Matt LaFleur. They’ll be back in the Packers’ lineup against the Raiders.
— zach jacobson (@itszacharyj) October 7, 2023
Also notable in the injury update is that Runyan will not carry an injury designation at all. In other words, both of Green Bay’s starting offensive guards are healthy and ready to go. This is significant for obvious reasons, but it cannot be understated how much of a downgrade Royce Newman is at either guard spot. Newman had a run blocking grade of 45.9 and a pass blocking grade of 53.0 against the Lions per PFF.
Christian Watson Is Not on the Green Bay Packers Injury Report
As mentioned previously, Watson missed Green Bay’s first three games due to a hamstring injury. In their loss to the Lions in Week Four, he caught two passes for 25 yards and a touchdown. However, he played less than half of the offensive snaps.
This week, though, should be a different story. Watson’s hamstring is no longer a part of the Packers’ injury report, meaning he should see more playing time. If Watson is on the field more, that just opens the door for more big plays by the offense.
Combine Watson’s speed with a healthy offensive line protecting Jordan Love and one has a good recipe for success against one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL.