The Green Bay Packers entered the 2023 NFL season with plenty of question marks. Of course, Jordan Love and the young pass catchers on offense were among the chief concerns, but the safety position on defense was widely regarded to be one of the team’s biggest weaknesses entering the season.
While the questions surrounding Love and the offense remain relatively unanswered, the safety position has been far from the biggest concern on the Green Bay defense. In fact, one could argue that it has been one of their strengths all season long.
Darnell Savage was having one of the best seasons of his career when he went down with a leg injury that landed him on injured reserve. Rudy Ford, who is doubtful for Sunday and has been banged up all year, has played well as the second starter.
In relief of Savage, veteran Jonathan Owens has been getting the starts and has played better than many thought he would in such a role. So well, in fact, that head coach Matt LaFleur made special mention of him during his press conference today.
Green Bay Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur Praises Jonathan Owens
According to Matt Schneidman of The Athletic, LaFleur said that Owens has done “an unbelievable” job filling in as the team’s starting safety:
Matt LaFleur says Jonathan Owens has done “an unbelievable job” filling in at safety.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) November 17, 2023
As mentioned earlier, Savage was having one of the best seasons of his career when he went down with his injury. As it turns out, so Owens.
A 17-game starter for the Houston Texans last season (his first full NFL season), Owens was far from a dominant force on defense when he signed with Green Bay. Last season, he registered an impressive 125 total tackles. However, he also gave up a 66.7% completion percentage when targeted while quarterbacks had a 128.5 passer rating when throwing his way.
Not really ideal stats and fans were not expecting much from him when he stepped into Savage’s starting spot.
However, Owens has been far from the ineffective player that he was last season. So far in 2023, he has given up a career-low 62.5% completion percentage while holding opposing quarterbacks to a 75.0 passer rating when throwing his way.
Jonathan Owens Is Married to U.S. Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles
As most fans are aware, Owens married Olympic legend Simone Biles during the offseason. In fact, the pair interrupted their honeymoon to fly to Green Bay and sign his contract with the Packers.
Biles has not been to many Packers games yet this season, but is going to be at Lambeau when the Packers take on the Kansas City Chiefs.
She posted on social media that she would like to meet up with pop star Taylor Swift if she attends to watch her boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
Perhaps such a meet up would be a good test run to see how Green Bay will hold up when it hosts the NFL Draft in 2025.