The Green Bay Packers signed veteran offensive tackle Dennis Kelly on July 29th. Kelly played for the Tennessee Titans in 2020, starting all 16 games for the first time in his career. He had played with the Titans since 2016 and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012. Kelly brings a veteran presence to a deep group at offensive line, but will play an important role as a potential swing-tackle.
With the injuries to all-pro left tackle David Bahktiari and the uncertainty of the right tackle position, Kelly has the chance to play meaningful snaps in 2021 for the Packers. He has some familiarity with the Packers position, playing under head coach Matt LaFleur in Tennessee from 2018-2019. Kelly started all 16 games at right tackle for the Tennessee Titans last season and he did not allow any sacks, according to Pro Football Focus.
Kelly has had an up-and-down career, but played his best in football in 2020 with the Titans. He has experience playing right and left tackle for the Eagles and Titans. Coming so late into camp, with the connection to LaFleur, Kelly will have the benefit of not having to learn a complete new system.
LaFleur Praise and Future
Coach LaFleur had high praise for Kelly after the signing.
“Dennis, first of all, what a great person. He’s going to bring so much to our locker room,” LaFleur said.
While most likely just a one-year option for the Packers, Kelly will be an important piece that plays a factor on the offensive line in 2021. Kelly will have the chance to start either at left tackle while Bahktiari is out, or start at right tackle if Billy Turner is moved inside.