It’s late July which means one thing; NFL training camps are underway. The air is sweltering, Aaron Rodgers is showing up dressed like Nick Cage from “Con Air,” and football is finally near. However, not everyone’s body always gets this memo, as the Green Bay Packers have 14 players on injury lists after the first day of training camp.
Sammy Watkins is the most recent player to be added to a list, however he is not necessarily the most concerning. Watkins is the only “projected starter” on the NFI (non-football injury) list, but there are a few on the PUP list.
I want to take this moment to clear one thing up: I’ll be using the term “projected starters” if a player seem to be at or near the top of their positional group, and the parameters obviously change with every position. Basically if someone seems likely to see significant playing time on offense or defense (or as a specialist) they are a “projected starter.”
Let’s start with the players on the PUP list that come as no surprise, Elgton Jenkins and Robert Tonyan were never guaranteed to be ready for week one. Their placement on the PUP list ahead of training camp is standard procedure, the Packers are being careful with two key starters who each tore their ACLs last season. It is yet to be seen if either of them will be left on the PUP list for the regular season. If so this will be a six-week designation; which is not ideal.
Next up are some surprises on the PUP list. Christian Watson was added to the “physically unable to perform” list just a week after inking his rookie contract. Not much is known about this injury, so it’s unknown if there are any concerns for this being long-term. Dean Lowry and Mason Crosby also ended up on the PUP list, there is again, not much room for concern here as not much is known about these injuries.
The only player who ended up on the PUP list that is cause for concern is a guy who for some reason went unannounced with everyone else. David Bakhtiari was announced to be on the PUP list after a collective “phew” when fans saw that he wasn’t on it at first. It’s rumored that he was “feeling fine” to start training camp but suffered some kind of setback… again.
It looks very concerning to say the least that Bakhtiari will soon be going on month 20 of complications from his ACL injury back in December of 2020. It’s natural to start to wonder if he’ll ever play football again, and as dramatic as that sounds it’s beginning to feel that way for a guy who may be the best left tackle in the world.
There are 14 players on the PUP or NFI lists, and 7 or 8 of them (depending on how you view Randy Ramsey) are projected starters. The Packers can only hope they get a bunch of these guys back by the time week one rolls around, but this will remain an unknown for the foreseeable future.
Hopefully these injuries don’t force any harsh roster decisions in the coming weeks, but as cutdown day approaches we’ll see who’s abilities outweigh their injuries.
Zack is a college student and cheesehead from California. When he’s not in class or writing, you can find him talking about the Packers on Twitter at @Zack_Upchurch.