The Loss of Lane Taylor Hurts Packers But Not The End of the World
Sometimes, sports are unfair. Lane Taylor hurt his biceps in the second game of the season last year against Minnesota and didn’t play the rest of the season. This year, Taylor is playing well protecting Aaron Rodgers and shoving it down Minnesota’s throat in the run game. Then Taylor goes down in significant pain and carted off from U.S. Bank Stadium. It was revealed today that Taylor tore his ACL and will be out for the season. Packers can survive without Taylor, but the depth of the Packers’ offensive line does take a hit with Taylor not being there.
Green Bay’s first course of action with Taylor being out is dependent on Billy Turner. If Turner is healthy for Game 2, he will be the right tackle with Lucas Patrick likely assuming the right guard with Elgton Jenkins at left guard. If Turner cannot go or Patrick cannot go (Remember, Patrick has a shoulder injury but the reports are it’s not that bad), the Packers will likely go with a hodgepodge similar to what we saw last week. Ricky Wagner at right tackle, Jenkins at left guard, and rookie Jon Runyan at guard. Either combination should work well for the Packers.
A couple of things to watch in the coming weeks with the Packers offensive line besides Turner’s return. One, could Runyan be yet another young shining star for the Packers’ offensive line. This isn’t an overreaction Tuesday comment. Runyan looked great in 14 snaps. Obviously, it is much different from a full game versus just a few fourth-quarter snaps. You can see promise with him though. The other one will be if Jenkins is a right tackle or not. He played it at Mississippi State for six games and did it well in his time with the Packers. Green Bay could easily roll out with Turner back at right guard with Jenkins at the right tackle position.
Packers have all sorts of options even with Taylor down, but they can ill-afford another lineman to get hurt. They’re at their limit, and while injuries do happen, let’s hope they’re minor ones.