If Tonian does indeed start the season on the PUP roster, the former Indiana State star will have to miss at least four games. It would be a blow to the Packers offense who curiously ignored their tight final position this off season.
Tonian enjoyed a breakout season with the Packers in 2020, scoring career highs in receptions (52), receiving yards (586), and touchdowns (11). In 2021, Tonian played under a restricted free agent contract worth $3.384 million while making just eight appearances. If and when he’s healthy, Tonian is expected to play a big role in his reworked Green Bay pass foul.
The Packers currently lack the narrow depth to adequately navigate Tonyan’s setback, and it raises questions as to why the situation hasn’t been addressed further through draft or free agency. Tonian’s injury occurred in October, and always promised to threaten his chances of starting the new campaign in full health. Although this is known, the Packers did not craft or sign a single tight end outside of Tonian’s re-signing. For comparison purposes, Gutekunst formulated three wide receivers.
Gutekunst’s lack of vigor indicates that the Packers are satisfied with the current state of their tight end chamber, but we’re not convinced that it should. If Tonian really misses the regular season competitions, that would probably be cool Josiah Deguara in the starring role. The 94th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Deguara wore multiple Packers offense hats as a moveable chess piece, but he has yet to prove he’s a consistent passer. DeGuara recorded 25 receptions for 245 yards and two touchdowns last season. Deguara and Tonyan also couldn’t be more different from the perspective of size and skill, and Deguara doesn’t repeat Tonyan’s potential as a mismatch in the red.
The 38-year-old Mercedes Louis Still in the mix but not expected to move the needle forward due to his advanced age. Lewis was essentially a non-factor in Green Bay’s offensive last season, having barely crossed the 200-yard mark despite appearing in all 17 of the regular season competitions.
Tyler Davis It might be the wild card. In the sixth round selection of Georgia Tech’s Jacksonville Jaguars and UConn in the 2020 NFL Draft, several members of the Packers coaching staff expressed their level of enthusiasm regarding Davis’ growth by 2022. They are from DeGuara and Lewis, but he remains an unproven commodity at this time. .
The lack of depth at the tight end, combined with a potential setback for Tonian, would be significant less He had a stellar receiver Davant Adams I stayed at Green Bay this off season. However, the Packers and Adams dealt with the Las Vegas Raiders in a move that drastically lowered their legion’s catch cap. Packers now have a bunch of question marks in the receiver, including the novice Christian Watsonwho enjoyed a less than desirable start to his informal training program. Sammy Watkins is an interesting reclamation project but has largely struggled to stay healthy throughout his NFL career. The Packers offense did not need to receive significant contributions from their tight ends throughout the Adams era because Adams was a target that captured the attention of the majority of Aaron Rodgers. With Adams no longer on the border, and question marks littering their reception room, the Packers could use more help catching the pass from their tight ends in 2022.
Tonian’s absence will severely limit the overall upside of this set of positions. July and August are the hottest months of the holiday season for Tonian to prove he can avoid an early part of the season on the sidelines. Tonian’s questionable recovery period adds another troubling layer to the overall makeup of Green Bay’s retooled offensive approach.