Robert Tonyan

Packers OTs David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, WR Allen Lazard Unlikely To Play Week 1

SEPTEMBER 11: Unfortunately, the Packers will be without their OT bookends for at least one more week. Per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, both Bakhtiari and Jenkins will miss Sunday’s opener against the Vikings. Yosuah Nijman, who started eight games at left tackle in 2021, will again get the nod in Bakhtiari’s absence.

SEPTEMBER 10: Green Bay is facing a generally positive situation on the injury front heading into their season opener against the Vikings. One notable absence is expected in the receiving corps, however. 

The Packers’ final injury report lists Allen Lazard as doubtful (Twitter link via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky). He has been dealing with an ankle injury, which has kept him out of practice throughout the week. Green Bay would sorely miss their new top receiver in the event of any lengthy absence.

Lazard signed his RFA tender in June, locking him into a one-year salary of just under $4MM. The timing of his contract status couldn’t have been any better, as the 26-year-old is set to take on the No. 1 spot following the departures of Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling this offseason. A former UDFA, Lazard posted career highs across the board in a complementary role last season with 40 catches, 513 yards and eight touchdowns.

Assuming he misses the Minnesota game, the Packers will turn to veterans Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins at the position, along with rookies Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers openly criticized the young pass-catchers last month as they look to prepare for significant roles right away to begin their NFL careers. Doubs in particular is slated to be a starter, and has reportedly formed a rapport with the reigning MVP, potentially setting him up for a notable workload especially if Lazard is out.

As Demovsky notes, several other key players are expected to suit up for the Packers. Among those are offensive lineman David Bakhtiari and Elgton JenkinsThe former made it clear earlier this week that he expects to be recovered from the torn ACL which essentially cost him all of last season. The latter, meanwhile, should man the right tackle spot with Bakhtiari back, giving the Packers a formidable bookend tandem.

Tight end Robert Tonyan will also play, after he spent the offseason recovering from his own ACL tear. He, along with running back Aaron Jones, profile as significant contributors in the Packers’ passing game, especially without Lazard on the field.

Packers Activate Elgton Jenkins, Robert Tonyan, Christian Watson From PUP List

The health of several Packers players has been one of the largest talking points for the team this offseason. Positive news came today on that front, as offensive lineman Elgton Jenkinstight end Robert Tonyan and receiver Christian Watson were activated from the active/PUP list (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport). 

Teams have until August 23 to activate players in this situation, so the timing of the move is highly encouraging with respect to their regular season availability. Beginning the campaign on the reserve/PUP list was considered a likely outcome in Jenkins’ case last week. That would have dealt a major blow to the Packers’ o-line (requiring him to be sidelined for at least the first four games of the season), especially given the uncertainty surrounding All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari.

Instead, Jenkins’ activation represents a positive sign in his recovery from the ACL tear he suffered last November. Assuming he is able to play at the start of the season, the question of where he lines up on the line will become one of great importance. On that subject, head coach Matt LaFleur simply said “time will tell” (Twitter link via Matt Schneidman of The Athletic). The Pro Bowler has experience at guard, but could also operate on the blindside if Bakhtiari isn’t recovered from his own knee ailment by Week 1.

Similar to Jenkins, Tonyan was a question mark for the start of the season. He, too, is rehabbing a torn ACL – an injury which limited him to eight games and only 18 receptions last year. His production in previous campaigns earned the 28-year-old a one-year contract to stay in Green Bay in 2022, where he will once again be counted on as the team’s top tight end. Given the departures of Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Tonyan should be in line for a larger role in the team’s passing attack.

Watson profiles as a direct replacement on the perimeter for the team’s departed wideouts. The second-rounder was a surprising addition to the PUP list last month, given that an injury wasn’t specified in his case. He will likely shoulder a large workload given the lack of veterans ahead of him on the depth chart, and the prolific numbers he put up at North Dakota State.

Today’s news doesn’t guarantee, of course, that any of the trio will be active in time for the start of the regular season. Their activation gives them a chance to play, however, which will be a welcomed sight as the Packers look to contend once again for a Super Bowl.

Packers Place Nine Players On PUP To Start Camp

Sat, 4:07pm:

As mentioned as a possibility last night, the Packers made an addition to their PUP list today, placing star left tackle David Bakhtiari on the list after not including him in their first moves last night, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Bakhtiari missed all but one game last season as he recovered from an ACL tear that he suffered in Week 16 of the 2020 NFL season. He spent most of 2021 rehabilitating before finally making his season-debut in a Week 18 game that had no bearing on the team’s playoff positioning. He was inactive for Green Bay’s playoff loss to San Francisco.

Reiterating what was said yesterday, there is no need for Packers fans to fret quite yet. This is a natural process for NFL teams, especially concerning players returning from a major injury. As long as Bakhtiari comes off the PUP list in the preseason, he should have no restrictions going into regular season play.

Fri, 9:52pm:

As many teams are making necessary adjustments to their injury lists, the Packers joined in today, adding twelve players overall, nine to the physically unable to perform list and three to the non-football injury list, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. 

The biggest surprise on the list was rookie second-round pick Christian Watson. An injury has not been disclosed for the wide receiver, who recently signed his rookie contract. Similarly, undrafted rookie defensive tackle Hauati Pututau was placed on the list for an undisclosed reason.

Four players placed on the PUP list were expected, as they are returning from major injuries. Tight end Robert Tonyan missed half of last season after tearing his ACL in late-October. The same game saw then-rookie running back Kylin Hill suffer a season-ending knee injury. Shortly after, tackle Elgton Jenkins tore his ACL, as well, ending his season after only eight starts. Linebacker Randy Ramsey also suffered an season-ending injury before the season even began after serving in 2020 as a core special teamer.

The three remaining players, kicker Mason Crosby, defensive lineman Dean Lowry, and running back Patrick Taylor, were all placed on the list with no information as to what has put them there.

That’s five expected starters, Watson, Tonyan, Jenkins, Lowry, and Crosby, on the PUP. Packers’ fans will be relieved not to see left tackle David Bakhtiari placed on the PUP list a year after missing all but one game last year recovering from an ACL tear suffered in late-2020.

There could always be additions to the list, as it isn’t official until Tuesday. Additionally, a player can come off of the list anytime during the preseason and can’t be on the list once they’ve practiced with the team. Any players still on the PUP list at the start of the regular season will be required to sit out a minimum of six games, but they won’t count against the roster as the team trims to 53 players.

While the number of players on the list may be alarming, there’s little to worry about as of right now for these Packers. As long as they come off of the list before the season starts, there will be no league-restrictions on their participation.

Packers TE Robert Tonyan’s Week 1 Availability In Doubt?

The 2022 offseason has seen the departure of the Packers’ top two wide receivers. Their absence naturally places a heavier burden on the team’s tight ends to produce more in 2022 than they did last season. 

Much of the unit’s expectations will, of course, fall on Robert Tonyan. The 28-year-old is in line to once again serve as Green Bay’s top TE, after the team elected not to draft one in the spring. He emerged as a key part of their passing attack in 2020; that season, he totalled 52 catches for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns, which tied him for the league lead in majors at the position.

The 2021 campaign was a much different story, however. A torn ACL ended his season in October, leaving him with only 204 receiving yards, and severely limiting the Packers’ overall production at the position. He re-signed with the team on a one-year deal this offseason, though, meaning he once again enters a new campaign with significant expectations.

However, it remains to be seen if he will have recovered from the injury in time for the fall. Matt Schneidman of The Athletic notes that Tonyan spent all of the team’s OTAs and minicamp rehabbing his knee (subscription required). At this point, it “remains unclear” if he will be available by the start of the regular season. His absence extending into 2022 would shift attention primarily to the team’s other, less experienced options at the position.

That includes Josiah Deguara. The 2020 third-rounder missed nearly all of his rookie season due to injury, and started only two contests last year. He was nevertheless the team’s most productive TE, with 245 yards and a pair of scores. If Tonyan is unable to see the field early this season, Deguara (along with fellow 2020 draftee Tyler Davis and veteran Marcedes Lewis) will shoulder a larger workload, especially in the absence of All-Pro wideout Davante Adams.

“It’s not an elephant in the room, but Davante’s gone,” Deguara said, via Mike Spofford of the team’s website“All the balls that he got were much deserved, so there’s opportunity for guys to step up, and I’m going to try to be one of those guys.” The degree to which the TE room contributes this season could go a long way in determining Green Bay’s success.

This Date In Transactions History: Packers Re-Sign TE Robert Tonyan

Three years ago today, the Packers re-upped a relatively unknown tight end on their 90-man roster. The move went unnoticed by many, but it proved to be one of the savviest pickups of the offseason. On April 10, 2019, the Packers re-signed tight end Robert Tonyan

[RELATED: Packers Pursued DeVante Parker]

The Indiana State product went undrafted in 2017, but he managed to secure a lucrative three-year, $1.66MM deal with the Lions. He didn’t end up making the regular season roster, and he spent the majority of his rookie year as a free agent before catching on with the Packers practice squad. Following that 2017 campaign, Green Bay retained the young tight end via a futures contract.

Tonyan ended up sticking the team in 2018, appearing in all 16 games. However, other than a memorable 54-yard touchdown catch, the tight end didn’t do much on the offensive end, and he ended the season having appeared more on special teams (191 snaps) than on offense (67). Still, the Packers apparently believed in his potential, as they extended him a tender as an exclusive rights free agent. That decision (and the subsequent negotiations) culminated in the minor move that was made three years ago today.

Tonyan’s 2019 campaign was similar to his 2018 season; he saw a bit more offensive responsibility, but he still didn’t put up notable numbers. Following that season, the Packers made him an exclusive rights free agent once again, and the player ultimately signed the tender.

The tight end rewarded the Packers’ confidence with a breakout season in 2020. The then-26-year-old emerged as one of Aaron Rodgers‘ favorite targets, finishing the season with 52 receptions for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns. He continued producing in the playoffs, hauling in eight catches for 82 yards and one score in two games.

Tonyan was slapped with a second-round tender last year, locking him into a $3.3MM salary for 2021. In 2021, Tonyan got off to a similar start, minus the massive red-zone impact. Unfortunately, his season was cut short by a torn ACL in a Week 8 game against the Cardinals, but the Packers believe that he’ll make a full recovery. Despite the uncertainty, Tonyan is back on a new one-year, $3.75MM deal for 2022.

Packers Re-Sign TE Robert Tonyan

The Packers are keeping their tight end room secure for Aaron Rodgers. With Marcedes Lewis and Josiah Deguara set to return, Green Bay secured the return of their top three tight ends today by re-signing Robert Tonyan for another year, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. 

Tonyan became the tenth football player out of Indiana State University to reach the NFL when he signed with the Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He was released before the season began, but was soon picked up by the Packers as a member of the practice squad. Tonyan was mostly a reserve tight end, appearing in most games, but not providing much of an impact in the passing game.

Tonyan had a break out year, though, in the 2020 NFL season when he reeled in 52 passes for 586 yards and an impressive 11 touchdowns. In 2021, Tonyan was showing a bit of the same success minus the massive red-zone impact. Unfortunately, his season was cut short by a torn ACL in a Week 8 game against the Cardinals.

Despite only appearing in eight games, Tonyan only trailed the Packers’ leading receiving tight end, Deguara, by 41 yards and trailed Lewis by only 10 yards. So the Packers are bringing back their top receiving tight end on a one-year deal, likely to make sure he can provide the same impact upon his recovery.

Cardinals, TE Zach Ertz Closing In On Deal

After acquiring tight end Zach Ertz in a trade with the Eagles in mid-October of last year, the Cardinals are finalizing a new multi-year deal for the nine-year veteran, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The three-year deal is set to keep the 31-year-old among the top-10 highest-paid tight ends in the NFL. 

Ertz is a three-time Pro Bowler who set the NFL-record for single-season receptions for a tight end in 2018 with 116 catches, which trailed only Saints’ receiver Michael Thomas for the league lead among all pass-catchers. Ertz was consistently productive in Philadelphia, recording five-straight seasons with at least 800 receiving yards.

After taking a back seat role to the Eagles’ younger tight end Dallas Goedert, the Cardinals made the move to acquire Ertz and watched him thrive in the new system. Ertz’s 11 games in Arizona in 2021 showed far more production than the 11 games he played in Philadelphia the year prior. With wide receivers Christian Kirk and A.J. Green set to hit the free agent market this week, locking down their tight end was a must.

The three-year deal will be worth $31.65MM with a guaranteed amount of $17.5MM. The annual average value of $10.55MM ranks 10th among NFL tight ends, just below David Njoku, Mike Gesicki, and Dalton Schultz, who got franchise tagged for $10.93MM. With this deal Ertz is now off the crowded tight end market, along with the three who were tagged. Remaining options for those looking for tight ends are C.J. Uzomah, Robert Tonyan, Evan Engram, and Will Dissly.

Packers’ Robert Tonyan Tears ACL

Robert Tonyan‘s season is over. The Packers tight end has been officially diagnosed with an ACL tear, according to his agent (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport).

[RELATED: Packers’ Hill Done For Year]

Tonyan was forced out in the third quarter of last night’s game against the Cardinals and did not return. His limp indicated that he was dealing with a serious injury and doctors confirmed his worst fears on Friday afternoon.

I’m sick for Bobby,” head coach Matt LaFleur said after the game (via NFL.com). “He means so much to this team. It’s so cool, and I just told him to watch a guy when you first hit your… see the amount of progress that he’s made as a player and just the work that he puts in on a daily basis. It’s really cool when you see that progress, when you see a guy reach their potential and I still think there’s more out there for him…I am sick for him, I’m sick for us. My heart goes out to him.”

Tonyan reeled in three catches before his early exit, giving him 18 grabs for 204 yards and two touchdowns on the year. The Packers went on to defeat the league’s last undefeated team, but they’ll have to go the rest of the way without Tonyan and running back Kylin Hill.

Packers Gain $2MM In Cap Room

The Packers have some extra dollars to work with, thanks to some help from tight end Robert Tonyan (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Field Yates). . In a rare move, Tonyan has been re-signed to a new deal that treats the bulk of his of $3.384MM restricted free agent tender as a bonus for salary cap purposes. Meanwhile, they’ve added four voidable years to the contract. All together, this gives Green Bay roughly $1.9MM more for this year’s cap. 

Tonyan, 27, effectively redshirted his rookie season. As an undrafted free agent, he hauled in just 14 catches through his first two seasons of action. Then, he had a breakout campaign in 2020, finishing with 52 receptions for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns. Just last week, the Packers happily gave Tonyan a second-round tender to keep him from getting poached.

It’s worth noting that the tight end appeared in just 61-percent of the Packers’ offensive snaps last year. He could see an even larger role in 2021 as he teams with Marcedes Lewis. Of course, it’s not a given that Aaron Rodgers will be the one throwing the ball to him. But, between this revision and other recent moves, the Packers have carved out roughly $4.4MM in cap space — those dollars could be put towards a new deal for Rodgers, assuming the two sides can mend fences.

Packers TE Robert Tonyan Signs RFA Tender

Robert Tonyan is officially back with the Packers. The tight end signed his restricted free agent tender today, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky (via Twitter). The 27-year-old will earn $3.38MM this upcoming season.

[RELATED: This Date In Transactions History: Packers Re-Sign TE Robert Tonyan]

After effectively redshirting his rookie season, the former undrafted free agent hauled in only 14 receptions through his first two seasons of action. However, Tonyan had a breakout campaign in 2020, finishing with 52 receptions for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns. After the season, the Packers slapped Tonyan with the second-round tender.

After appearing in only 61-percent of his team’s offensive snaps in 2020, Tonyan could see an even larger role in 2021 (regardless of who’s under center). The tight end is projected to lead a depth chart that also features veteran Marcedes Lewis.

While Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay receivers have no-showed OTAs, Tonyan was one of the higher-profile offensive players to participate this past week, per Demovsky.