GREEN BAY, Wis. - The Green Bay Packers are getting some good news on their collection of players coming back from knee injuries.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur said Sunday that offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins, tight end Robert Tonyan and rookie wide receiver Christian Watson are coming off the physically unable to perform list.
"It’s just like the next step in the process," LaFleur said. "It’s not like they’re going to be out there in team drills. But they’ll do some individual and with them being back, now it allows you to do some walkthroughs which is going to be obviously very beneficial for, especially for a guy who hasn’t played in the National Football League like Christian."
Jenkins tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in November. The timing of the injury made it seem unlikely that Jenkins would be back for the start of the season, though the 2020 Pro Bowl guard hadn’t ruled out the possibility.
"Elgton has done everything everybody has asked him to do in regards to the rehab process," LaFleur said. "He’s been super disciplined and he’s putting the work in. That’ll be a big boost when he is fully cleared to help us out. Because there’s not many guys who are, No. 1, as talented as he is but also as versatile as he is. We can put him anywhere we want him on that line."
LaFleur was asked if this move means Jenkins could be ready for the Sept. 11 season opener at Minnesota.
"Everything’s on the table," LaFleur said. "Again, I’m not going to hold my breath on that. He’ll be ready when he’s ready. We’re not going to rush him back. I can tell you that right now."
Jenkins’ early return would boost an offensive line that is missing left tackle David Bakhtari, who earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2018 and 2020 and was a second-team selection in 2016, 2017 and 2019. Bakhtiari remains on the PUP list and has appeared in only one game since tearing his left ACL on Dec. 31, 2020.
Jenkins has started games at every position on the line other than right guard. He was a Pro Bowl selection at left guard in 2020 and filled in for Bakhtiari at left tackle last season before getting hurt in a Nov. 21 loss at Minnesota.
In other injury news, LaFleur said safety Dallin Leavitt will be out for "a while" after leaving the Packers’ 28-21 preseason loss to the San Francisco 49ers with a shoulder injury.
The Packers also signed kicker Ramiz Ahmed and released kicker Gabe Brkic. LaFleur said Brkic tweaked a hamstring in pregame warmups.
Mason Crosby, the Packers' kicker since 2007, is on the PUP list after undergoing what he described as a "minor scope on the knee" before training camp.