Packers 2020 roster preview: Can Robert Tonyan take next step?

Green Bay Packers, Robert Tonyan (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Robert Tonyan (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Can Robert Tonyan become a key part of the Packers offense in 2020?

Robert Tonyan has the potential to become an important pass-catcher in the Green Bay Packers offense.

But, so far, we’ve only seen moments of this potential. Tonyan is yet to put it all together and become a consistent part of the Packers offense.

Will that change in 2020?

2019 stats

Tonyan played in 11 games in the regular season with one start. He caught 10 passes for 100 yards in total.

2019 review

Looking back at Tonyan’s 2019 season, the biggest question is “what if?”. He was a role player early in the season but making catches. His most impressive came in the Week 5 win over the Dallas Cowboys. But he also got injured in that game.

A hip injury caused him to miss around a month of action, but he didn’t look the same player when he returned. He was never 100 percent healthy following his injury against the Cowboys. Tom Silverstein and Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Tonyan had surgery to repair a core muscle injury.

Had Tonyan stayed healthy, how different could his season have been?

Odds of making roster: 80 percent

With Jimmy Graham now gone, Tonyan has a good chance to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. He could be the fourth-string tight end, but the Packers will likely keep four tight ends on the roster.

What to expect in 2020?

Tonyan’s role could expand this season. Marcedes Lewis’ primary role will be to block. Rookie Josiah Deguara could also be used mostly to block. That leaves Jace Sternberger and Tonyan as the top two pass-catching tight ends on the roster.

How Graham’s snaps are distributed will be key. Devin Funchess will likely receive some of them, but we could also see plenty of two-TE sets which could help Tonyan get on the field more often.

This is the year for him. We’ve heard a lot about his potential as a receiving threat. He now has an opportunity to make an impact.