Who will start at left tackle for the Packers in Week 3?
On Friday, Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said that starting left tackle Elgton Jenkins will be listed as doubtful on the injury report to play the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3.
Jenkins is filling in for All-Pro tackle David Bakhtiari. Being without their two most important offensive linemen is far from ideal up against a talented 49ers pass rush featuring Nick Bosa, but it’s a very real possibility with Jenkins unlikely to play.
Assuming Jenkins isn’t available, what options do the Packers have at left tackle?
Packers options at left tackle vs. 49ers
LaFleur wouldn’t say which players would start if Jenkins is out, and understandably so, but he did say they “have a plan”.
Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette believes the Packers will move Billy Turner from right to left tackle, with veteran Dennis Kelly coming in at right tackle.
This would make the most sense of all the possible options. It would mean the Packers move their best available tackle (Turner) to the more important position on the left side, then bring in a veteran with 47 career starts to his name to play on the right side. Kelly also has a lot of experience at right tackle.
Other options include starting with Yosh Nijman, who had a solid training camp and preseason. That would be a riskier move, however, as Nijman only has 14 career snaps on offense for the Packers, according to Pro Football Reference.
Starting with Turner at left tackle would make the most sense. He has made a good start to the season.
According to ESPN, Turner is sixth among tackles for pass block win rate, and is fifth at the position for run block win rate. His solid start to the year builds on an impressive 2020 season.
Perhaps leaving him at right tackle, where he’s played well, would be the right call. That said, if Jenkins is out, Turner becomes the Packers’ best tackle. For that reason, he should move over to the left side.
How it plays out, we’ll have to see. LaFleur wouldn’t reveal his plan while he also kept the door open for Jenkins possibly being available, even if it’s unlikely.