Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan entered the 2021 season with high expectations, but he suffered a torn ACL in Week 8 that ended his year.
It is unclear when Tonyan will be cleared to return from his injury, but the hope is he will be available at training camp.
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said earlier this offseason that Tonyan was “ahead of schedule” in his recovery, although he wouldn’t give a timeline for his return.
Still, it was encouraging words from Gutekunst.
Tonyan played in eight games with five starts before getting hurt. He caught 18 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns.
2021 season review
It was a frustrating season for Tonyan. He got off to a slow start, only posting more than 10 receiving yards once in the opening six games.
He seemed to be building some momentum in Weeks 7 and 8, catching seven passes for 112 yards and a touchdown.
Unfortunately, he suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 8 against the Arizona Cardinals.
Will he make the roster?
Yes. If Tonyan is cleared to return this summer, he will make the initial 53-man roster in September.
If he still needs time to recover, Tonyan could start on the PUP list, which would rule him out for the first six games.
What to expect in 2022
When Tonyan returns, he will be the Packers’ featured tight end. Having signed a one-year deal, it’s also a prove-it year for Tonyan. A productive season could lead to a big extension next spring.
Tonyan showed his receiving ability in 2020, particularly in the red zone. Tonyan caught 11 touchdowns that year and was one of Aaron Rodgers’ most trusted targets.
With Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling departing this offseason, Tonyan is one of the few remaining pass catchers who has earned Rodgers’ trust.
He could be a key target for Rodgers in the middle of the field.
Hopefully Tonyan will be ready to go Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings.