Packers 2022 roster preview: Pat O’Donnell will help special teams

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers needed to make major changes on special teams this offseason.

One of their moves was to sign veteran punter Pat O’Donnell, who spent the first eight years of his NFL career with the Chicago Bears.

Signing O’Donnell was a smart move, and one that will help the Packers, especially late in the season.

2021 stats

For the Bears, O’Donnell punted 62 times for 2,865 yards, averaging 46.2 yards per punt. He had a long of 72 yards.

Having spent so many years playing for the Bears, O’Donnell had to punt a lot. He punted 62 times in 2021.

2021 season review

Statistically, it was a solid year for O’Donnell. What needs to be factored in is that he plays in cold conditions in Chicago. That makes life much tougher for a punter. Packers punters have found a similar issue in recent years.

Will he make the roster?

Yes. The Packers signed O’Donnell to be their new punter and holder on field goals, and it would be a huge surprise if he was replaced this summer.

What to expect in 2022

The Packers don’t need to have the league’s best special teams. Sure, it would be nice, but OK special teams is all they need. How often have Packers fans said that in recent years?

O’Donnell is a solid punter. He might not lead the league in punting stats every year, but what he does offer is exactly what Green Bay needs. Lots of experience, especially playing in the cold.

The Packers’ punting game wasn’t a major issue last season, but the kicking game was.

In O’Donnell, Green Bay gets a player they can trust to hold well for Mason Crosby. He will ensure the ball is in the right place at the right time for Crosby.

Signing O’Donnell was a smart offseason move. He will help the special teams improve.