Packers expected to be without three key starters vs. Vikings

Green Bay Packers, Elgton JenkinsPackers08 17
Green Bay Packers, Elgton JenkinsPackers08 17 /

The Green Bay Packers are reportedly expected to miss three key starters in their Week 1 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.

The Green Bay Packers will likely have to find a way to beat the Minnesota Vikings without three key starters in Sunday’s season opener.

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport, left tackle David Bakhtiari, right tackle Elgton Jenkins, and wide receiver Allen Lazard are all expected to miss the Packers’ opener against the Minnesota Vikings.

On the Packers’ injury report, Lazard is doubtful while Bakhtiari and Jenkins are questionable.

This doesn’t come as a big surprise.

Lazard wasn’t expected to play as he was listed as doubtful on the injury report. Green Bay also announced it had elevated Juwann Winfree from the practice squad to the gameday roster, another potential clue Lazard won’t play.

Bakhtiari and Jenkins are working their way back from significant injuries.

It’s Week 1. If there’s any doubt, keep them out.

Pelissero noted that Yosh Nijman would fill in for Bakhtiari at left tackle, although it remains unclear who would replace Jenkins. Royce Newman and Zach Tom are possible options.

Bakhtiari didn’t practice on Friday after being a limited participant on Wednesday and Thursday. Jenkins was limited all week.

While this is an important game against a division rival, it’s a long season so it’s important not to rush players back from injury.

The Packers will need Lazard, Bakhtiari, and Jenkins throughout the year, not just in Week 1. And if last season showed us anything, it’s that Green Bay is more than capable of recovering from a loss in the opener.

In Week 1 of the 2021 season, the Packers lost 38-3 to the New Orleans Saints. They would win 13 of their remaining 16 and secure the NFC’s top seed.

However, there’s no doubt that Sunday’s trip to Minnesota becomes that much tougher if Lazard, Bakhtiari, and Jenkins are all unavailable.