The Green Bay Packers' mini-bye is exactly what the doctor ordered.
With 10 days between games, the Packers have additional time to self-scout, evaluate their opening four games, and learn. They need it after last week's humbling defeat to the division-rival Detroit Lions.
As importantly, the additional recovery time helps an injury-hit Packers team get healthier.
According to ESPN's Rob Demovsky, the Packers had multiple starters practicing on Tuesday, including cornerback Jaire Alexander, tight end Luke Musgrave, and wide receiver Christian Watson. Cornerback Eric Stokes returned to practice, signaling the start of the three-week window to remove him from the PUP list.
However, there was another surprising name on the list: Left guard Elgton Jenkins.
Elgton Jenkins' return could save Packers from disaster in Week 5
Jenkins, a two-time Pro Bowler, missed the previous two games due to a sprained MCL. Many expected he would remain out until at least the Packers' bye in Week 6, with a potential return against the Denver Broncos.
His return to practice on Tuesday is notable. While it doesn't guarantee he will play in Week 5, it's an encouraging sign, as we are still six days out from the Packers' next game on Monday Night Football.
It would change everything for the Packers if he can play.
Backup Royce Newman has been a liability while covering for Jenkins. Newman earned the Packers' lowest PFF grade against the Lions, allowing five pressures and one sack.
Green Bay has already lost left tackle David Bakhtiari to injured reserve, while right guard Jon Runyan Jr. and right tackle Zach Tom are dealing with injuries. The Packers desperately need Jenkins back as he provides stability at left guard, a position opposing defenses are targeting. The Packers must prevent interior pass rush from wrecking their offensive game plan.
The Raiders don't have a dominant pass rush -- they have only seven sacks this season -- but All-Pro Maxx Crosby is a game-changer. He has already made four sacks and six quarterback hits in the opening four games.
Against the Lions, the Packers' offensive line struggled even when they had the numbers advantage. That included Newman and Josh Myers giving up a sack on a double team.
Getting Jenkins back would change everything. He would provide a massive upgrade over Newman at left guard, and his experience immediately helps young left tackle Rasheed Walker, who will make only his fourth career start on Monday Night Football.
Jenkins is back at practice. Hopefully, he can return in Week 5.