Why the Packers must start Yosh Nijman ahead of Rasheed Walker at left tackle


With David Bakhtiari's time with the Green Bay Packers pretty much closed due to injury, sophomore Rasheed Walker has been playing at left tackle in 2023. As of Week 7, Walker has not held his own at the position, leaving much to be desired when it comes to blocking on a once-great offensive line.

Yosh Njiman, however, played well in 2022 but has not played much this season, only participating in 23 total offense snaps coming off the bench.

Last year, following David Bakhtiari's injury, Njiman came in and did a serviceable job in place of the All-Pro. In 2022, Yosh played 756 snaps. He was a solid starter and looked amazing compared to Rasheed Walker this season. In 310 snaps, Walker has been called for three penalties and allowed multiple pressures, sacks, and run stops.

Packers need to make a change at left tackle in Week 8

There is no reason for Yosh Njiman not to have the starting job over Rasheed Walker. Not only did he perform better, but when Yosh comes in as a replacement for injured offensive linemen, he does not allow pressure on the quarterback. This is essential considering the lack of experience from Jordan Love under center.

Matt LaFleur hasn't said much about Nijman, but when he does, he praises him for being a good player. Here's what LaFleur said in September, per The Athletic's Matt Schneidman:

"Well I think it is a credit to Zach Tom for his ability to earn that position, but Yosh is a guy that we got a ton of confidence in and I mean, just like I talked to him the other day, I have watched him perform at a high level. We watched him perform pretty well against Bosa, who is now the highest-paid (defensive) player in all of football. He is gonna have to play for us at some time this year. There is no doubt about it and we got a lot of confidence in him."

With the offensive line's struggles, you would believe that LaFleur would give Yosh a chance to play on the edge instead of Walker. Njiman has performed well against some of the best defensive linemen in the league in his three-year tenure in the NFL.

LaFleur needs to put any animosity he has for Njiman aside and do what's best for his inexperienced quarterback by allowing him to start at left tackle. The Rasheed Walker experiment is not working. Even if Yosh underperforms, his average is better than Walker's average at this point in his career. If he continues to allow Walker to play at the left tackle position, Love is going to be consistently under pressure.

More Packers news and analysis