It’s looking more and more like the Green Bay Packers will be without their top two options at left tackle in Sunday’s game at San Francisco.
With All-Pro David Bakhtiari on injured reserve as he continues to rehab from a torn ACL, the Packers used Elgton Jenkins at left tackle in the first two games of the season and he held up quite nicely. But the third-year pro suffered an ankle injury against Detroit and did not practice this week. Coach Matt LaFleur said Friday Jenkins would be listed as doubtful for the game.
“There’s definitely an outside shot (he can play),” LaFleur said. “If he can come around in the next 48 hours before we kickoff, then we’d let him go.”
LaFleur said they “have a plan” if Jenkins cannot go but wouldn’t divulge what it entails. However, the plan likely involves moving right tackle Billy Turner to the left side and putting veteran Dennis Kelly in Turner’s spot. They could also leave Turner on the right side and put Kelly in at left tackle.
Green Bay has been forced to shuffle the line in the past and had success, though having to do it against the defensive front the 49ers will throw at them Sunday night with the likes of Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead and others is not ideal.
“Obviously, it’s a credit to the players. Their ability to handle whatever is thrown at them regardless of the position,” LaFleur said of the past success in moving guys around. “We’ve got a lot of young guys, but we’ve got a lot of veterans in there too that have played a decent amount in terms of a backup role. We feel like we’ve got the people to go in there and get the job done. Certainly, it’s going to take our best effort because this is an elite defense. They’ve got all-pros really on every level, so we’re going to have to be on point.”