Wausau Pilot and Review
Green Bay Packers linebacker Jake Ryan has a torn ACL and is likely out for the entire 2018 season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Ryan had been slated to start at inside linebacker. He was carted off the field from practice Sunday. Ryan, a fourth-round pick of the Packers in 2015, started 12 games last season, finishing with 79 tackles, a forced fumble and a sack. He has appeared in 43 games in his three seasons in Green Bay.
According to the ESPN report, the injury will accelerate the need for rookie third-round pick Oren Burks to play a bigger role on defense.
On Tuesday, first-year general manager Brian Gutekunst said the team would stand pat for now, but that could change given the nature of Ryan’s injury.
Ryan is one of several Packers to be injured in training camp. Safety Kentrell Brice, who took virtually every team snap with the No. 1 defense before his injury, was also carted off the field when he was blindsided during a punt coverage drill.
Brice missed much of last season with another ankle injury.
With Brice sidelined, Josh Jones, a second-round pick a year ago, got most of the reps at safety alongside Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Jermaine Whitehead also worked with the first unit at safety in Brice’s place.
“You know, you never like to see any of that, especially with those guys who have worked as hard as they have. But it’s football, it’s part of it and it’s our job to be prepared and keep moving forward,” Gutekunst said.
The starting safety spot opposite Ha Ha Clinton-Dix came open this offseason when longtime starter Morgan Burnett left as a free agent and joined the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jones, who played more than 700 defensive snaps last year as a rookie, now must put that experience to use.
“Next man up. That’s the mentality,” Jones said. “You hate to see one of your teammates go down, but the next guy should be prepared. That’s why you prepare. When it’s your time to be called upon, you’re ready.”