Packers OLB Rashan Gary has a real chance to play vs. Vikings

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A hyperextended right elbow might be nothing more than a minor inconvenience for a player who patterns his style after the “Bane” character from DC Comics.

The Green Bay Packers listed outside linebacker Rashan Gary as questionable for Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, giving him a real shot to play despite only suffering the elbow injury only last Sunday.

Gary, who leads the team in sacks and pressures, was injured while making a tackle during the Packers’ win over the Seattle Seahawks. His right arm was hyperextended at the elbow under the weight of an opposing player. Fortunately, he avoided any significant structural damage in the elbow and could attempt to play against the Vikings with a brace supporting the area.

It’s clear the Packers don’t sense major concern with Gary suffering a more significant injury to the elbow. He was available as a limited participant during all three practices this week.

Having Gary available, even in a reduced capacity, could be a big boost for the Packers defense in a matchup against one of the NFL’s best passing offenses. Consistent pressure on quarterback Kirk Cousins, which Gary can help provide, will be a key to victory.

Through 10 games, Gary has 5.5 sacks, 19 quarterback hits and 46 total pressures. He ranks fifth among edge rushers in pressures this season. The 2019 first-round pick has been a breakout star and one of the most consistent players on the Packers defense this season.

Gary’s official status for the game won’t be decided by the team until 90 minutes before kickoff when inactives are announced.

If Gary can’t play, the Packers would rely on second-year edge rusher Jonathan Garvin as a starter opposite veteran Preston Smith. The team also promoted Tipa Galeai from the practice squad and could elevate La’Darius Hamilton from the practice squad for depth. Linebacker Oren Burks has played snaps on the outside as well.

In other injury-related news, the Packers listed receiver Allen Lazard as doubtful and ruled out left tackle David Bakhtiari, running back Aaron Jones and receiver Malik Taylor for Sunday. Like Gary, defensive lineman Kingsley Keke is questionable. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who returned to practice on Friday, does not have an injury designation and will play.

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