Packers OLB Rashan Gary to start 2023 season on ‘pitch count’

Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Rashan Gary is increasingly likely to be ready for Week 1, but coach Matt LaFleur confirmed the team’s plan is to put Gary — who is coming off a torn ACL — on a “pitch count” in terms of snaps to open 2023.

“Yeah, we’ll put him on a pitch count. We’re going to be smart with him, knowing this is a marathon. Working with our athletic training staff, just in terms of how much volume we want to give him,” LaFleur said.

The Packers open the season on Sunday, Sept. 10 against the Chicago Bears.

LaFleur said the Packers have to “pull him back” at times because Gary often goes 100 miles per hour in every football-related activity. The 2019 first-round pick tore his ACL in early November of last year and only recently started practicing in 11-on-11 periods after coming off the PUP list.

While Gary works his way back to 100 percent, the Packers can lean on impressive depth at edge rusher. Preston Smith provides a veteran presence in the starting lineup, while Kingsley Enagbare’s development in Year 2, Justin Hollins’ do-it-all skill set and the arrival of rookies Lukas Van Ness and Brenton Cox Jr. give the Packers enviable depth at a premium position and the ability to go slow with Gary until he’s ready to be a full-time starter.

Over his first nine games last year, Gary delivered 38 pressures and 25 stops, per PFF.

It’s certainly possible Enagbare will be a de facto starter for the Packers at edge rusher until Gary is back to 100 percent. Packers Wire picked Enagbare as one of the stars of the preseason after he delivered a pair of sacks and a team-high three special teams tackles. As a rookie last season, Enabagre created 25 pressures and 18 stops over 452 snaps.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire