Packers shuffling offensive line combinations to start training camp

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While David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins both rehab injuries on the physically unable to perform list to open training camp, the Green Bay Packers are experimenting with several different offensive line combinations.

On Day 1, the Packers had Yosh Nijman at left tackle, Jake Hanson at right guard and Royce Newman at right tackle with the first-team offense.

On Day 2, the Packers inserted rookie Zach Tom into the mix to left tackle, moved Nijman to right tackle and had Newman take over at right guard.

On both days, Jon Runyan Jr. played left guard and Josh Myers played center.

Matt LaFleur said to expect more shuffling as the Packers work combinations and try to find the best fits for individual players.

Tom’s opportunity on Day 2 of camp was certainly intriguing. The Packers clearly think he’s capable of handling life on the edges in the NFL. At Wake Forest, Tom started games at center but also was a standout left tackle, especially during the 2021 season when he handled first-round pick Jermaine Johnson and was one of the best overall pass-blockers in college football. Tom played left tackle for the second-team offense on Day 1 but also got mixed in at guard.

Nijman started eight games at left tackle last season and also played right tackle during his collegiate career at Virginia Tech, so he has experience playing on both sides. He might need to start at left tackle if Bakhtiari isn’t ready for the start of the season, but he might also be the best option at right tackle if Bakhtiari is back and Jenkins starts the season on the PUP list.

Newman’s positional flexibility also comes in handy. He started 16 games at right guard as a rookie, but he also played right tackle at Ole Miss. The Packers like him on the right side of the offensive line.

Hanson is looking more and more like a Lucas Patrick replacement. He can play guard but also handle snaps at center, his position in college. Having a versatile player who can be the backup behind Myers could be valuable and a sure way for Hanson to make the team.

Also, note that LaFleur said Runyan would get some snaps at center as a cross-training measure.

At some point, third-round pick Sean Rhyan will likely get a chance to compete for the starting job at right guard, where he’s been on the second-team line.

Ideally, the Packers will only need to scramble along the offensive line for a few weeks before one of Bakhtiari or Jenkins (or both) return to the lineup.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire