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Packers' Jake Ryan diagnosed with torn ACL, will miss 2018 season

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Packers' Jake Ryan diagnosed with torn ACL, will miss 2018 season

-- The Green Bay Packers have lost Jake Ryan for the season.

According to's Ian Rapoport, the fourth-year linebacker has been diagnosed with a torn ACL after being carted off of the practice field on Monday.

Ryan, 26, was entering the final year of his rookie deal and has started 27 games for the Packers since being drafted in the fourth round in 2015.

The Packers presumably had certain packages where Ryan saw the field, but they also drafted Oren Burks in the third round of April's draft. He was expected to eventually be rotated in as a starter opposite Blake Martinez, but Ryan's experience on the field will surely be missed.

This forces Burks -- barring whether or not the Packers test the free agent market in search of a veteran middle linebacker -- to shoulder more responsibility as a rookie. The rest of the Packers' depth at inside linebacker are a handful of undrafted players.

General manager Brian Gutekunst did say on Tuesday that he planned on practicing patience with the young players, both at Ryan's position and at safety where the Packers may have lost starting strong safety Kentrell Brice for an extensive period of time.

Brice was also carted off of the practice field on Monday, however, his test results came back negative and showed no signs of a break in his leg. Coach Mike McCarthy should have more of an update on Brice's timeframe Wednesday morning.

According to reports from those at the scene of Ryan's injury during training camp, he immediately hit the ground, grabbed his knee and screamed in pain while teammates huddled around him. The Packers have been fearing the worst ever since.

Martinez described Ryan as "devastated" on Monday.

"Obviously, he was super-excited about the season," Martinez said, according to Bill Huber of Packer Report. "He's been putting a tremendous amount of work in. He's been awesome throughout OTAs and these past four practices. It's been good for him. It's just really tough.

Pro Football Focus ranked Ryan as one of the NFL's best run-stopping middle linebackers last season, heightening his role in the Packers' defense entering 2018.


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (31) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bure9620's picture

Tough break, hate to see it. Hope he comes back strong. Anyone care for a Dirty Martini??

Coach JV's picture

Kick the tires on Cushing... he could be a cheap pick up.

Tarynfor12's picture

He likely has a PED suspension looming the moment he returns.

Coach JV's picture

I thought he served that out last year?

blue eyes's picture

Yeah Cushing wouldn't be bad if he can stay healthy and not get busted for peds. I would rather go after Bowman though. Dudes stronger than an Ox and makes big plays.

DraftHobbyist's picture

This is obviously a bad thing, but if we can't survive a Jake Ryan loss then we were never going to win the Super Bowl anyways.

Tarynfor12's picture

The odds on the Packers winning the SB just dropped to 20-1. : )

Hawg Hanner's picture

I thought Ryan was a plugger but not that impressive a performer to warrant starting for a top NFL team. Stout against the run, not so good when it came to pass defense. I feel he was starting as we simply lacked a better player. Somehow the Packers have been unable to bring in adequate talent at the linebacker position. Recall the Carl Bradford bust. Would be great if Burks turns out to be a show stopper but I hope we can pick up some free agent talent in any event.

billybobton's picture

He was starting and playing because TT drafted him and refused to admit mistakes. There is no spot for him this year. At best we have 3 INLB and Martinez is one and our rookie is another. that leaves at best one spot.

BUT that spot might well be dropped in favor of another DB either CB or S because we seem to have deep potential and numbers there.

Jones can be INLB # 3, or so might Rollins in passing packages.

CM3 is also able at INLB in fact he is better there because he is forced to be disciplined and forced to read his keys instead of abandoning all for speed pass rush but he can go outside on passing situations.

In running down we have better DL now than the last two years and don't need to pull a DL for a LB.

Plus we have a smarter DC who will roll play more effectively.

Hawg Hanner's picture

I like Jones but does he really have the bulk to take on big blockers and wrap up runners. They won't throw much in the middle with Jones there but won't they just bull doze him?

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Jake is a good functional player. Not a difference maker.

However, likely women will miss him as I have heard several women mention he is one of the best looking Packers in awhile.

GBPDAN1's picture

Feel bad for Ryan and wish him the best in his recovery. I believe this was the last year on his rookie deal? If so, he would have been playing for a new contract which is even more devastating for the kid.

Having an experienced quality run stuffer was a good thing for first and second downs and run situations, especially against good running teams - or when teams are trying to run out the clock. This puts a void on D. Burks is more of a cover and blitz player and the rest are undrafted rookies that are not as big as Ryan. I'm not counting the rookies out, but I really think the best approach is to bring in Bowman , or maybe Cushing , on a cheap one year deal.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I am sorry for Ryan. It was a contract year for him, too. As far as I can tell he has been a solid citizen. We will miss the 507 snaps he played last season. I think he was underrated by some.

This is an example of "churn" in the salary cap. I don't begrudge Ryan the $2.02M he will earn on IR, but now someone else will make the 53-man roster at an extra cost of at least $480K, maybe more. IOWs, we now have about half a million less in salary cap space than we did before Ryan unfortunately got hurt.

Haven't read anything from Hank Scorpio lately. Hope all is well.

Mojo's picture

Not sure, but if GB cuts Ryan I don't believe they owe him $2 mil unless there's something in the CBA that says the have to IR him.

Anyway, I hope they do IR him so he does get the $2 mil. I mean what bad luck right before getting a chance at a second contract after this year. Throw the kid some scratch in appreciation.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Jake has always been a great Packer! Class act!

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

GB will have to pay Ryan. It is 100% certain. The only ways to reduce it make no sense. Ryan could agree to an injury settlement for less than his full pay. No reason for him to agree to do that. GB could waive him injured and hope some GM puts in a claim and assumes responsibility for the contract of a player in his last year who can't play in that year. The GM would have to be crazy. Otherwise a team can't release an injured player until he can pass a physical or the season has ended.

Lare's picture

Any time a player is out with injury it allows more reps for other players. The Packers should know fairly soon if they have viable replacements on the roster for Ryan and Brice. If not they'll have to see what's available through free agency or at final cutdowns.

Tarynfor12's picture

" Any time a player is out with injury it allows more reps for other players."

The extra reps for backups should be higher than the veterans or obvious starters to begin with,since it should take them less to get in sync with each other, thus knowing sooner than later, that your injury is covered.

cheesehead1's picture

Looking forward to see what Burks can bring. Any word what so ever on Biegal? Haven’t heard a word about him.

Tarynfor12's picture

You don't buy into the...No news is good news theory?

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture


Bearmeat's picture

You feel bad for Ryan and he definitely would have helped the defense this year. This isn't as bad as losing a front line talent, but it's not good either. I hope Jake comes back strong and that we don't get any more of these types of injuries to quality depth.

NashvilleCheesehead's picture

Burk’s would have been starter by end of season. Click just sped up for him. Having seen him play here in Nashville, it is clear he has huge upside. Smart guy with high football IQ. He’ll be ready.

NashvilleCheesehead's picture


Bearmeat's picture

You do know CHTV has an edit button, right? :D

NashvilleCheesehead's picture

Not in mobile

kevgk's picture

Well you don't want him like Josh Jones getting worn out and confused later in the season. Letting coaches give young players limited assignments help them focus on the fundamentals, and not try to keep up with the graduate level schemes and often fail.

dobber's picture

There was a bit on JSOnline the other day where they were talking about Pettine's playbook and, at this point, it's about a quarter of what was in the old Capers playbook.

The TKstinator's picture

Yeah, the whole section entitled “leave the middle wide open, then stand around with palms up looking confused” is not in there at all.

Lphill's picture

Burks was moved around too much in college never settled into one position I don't think he will be ready to start.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Well whether he is ready or not he is going to have to learn on the fly. He should be given the lion share of reps to prepare.

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