Point of Veau: Next Man Up Is Jeremy Vujnovich

With news that Kevin Dorsey has suffered a serious injury, look for Vujnovich to get a promotion soon.

Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Jeremy Vujnovich by Jeff Hanisch—USA TODAY Sports.

Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Jeremy Vujnovich by Jeff Hanisch—USA TODAY Sports.

With news that Kevin Dorsey has suffered a foot injury that could end his season, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the next man up for the Green Bay Packers figures to be practice squad offensive lineman Jeremy Vujnovich.

Granted, Dorsey's injury is still being evaluated at the time of publication and no roster moves appear to be impending, but if this is indeed a season-ender, promoting Vujnovich makes sense for a team looking for the depth on the offensive line.

After the Packers released former first round draft choice Derek Sherrod earlier this week, the need for an extra offensive tackle on the roster has developend and was only exacerbated when both Josh Sitton (toe) and T.J. Lang (ankle) tore ligaments as part of their respective injuries in the last game against the Saints.

Mike McCarthy and the Packers can talk about the flexibility of their offensive linemen, nearly all of whom have played tackle in college, but the fact remains they're stretched thin if Sitton and Lang happen to miss Sunday's upcoming game against the Chicago Bears if not more.

The activation of J.C. Tretter from injured reserver will help, but should Sitton and Lang be forced onto the gameday inactive list, the Packers will enter the game with only six healthy offensive linemen, and the player furthest down the depth chart—Garth Gerhart—is strictly an interior offensive lineman.

Vujnovich may be raw, he might be a project, but he's a player with upside. He also has an interesting background.

Coming out of a Division III program at Louisiana College, Vujnovich participated in the Packers' rookie orientation camp on a tryout basis in 2013 but wasn't signed and eventually joined the workforce.

The Packers gave Vujnovich another chance, signing him to a futures contract in January of 2014 and even though he was cut at the end of training camp, he's been with the team ever since, signed to the practice squad at the outset of the regular season.

Vujnovich played in all four Packers preseason game and got a particularly long look in the final exhibition game when the team rested most of its starters, playing 73 snaps at left tackle and displaying a surprising amount of athleticism.

The Packers may be in trouble if they'd have to rely upon Vujnovich for an extended period of time in just his first season in the NFL, but at 6-5 and 300 lbs. he shows more potential than a lot of other fringe practice-squad players.

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Comments (9)

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Evan's picture

November 07, 2014 at 11:46 am

I mean...would Vujnovich really be a better option than Sherrod if they need a backup tackle?

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Brian Carriveau's picture

November 07, 2014 at 11:52 am

I think all the evidence you need is that Sherrod was not picked up on waivers. His salary for half a season would not have been prohibitive and no one is even taking a flyer on a former first round draft pick. That's rather telling.

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Evan's picture

November 07, 2014 at 11:59 am

It's definitely telling of Sherrod's ability/what teams think of it...but it doesn't really address my question.

I mean, no team is knocking down the door to sign Vujnovich, either, yeah?

For as bad as Sherrod was, I'd still feel more comfortable with him being forced into action than Vujnovich. That's all I'm really saying.

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Brian Carriveau's picture

November 07, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Fair enough, I can respect that opinion. It's an interesting debate. But I think what Sherrod's release tells you, as we talked about on Railbird Central this morning, is that the Packers don't expect Sitton or Lang to miss Sunday's game.

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Evan's picture

November 07, 2014 at 12:55 pm

That's a good point...there is no way they didn't already know about the severity of Lang and Sitton's injuries when they cut Sherrod. Hopefully you're right and at least one will play this week.

At the end of the day, Sherrod or Vujnovich, if the Packers were forced to rely on either for an extended period of time, they're in some serious dire straits.

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ben's picture

November 08, 2014 at 09:09 am

The answer is yes. Vujnovich is a gamer, & he may have played some of the best left tackle the packers have seen this year.

He is not a project. He is ready.

Evan, the only reason u'd be more comfortable with sharrod is if u really havent watched Vujnovich play left tackle. Obviously.

& if u don't know sharrod is and always has been a liability, pre & post injury, u should

(If the packers want to do anything more than win some games this year and be competitive, they will need to move clay Matthews to middle linebacker to shore up the middle of this defense. Anything short of this is a waste of another year with the greatest qb to play the game. MLB was not addressed this off-season, but still could be.)

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ben's picture

November 09, 2014 at 10:42 pm

About time

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DaTomkat's picture

November 07, 2014 at 01:50 pm

I would still like to see a bench press contest between Jeremy Vujnovich & Corey Linsley. Both strong like Freekin BULL ! You could probably throw in Mike Neil to make it interesting. I would like to join- in also but at my age,"My BACK goes out more than I do !

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 07, 2014 at 11:12 pm

Brian - did you read my post and decide to write an article on it? Because I said the exact same thing when the news of Dorsey's injury. If you didn't then I guess great minds think a like. :)

If they decided to put Dorsey on IR but don't bring up Vujnovich, then who do they bring up? Banjo, Hubbard, White, other?

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