Tyler Davis Has Re-Entered the Chat

Returning from an ACL injury Tyler Davis needs to remind coaches of his value

In the NFL, not everyone is going to be a star. Not everyone even drafted or signed is guaranteed to find a home. When you find yourself possibly on the low end of the depth chart, there's a good chance you could be cut. It's just the nature of the business unless you find a different way to make the roster. That other way for many ends up being on Special Teams.

Special Teams is exactly how Packers tight end, Tyler Davis has carved out a four-year NFL career. After he was signed off the Colts practice squad to the Packers' active roster in late September of 2021, Davis became a mainstay of Rich Bisaccia's Special Teams unit. In 2021, Davis logged 232 snaps on Special Teams and followed it up with 346 in 2022. Respectively, that's 64% of ST snaps in 2021, and 81% in 2022. But he's not only a Special Teams player. Davis did end up logging 121 snaps in 2021, and 174 in 2022 on offense.  It wasn't spectacular, but he did average four receptions for an average of 30 yards in both seasons. 

With the tight end room seeing a revamp in 2023, Davis wasn't going to see a major change in his role as rookies Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft would likely see the bulk of the offensive action, but Davis had a shot to contribute a little more than usual. Davis scored a touchdown from Sean Clifford off a six-yard pass in the first preseason game of 2023 possibly showing a bid for at least somewhat of a receiving role in 2023. However, that bid was cut short when Tyler Davis suffered an ACL injury that would end his 2023 season before it even got started.

Re-signed for 2024

On the first day of free agency, the Packers released information that Tyler Davis had been re-signed. It was a move that just made sense for the Packers as Davis provided a solid special teams presence and was a good blocker on offense when needed. But does being 27 years old bode well for Tyler Davis on a team making a significant push toward youth? 

Tyler Davis is at least four years older than the rest of the tight ends on the team. So, that makes him the veteran presence in the room. Packers' tight ends coach John Dunn has raved about Davis' dedication and the guidance he's brought the younger guys in the locker room. Even after his ACL injury, when some players would do nothing but rehab and stay to themselves, Tyler Davis made sure to continue his involvement with his positional teammates, lending words of advice whenever necessary.  So, Davis' re-signing could not only be about special teams, it could also be about having a veteran presence in a room that lacks it. 

2024 Contributions

So, how is Tyler Davis going to contribute in 2024? 

Well, the first way to contribute is the obvious, Special Teams. Rich Bisaccia considers Tyler Davis his unit's right hand. He was very disappointed to lose Davis in 2023, and can't wait to have him back in 2024. But let's be honest, with Luke Musgrave, Tucker Kraft, and Ben Sims in the position, Tyler Davis is still the outlier. This year could be a tough one for Davis to crack the roster on his Special Teams merits alone. The Packers endured life without Davis in 2023. Which of course wasn't that great Special Teams-wise, but they still did it. If they need an extra roster spot elsewhere, it could be considered that Tyler Davis wasn't around last year so could be expendable. 

One area I believe we could see Davis in more is run blocking on offense. For years, the Packers had Marcedes Lewis acting as a sixth offensive lineman. Davis isn't quite as big as Lewis to fit this description, but he is a good blocker and could be used as an extra blocker in running situations. 

There's also the H-back role. Josiah Deguara never fully grasped this role. Henry Pearson could be the shoo-in for that role heading into the 2024 season, but I'd debate that Tyler Davis should get his chance to take it.  Davis may be a little above Pearson in terms of blocking and he also has more passing game experience. So, I could see Davis taking on an H-back role on top of Special Teams. 

Tyler Davis is no lock to make the 53-man roster at all. But with his special teams' success in previous seasons and his abilities to convert to H-back, he could still have a good chance to carve out a good role with the Green Bay Packers in 2024. 

 

   

 

 

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Greg Meinholz is a lifelong devoted Packer fan. A contributor to CheeseheadTV as well as PackersTalk. Follow him on Twitter @gmeinholz for Packers commentary, random humor, beer endorsements, and occasional Star Wars and Marvel ramblings.

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Comments (5)

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T7Steve's picture

May 15, 2024 at 12:25 pm

I think he'll make the team. I hope the best for any guy coming back from serious injury in this competitive league.

I thought last season he would start out as TE #1 till the rookies got adjusted to the NFL, which is supposed to be the hardest for TEs. Also, I bet he caught a lot of passes from Love in practices while Love was backing up Rodgers.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 15, 2024 at 03:00 pm

He's a blocker,and a good one. I hope the injury hasn't taken that away. One of the secrets to the LaFleur offense is six offensive linemen. Guys who can get their guy blocked and maybe catch a pass or two are always going to be useful.

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Coldworld's picture

May 16, 2024 at 09:38 am

He’s a blocker, but at best an adequate one, or at least he was in 2022. He’s a very good STer. He’s a body type that likely benefits from the kick off rule changes.

Last pre season he was supposedly showing a step up, but we never saw it. I think he’s back for STs, I’m not sure how much better a blocker he is than Sims, who seems to offer more as an offensive TE.

To get offensive snaps now we have Kraft and Sims who can block, he’s going to need to have taken steps as a blocker over 2022 sufficient to add enough value over Sims or Kraft to offset the lesser offensive potential. He is also going to have to show he is best able to handle the small “FB” role left to Deguara by the end of last year.

He will be one to watch in camp, to see whether his leap last year was real and is sustained or was more akin to the great strides claimed for Hanson or Newman. If he has really become a plus blocker then that would be a plus, definitely.

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splitpea1's picture

May 15, 2024 at 12:27 pm

I would be very surprised if he didn't make the team; he had the most snaps of any ST player in the previous season, I believe, and if Bisaccia feels that he needs him, then that bodes well for his chances.

Maybe we could use him in blocking situations near the goal line and have him leak out to catch a surprise TD or two.

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LambeauPlain's picture

May 15, 2024 at 09:53 pm

I agree with the above comments.

Davis was getting rave reviews during camp and preseason until the severe injury. His blocking has always been solid. He had some recieving issued in the past but Matt praised his improvement catching the ball last offseason.

In a strange twist of fate, two guys who were called out by the coaches last preseason for great improvement...Davis and Enagbare...both had severe ACL injuries. Crazy.

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