Packers linebacker Jake Ryan will miss the entire 2018 season after suffering a torn ACL in training camp, reports NFL Network. It’s a major blow to Green Bay’s defense weeks before the regular season has started.
Ryan, a 2015 fourth-round pick out of Michigan, was carted off the field during the Packers’ practice Monday. X-rays were reportedly negative for a break but it appears subsequent tests revealed the torn ACL, which will require surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation period.
Blake Martinez and Ryan were slated to be the Packers’ inside linebackers this season. Now the team may turn to third-round pick Oren Burks or second-year pro Ahmad Thomas, who signed with the team in 2017 as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma.
Ryan emerged over the last three seasons as a key contributor to the Packers’ defense. He’s started 27 of his 43 appearances and topped 80 tackles in each of the last two seasons. In 2017, he recorded 81 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble in 15 games.
The Packers finished 22nd in yards allowed per game and 26th in points allowed per game despite Ryan’s presence.
The team focused on defense during the offseason, adding Muhammad Wilkerson, Tramon Williams and Davon House in free agency and Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson and Burks with early draft picks, but this is an unexpected loss before the games have begun.