The Green Bay Packers are optimistic about their chances of success in the upcoming season. One of the biggest reasons for optimism is the return of Aaron Rodgers from injury. After missing some of last season, Rodgers looks healthy and ready to join his team in another Super Bowl.
Moreover, many players signed to one-year exclusive rights contracts, and some of these players could have an impact immediately, such as LB Krys Barnes, TE Dominique Dafney, C Jake Hanson, OT Yosh Nijman, OLB Randy Ramsey, and WR Malik Taylor.
Although the Green Bay Packers have a talented roster, there are some areas of concern for the team heading into the 2022 season. Let’s look at their top five concerns.
Uncertainty over David Bakhtiari’s Status
Bakhtiari tore his ACL in December 2020 and has played only one game since then. In his lone appearance in week 18 against the Detroit Lions last season, he played a limited role. Moreover, Bakhtiari could not compete in the divisional round two weeks later.
The Packers were without their five-time All-Pro left tackle during their previous two postseason losses. Getting him fully healthy for the upcoming season would significantly boost the offense.
Initially, the expectation was for Bakhtiari to return from injury last season and be ready for the playoffs; however, he suffered a setback in his recovery. Currently, Bakhtiari is expected to fully recover from his injury and is prepared to participate in training camp.
The Packers have a lot of faith in Bakhtiari, but the player is not exempt from injury. If he’s hurt again in training camp, we’ll see what other options the team has. Green Bay’s offensive line will be a lot stronger with his presence. His status will be something to track this season.
The Green Bay Packers’ starting defense is among the most talented in the NFL. The Green Bay Packers have All-Pros on defense, including Kenny Clark, De’Vondre Campbell, and Jaire Alexander. Moreover, with the presence of Rashan Gary, Preston Smith, Quay Walker, Eric Stokes, and Adrian Amos, this defense is vital in critical areas.
However, the Packers’ defensive depth is a concern, especially along the defensive line and at the inside linebacker. They lost one of their defensive stars when Za’Darius Smith, this offseason. If either Smith or Gary misses any time, Green Bay will have to rely heavily on rookie running back Kingsley Enagbare to step into a starting position.
Special teams have been a sore spot for the Packers for quite some time. The Packer’s special teams cost them last season. They’ll need to improve their performance in this area. In 2022, everything that could go wrong did. And it cost the Packers a shot at a championship.
Green Bay drafted players who are expected to help on special teams. However, it is too early to judge the depth of this unit until we see significant improvements in the field.
This is a concern that the Packers must address in January. According to NFL odds, the Packers are among the favorites to win the 2022-23 season with an implied win probability of 63.6%, third-best among NFL teams, however, there have been problems getting the job done. Playoff exits in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2019 all took place on the road. To end their Super Bowl drought, they need to win the biggest games on the grandest stage in January, whether they play at home or away.
Wide Receiver Corps
Green Bay has added new receivers this offseason, including trading up for Christian Watson in the second round. The team drafted a receiver earlier than it has in two decades. Aaron Rodgers’ ability to spread the ball around may pay off, given the Packers’ depth. Moreover, Watson has a chance to make an immediate impact like Justin and Chase did as rookies. Whatever happens, the Packers have taken a leap of faith at wide receiver.
In the end, the Packers’ top five issues will likely be minor compared to a number of other teams across the league. However, if appropriately addressed, these concerns could lead to better results for the team in 2022. Overall, the Packers’ success will hinge on Rodgers more than anything else. His presence alone should put Green Bay in a position to contend for another title next season.