The Green Bay Packers could have one of their top receiving weapons back in the lineup for the start of the 2022 season.
According to David Lombardi of The Athletic, Packers starting tight end Robert Tonyan Jr. is expected to be recovered from last season’s ACL tear in time to play in the Packers’ season opener against the Minnesota Vikings on September 11.
He also shared a video of Tonyan running along the sideline at the ‘Tight End University’ summit on June 23, in which the 28-year-old appeared to have good mobility in his injured left knee.
Tonyan has been working his way back from an ACL tear he sustained in Week 8’s win over the Arizona Cardinals on October 28, going down at the end of a run-and-catch that gave the Packers a 33-yard gain.
Tonyan’s agent, Jack Bechta, confirmed the next day that he had suffered a “clean (tear) with no lateral damage,” but the injury resulted in Tonyan being shut down for the remainder of the 2021 season.
Bill Huber of Sports Illustrated originally reported back in March that both the Packers and Tonyan’s camp believed he would be ready for the start of the 2022 season, but actually seeing him running in full stride and putting weight on his knee is the most encouraging sign yet of his recovery.
Typically, NFL players take between nine and 12 months to return from ACL tears, and Tonyan will be at about the 10 1/2-month mark when the Packers begin their season, but recoveries can also hit complications — as the team learned over the past year with All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari.
The next update on Tonyan’s progress will likely come after veterans report for Packers training camp on July 26. Green Bay might continue to play it cautious with him and not rush him back into practice, but returning to the field for at least the back half of camp would bode well for him being able to play against the Vikings in Week 1.