The Green Bay Packers sent an offensive lineman to the injured reserve list (IR) on Thursday, August 31, filling his roster spot with a crucial specialist.
Tackle Luke Tenuta will spend at least the next four weeks out of commission with an ankle injury, which he suffered during the team’s first preseason contest against the Cincinnati Bengals on August 11.
Taking his place on the active roster is long snapper Matthew Orzech who fills what was previously a vacant role following the team’s announcement of its initial 53-man roster.
Packers Offensive Line Can Easily Absorb Luke Tenuta’s Absence
Luckily for the Packers, they boast one of the deepest and most talented offensive lines in the NFL, and Tenuta has functioned as a depth piece since the team claimed him off the waiver wire in October 2022. The Buffalo Bills selected Tenuta in the sixth round of that year’s draft. He was claimed off of waivers by the Indianapolis Colts last season before ultimately landing in Green Bay.
The 24-year-old Tenuta appeared in just three regular season games for the Packers in 2022, playing 18 snaps on special teams and just seven snaps on offense, per Pro Football Reference. He plays behind starters David Bakhtiari and Zach Tom, as well as second-string reserves Yosh Nijman and Rasheed Walker. Tenuta is listed as a third-string tackle on the Packers’ unofficial preseason depth chart alongside Caleb Jones.
As for Orzech, his NFL long-snapping career began in 2019 as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He didn’t see any regular season action in 2020, then joined the Los Angeles Rams where he has played for the last two seasons.
Green Bay put in a waiver claim for Orzech in May 2021, though lost out to the Rams in that regard. Orzech played 139 special teams snaps for Los Angeles in each of the last two years after playing 136 snaps for Jacksonville in 2019.
Packers Re-Sign Defensive Lineman Jonathan Ford to Practice Squad
The main roster isn’t the Packers’ only concern as the regular-season opener against the Chicago Bears now looms just nine days away. Green Bay also filled out its practice squad with the addition of a familiar name on Friday.
“The Green Bay Packers signed DL Jonathan Ford to the practice squad and released C James Empey,” according to a release posted on the team’s official website. “The transactions were announced Friday by general manager Brian Gutekunst. Ford was on the Packers’ active roster for all 17 games as a rookie in 2022.”
The Packers drafted Ford in the seventh-round last year. While he was a member of the active roster for the entirety of the regular season, Ford didn’t play a snap on either defense or special teams as a rookie.