Packers Encouraged to Bench Starter ‘ASAP’ by Analyst

Getty The Green Bay Packer are being called upon to bench one of their starters.

The Green Bay Packers are still trying to reach their full potential on offense without superstar wide receiver Davante Adams. While players are starting to step up and get more comfortable in their roles, one starter is being called upon to get benched by a major media outlet.

Alex Ballantine with Bleacher Report gave their list of players that each NFL team should bench as soon as possible. When talking about the Packers, Ballentine suggested that Green Bay bench offensive guard Royce Newman, who is currently playing in just his second season in the league.

“The Packers have multiple options if they want Newman out of their lineup,” Ballentine said. “Jenkins has played right guard before, so he could kick back inside and allow Nijman to take over at right tackle. They could also try Nijman at left guard and move Jon Runyan Jr. to the right side. Either way, Newman is not in their best lineups.”

Offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich has done a great job over the years in Green Bay, previously as the OL coach, mixing and matching pieces to get the best five offensive linemen onto the field. Given how things have gone for Newman, Stenavich might need to get creative to find a way to get the second-year guard off of the field.

Is it Time to Bench Royce Newman?

He’s only in his second NFL season, so there’s still time for him to turn things around, but so far through his career Newman hasn’t always been the most consistent offensive guard.

Newman was a 4-star recruit out of Nashville, Illinois, with FBS offers from programs including Penn State, Iowa State, and Nebraska. Instead, Newman decided to play down south for the Ole Miss Rebels.

After starting his college career as a reserve offensive lineman, Newman took over as a starter over his final two seasons, playing left guard in 2019 and then right tackle in 2020. His versatility and strong play in the SEC helped him get drafted in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Packers.

Newman became the starting right guard for the Packers as a rookie, and has held that position almost exclusively besides playing right tackle in the 2022 season opener against the Vikings. However, he hasn’t been the most reliable starter on the offensive line. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Newman allowed 32 pressures last season and has allowed seven already through three games this year.

With David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins back, Newman has still kept his starting job. However, if he continues to struggle in pass protection, the Packers could turn to someone else like Jake Hanson, Zach Tom, or Sean Rhyan to take over at right guard.

What is Going to Happen to Yosh Nijman?

While Newman is struggling to play to the point analysts are calling for him to be benched, fill-in left tackle Yosh Nijman is likely heading to the bench despite playing at a solid level for the past year.

Nijman has been filling in at left tackle while Bakhtiari recovered from his torn ACL and subsequent surgeries. Despite being an undrafted free agent, Nijman stepped in and held his own, earning the respect of Packers fans everywhere.

Unfortunately, with Bakhtiari and Jenkins both healthy, there may not be a spot for Nijman. Jenkins could kick in to right guard to replace Newman, but Nijman doesn’t have significant experience on the right side of the offensive line, which could be a risky decision.

It’s a tough situation for Nijman, but Packers fans will appreciate his contributions dating back to last year, regardless of what the future holds.

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