The Green Bay Packers will have to finish Sunday’s game without one of their most versatile pieces on offense.
The Packers have ruled running back Tyler Ervin out for the remainder of Week 10’s home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars after he sustained a rib injury midway through the second quarter. Ervin was initially ruled questionable to return before the Packers took a 17-10 lead into halftime, but he was declared out before the start of the second half.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 15, 2020
Ervin gained no yards on his lone rushing attempt, but he also made a 3-yard reception and was back for every punt and kick return in the first half. While the Packers’ run game didn’t suffer without him, he could be sorely missed in the return game on a windy afternoon at Lambeau Field.
Ervin was a sparkplug for the Packers’ special team unit during the 2019 season and found a greater role in the offense after re-signing for 2020, spending more time with the wideouts than the running backs while preparing for the season. Though his offensive usage has been tame this season, he has averaged 8.1 yards per reception and 5.8 yards per carry when called upon.
The Packers used second-year wide receiver Malik Taylor for the first kickoff return of the third quarter. Fellow wideout Darrius Shepherd has also been deployed in the return game in the past, but he was not available after being ruled inactive with a shoulder injury.
The Packers went on to win 24-20 after quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to Davante Adams in the fourth quarter.
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Ervin’s Absence Hindered Packers’ Playbook
The Packers came away from Sunday afternoon with a win, but another inconsistent and uninspired performance at Lambeau Field produced familiar struggles on offense.
From the onset, the Packers were outmatched in terms of energy with the Jaguars forcing them to punt on their first three drives. Things persisted further in the second half once Ervin was out of the equation and even further when Adams was also briefly sidelined with an injury. The third quarter alone saw the Packers turn the ball over three different times — an Adams fumble, turnover on downs and an interception.
“There was a moment there where (Adams) went out and we lost Swerve where we were a little bit in scramble mode on the sidelines trying to figure out how to formation some of this stuff to get our guys in the right position,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said in Sunday’s postgame. “And I think, again, we can do a better job as a staff of having a better plan and having more versatility within our plan.”
The Packers have certainly faced their fair share of injury troubles. Among the starters who have missed at least one game aside from Adams and Ervin: cornerback Jaire Alexander, All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, Pro Bowl nose tackle Kenny Clark, middle linebacker Christian Kirksey, running back Aaron Jones, cornerback Kevin King, wide receiver Allen Lazard and safety Darnell Savage Jr.
They have also lost starting right guard Lane Taylor, third-round rookie tight end Josiah Deguara and fullback John Lovett to season-ending injuries.