Beloved Ex-Packer Could Miss Week 1 vs. GB After Late Injury List Change

Maybe Robert Tonyan just couldn’t go through with it. Maybe after five seasons with the Packers—plus another fraction of a year on the practice squad—Tonyan decided that starting over in a new town with a new team while facing Green Bay in his debut there was too much. Maybe the fact that the new team is the Bears was the clincher.

Or, maybe he just threw out his back and was a bit sore on Saturday morning.

#Bears game status update:
TE Robert Tonyan (back) is now questionable for tomorrow’s game.

— Bears Communications (@BearsPR) September 9, 2023

Either way, after avoiding the injury list throughout the week, Tonyan was a late addition on Saturday afternoon, listed as questionable by the Bears for what would be his debut in a Chicago uniform. Tonyan had only been rostered with the Packers in his career, which peaked in 2020 when he had 11 touchdowns to go with 52 catches and 586 yards.

This winter, Tonyan was part of the post-Aaron Rodgers exodus, nabbing a one-year deal in Chicago (along with veteran Marcedes Lewis)  worth $2.65 million.

Packers Decline to Add WR, Indicating Doubs Will Play

Also in the pre-Week 1 injury news, the Packers brought up a pair of players from the practice squad and while what they will do on Sunday probably is not overwhelmingly important, what they won’t do is—neither will line up as a receiver. And because neither is a receiver, it’s likely that the Packers are confident in the health of starter Romeo Doubs, whose hamstring injury limited him in practice.

Green Bay badly needs Doubs healthy because the team has already ruled out top receiver Christian Watson for Week 1. Watson is also dealing with a bad hamstring. The Packers have virtually no experience at the receiver spot behind Watson and Doubs.

“This is a day-to-day thing,” Doubs said of his hamstring injury this week, the first he has had in his football career. “As far as my health being, I will leave that up to coach LaFleur. … Just throughout this entire week I thought some of the things I’ve been doing, in this building, I thought I’ve been doing a tremendous job. Days away from Sunday, can’t wait to play.”

Tonyan Added Vet Wisdom to Young Bears

As for Tonyan, he has tried to bring some of the wisdom he’s gained from his years playing with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers down to Justin Fields and the Bears. Fields is one of the most dynamic young quarterbacks in the league, coming off a season in which he was the league’s leading rusher by yards per carry, at 7.1. He posted 2,242 yards passing and 1,143 yards rushing. But the Bears were 3-12 in his starts.

Tonyan has nudged Fields to show more leadership and take better control of the offense.

“Robert Tonyan has talked about this and he told me that I didn’t really need to be the juice guy on the offense,” Fields told the Chicago Tribune. “I needed to be locked in. I have to be locked in intensely and know what everybody’s doing. Get everybody on the same page.

“But it’s really just making sure everybody’s on their P’s and Q’s when it comes to running plays and making sure we’re on the same page. And if somebody’s not picking it up, then it’s my job to get on them and make sure that they pick up the tempo.”

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