The success of an NFL offensive line often hinges on its overall health. The unit consists of five parts working as one, placing a premium on cohesion. Action flows swiftly in the trenches, often requiring nonverbal communication to avoid breakdowns. The best offensive lines limit personnel changes, keeping the same five players on the field. So it was surprising that a Green Bay Packers offensive line riddled with injuries from the start of the 2017 season somehow managed to be perhaps the best position on the offense. Offensive line coach James Campen earned his postseason promotion to run-game coordinator, finding a way to make a patchwork unit function like a seasoned group. That the Packers finished with the fifth-most sacks allowed in the NFL (51) was misleading. The transition from two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers to Brett Hundley, a first-time starter who often struggled to see the rush, was difficult. As badly as Hundley fared, imagine how much worse things might have been without a strong offensive line to support him. There was little reason to expect the Packers’ offensive line could weather injuries as well as it did. David Bakhtiari, the unit’s best player, tore his hamstring in the Packers’ opener against Seattle and was lost for the next four games. A preseason ankle injury and midseason torn ACL limited Bryan Bulaga to five starts. Backup tackles Jason Spriggs (hamstring) and Kyle Murphy (left foot) spent time on injured reserve.
Injuries create openings on Packers' offensive line
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Feb 10