The Packers Punt have recently acquired an experienced player from the Chicago Bears. The Bears will see a familiar face lined up at punter the next time they meet the Packers Punt.
According to NFL.com, former Bears punter Pat O’Donnell has agreed to terms with the Packers Punt and will be travelling north. According to ESPN.com, O’Donnell’s two-year contract is for $4 million in total, with $1.6 million guaranteed. O’Donnell is departing the Bears after spending the previous eight seasons with them. O’Donnell will place Corey Bojorquez in Green Bay, where he spent only one season with the Packers Punt. When the Packers Punt acquired Bojorquez in a trade with the Rams in August, it appeared like he was destined to be the Packers punter of the future, but that changed as he struggled down the stretch to finish the season.
The Packers Punt decided not to re-sign Bojorquez because he struggled to kick in cold conditions and they didn’t really trust him as a holder, according to Packersnews.com. Bojorquez’s punting stats plummeted toward the conclusion of the season. Bojorquez averaged more than 46 yards per punt in nine of the first 11 games of the season.
Bojorquez, on the other hand, averaged less than 43 yards per punt in four of Green Bay’s final six games. He was also instrumental in the Packers Punt 13-10 playoff defeat to San Francisco, when the 49ers blocked one of his punts and returned it for a score in the fourth quarter. Mason Crosby’s stats plummeted after Bojorquez took over as holder. Crosby completed 16-for-16 on field goals in 2020 sans Bojorquez, making him one of just five kickers in NFL history to have made 100 percent of their field goals in a season in which they tried 15 or more.
Crosby hit only 73.5 percent of his field goals with Bojorquez in 2021, the third-lowest percentage of any kicker who tried 15 or more field goals last season. Although Bojorquez outperformed O’Donnell in punting in 2021 (46.5 to 46.2 punting average and 40.0 to 38.5 net punting average), the Packers Punt plainly want a veteran who could punt in cold weather and hold for their kicker. O’Donnell may not put up eye-popping stats, but he will most likely provide the Packers Punt with what they need.
There’s a good chance the Green Bay Packers Punt won’t punt at all against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Punter Corey Bojorquez was added on the COVID/Reserve list on Tuesday, but he tested positive for the virus on Monday. There is a potential that the Packers Punt will have their punter on Sunday, but he must pass two tests or be cleared by the club doctor. However, there is a potential he will not be present.
He might be one of more than ten players who will be unable to participate against the Vikings. Although Marquez Valdes-Scantling has been cleared to return, the team may still be missing Kingsley Keke, Henry Black, Tyler Davis, Oren Burks, Marcedes Lewis, Amari Rodgers, Kevin King, Ben Braden, and others.
Losing Bojorquez, even for one game, isn’t going to assist the Packers Punt special teams, which have been abysmal this season. Bojorquez ranks 11th in average punting yards, seventh in hang time, and has 24 punts inside the 20-yard line. So Green Bay is left with a few of possibilities. Can they locate a substitute punter if one is needed? If they can’t, will they enter Sunday Night with the intention of not punting at all?
Can They Obtain a Temp?
Both yes and no. Obviously, it would be difficult to bring in a new punter, have him practise, establish protocols, and be ready for Sunday Night. It also looks that a punter released by the Packers Punt earlier this year may be available if genuinely required. Green Bay can consider this alternative. You have a punter who was just released and has already spent time with the team. If Bojorquez is unable to travel, he should be placed on reserve or signed if necessary.
J.K. Scott, the Packers Punter last season, is also still unsigned. Maurice Drayton, the Packers Punt special teams coordinator, has previously stated that the team does have an emergency punter option. Mason Crosby, is that you? Is there anyone else on the list? We’re hoping we won’t have to find out.
Perhaps Just Don’t Punt
If Bojorquez isn’t cleared, the Packers Punt have other possibilities for Sunday. They can, however, opt not to punt. They will have someone designated as the emergency punter, but they are not required to utilise them.
So far this season, the Packers Punt have gone 12 for 19 on fourth-down opportunities. With a 63 percent conversation rate, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to go for it practically every time on fourth down. The Packers Punt have scored at least 24 points in five of their last six games, and Aaron Rodgers was recently named NFC Offensive Player of the Month for December. It was the tenth time he had received this accolade. He’s making a compelling argument for back-to-back MVP honours. Green Bay’s offence is capable of scoring points, and many fans would prefer to see the club go for it rather than punt in most scenarios.
If the team is on their own 10-yard line or in a terrible situation, consider punting. Apart than that, it makes sense for the Packers Punt to go for it against the Vikings. At 63 percent, that is more than a coin flip and gives you a reasonable chance of converting. If the Vikings sweep Green Bay this season, it will be the equivalent of the Super Bowl for Vikings supporters. So let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. It wouldn’t hurt to just not kick during Week 17 if you don’t have a punter and your offence is on a run. It’s a fantastic notion only for bragging rights and trash talk.
Formulating a Statement
The Packers Punt would benefit greatly by the statement of not punting and leaving Lambeau Field with a victory. Green Bay will be frigid on Sunday night, which will benefit the Green and Gold. The Vikings are accustomed to playing indoors in a stadium that most likely kills far too many birds. The Frozen Tundra is a very different place. In addition, Minnesota is without one of its finest receivers in Adam Thielen. That’s good; Thielen has been vocal about his dissatisfaction with Lambeau Field, so he can relish the fact that he won’t be playing in a famous venue.
While it’s not ideal for the Packers Punt, not having a punter may be a hilarious time. In any case, special teams is a significant issue for the Packers Punt right now. So maybe not punting for a game and having the offence and defence do a little additional effort isn’t such a bad thing. Bojorquez will almost certainly clear procedures, and everything will be OK. But I secretly hope Green Bay’s backup punter is A.J. Dillon. Use your calves to smash that ball downfield.