GREEN BAY, Wis. — The surging Green Bay Packers lost another offensive weapon to injury, as rookie tight end Josiah Deguara suffered a season-ending knee injury in Monday night’s victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
A source told ESPN that Deguara, a third-round draft pick, suffered a torn ACL.
“Unfortunately it looks to be a pretty bad one,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said without revealing details of the diagnosis. “I hurt for Josiah. I love what he’s all about — the mentality he brings, and he’s certainly somebody we were really excited about.”
Deguara appeared to injury his left knee while blocking on the punt team late in the fourth quarter of the Packers’ 30-16 victory at Lambeau Field.
The Packers had big plans for Deguara, who was seemingly tailor-made for LaFleur’s offense that moves tight ends around within a variety of formations. He played 24 snaps in the Week 1 win over the Vikings and caught one pass for 12 yards.
But his best play was perhaps a block in which he took out two defenders on an end around by receiver Allen Lazard that gained 19 yards. He missed the next two games because of an ankle injury but returned in Week 4 against the Falcons.
“It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster because in terms of I thought he had a great game vs. Minnesota in Week 1, and then he goes out with an ankle injury,” LaFleur said. “It’s been tough. But we expect him to bounce back from it and, you know, we still think he has a really bright future in this league.
The Packers played Monday without their top two receivers, Davante Adams (hamstring) and Lazard (core muscle injury), and also were missing veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis (knee).
The Packers held out Adams, who wanted to play so badly that he tweeted (and then deleted the tweet) that the team was holding him out even though he felt he was ready to play.
LaFleur said Tuesday that he did not tell Adams to take down his tweet.
“I can understand why he’s frustrated,” LaFleur said. “He’s a competitor, wants to be out there with his brothers, and any time you don’t get a chance to go out there it’s disappointing. He’s worked his tail off ever since this thing occurred, and it’s just one of those deals where the long term, potential long-term effects, you just got to take that into consideration. And we know that in order for us to be at our best he needs to be a part of those long-term plans.”