The Green Bay Packers made a crucial Rashan Gary decision. Green Bay is reportedly activating the defender off the PUP list, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Fowler reports that the Packers will “take it slowly” since Gary is coming off ACL surgery. Nevertheless, this is a big development as Gary prepares for the 2023 season.
Gary, 25, is entering his fifth season in the NFL. He's spent each of his years in the league with the Packers, and has been a reliable player for Green Bay's defense.
Gary began his career in 2019. He flashed signs of potential that season but began to truly make a name for himself during the 2020 campaign. Gary ultimately recorded five sacks and 35 combined tackles in 2020. He took another step forward in 2021, playing in 16 games while tallying a career-high 9.5 sacks and 47 combined tackles.
Gary was limited in 2022, appearing in nine games for the Packers. Still, he finished the year with six sacks and 32 combined tackles despite the limited sample size.
Gary's timetable was previously uncertain. The Packers expected him to play at some point but his preseason status was in question. It's clear that he's made significant progress from his injury though based on Green Bay's decision.
He will play an important role for the Packers during the 2023 season. Green Bay's offense may deal with frustrations early in the season as the team prepares for a major transition at quarterback. Aaron Rodgers now plays for the New York Jets which means it is time for Jordan Love to get his chance. Although Love is talented and has potential, it will be interesting to see how he fares as QB1.
If Green Bay's offense does endure inconsistency, the Packers' defense will need to step up in order to give the team opportunities to win.