What it means: Packers activate Jake Hanson off PUP list

Green Bay Packers center Jake Hanson (67) is shown Tuesday, August 16, 2022 during training camp in Green Bay, Wis.Packers16 12
Green Bay Packers center Jake Hanson (67) is shown Tuesday, August 16, 2022 during training camp in Green Bay, Wis.Packers16 12 /

Jake Hanson’s stay on the physically unable to perform list (PUP) was a short one. On Friday, when quarterbacks, rookies, and injured players reported for Green Bay Packers training camp, which begins next week, Hanson was placed on the PUP list, but then removed on Saturday after passing his physical.

Hanson is now eligible to participate in practice moving forward.

Following Week 6 of last season, Hanson was placed on injured reserve with a biceps injury and never returned. Throughout the Packers OTA and minicamp practices, at least the ones open to the media, Hanson was present but never practiced.

Hanson, a 2020 sixth-round pick, has the ability to play all three interior offensive line positions. He also received some praise last summer from offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich for his overall performance, but unfortunately, that did not carry over to the regular season.

He started at right guard Week 1 in Minnesota and was credited with giving up four total pressures, including a sack. He would then play three snaps at center in Week 3 against Tampa Bay and five snaps at right guard in Week 6 verse the New York Jets.

Hanson was set to be an exclusive rights free agent in 2023 but was extended late last season. This, however, does not mean that he is a roster lock by any means. From a salary cap standpoint, the Packers are not committed to Hanson. If they release him, there is no dead cap hit, according to Over the Cap.

This is also a very crowded offensive line room that the Packers have constructed. Often under Matt LaFleur, the Packers have kept nine offensive linemen on their initial 53-man roster but could keep 10 this year, given their depth and after having 11 at one point last season.

Six of those spots we already know are accounted for by David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Jon Runyan, Yosh Nijman, and Zach Tom. Royce Newman may not be a lock, but he will be on this team as a versatile backup with experience. The Packers also have three developmental offensive tackles in Caleb Jones, Rasheed Walker, and Luke Tenuta, along with Sean Rhyan, among others.

During the OTA and minicamp practices, Jones and Walker were ahead of Tenuta. So if the Packers keep 10 offensive linemen, it could come down to Tenuta, Rhyan, and Hanson for that final spot—if the team keeps that many. Ultimately, how each player performs over the next month will be important, but Tenuta plays the more valuable position of the two, with there also being some potential uncertainty at tackle next offseason with Nijman a free agent and Bakhtiari possibly in his last year in Green Bay. The Packers also have a strong track record of finding interior offensive linemen in the draft.

Rhyan, meanwhile, had a rough first season between the PED suspension and being inactive most game days, but he is a third-round pick in only his second season. He could simply get the benefit of the doubt over Hanson, who is in Year 4, along with the team already knowing what they have in him.

What Hanson has going for him is that there isn’t a clear second option at center. Jenkins and Tom have the ability to play there but if Myers were ever injured, the Packers may prefer to keep each at their respective positions of left guard and right tackle rather than making multiple changes along the offensive line. With Hanson sidelined this Spring, Rhyan took some snaps at center, giving the Packers another backup option.

In short, and as I’m sure you can tell, Hanson’s path to the 53-man roster this summer is not a clear one at all. He likely begins training camp on the outside looking in, even with the Packers possibly keeping more offensive linemen than usual.