They’ve said they aren’t interested in adding a veteran to replace the injured Jake Ryan. However, the Green Bay Packers have at least discussed the possibility.
Chief among those veteran possibilities appears to be NaVorro Bowman.
Said on @nflnetwork: After losing ILB Jake Ryan, the Packers have discussed veteran options, including NaVorro Bowman. But they’re focused on their young guys for now. One they like: Ahmad Thomas, who spent time on their practice squad last season.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 2, 2018
Bowman is 30 and played 10 games for the Oakland Raiders in 2017, after spending the first five with the San Francisco 49ers, where he spent the first six seasons of his career.
Between the two teams, Bowman had 127 tackles, 1.5 sacks and an interception. It was a fairly typical season for Bowman, who is a four-time first-team All Pro (2011-13, 2015).
In each of those seasons — he missed the 2014 season — Bowman had more than 140 tackles.
As for Ahmad Thomas, he’s an intriguing prospect. We’ve been hearing nothing but great things about him since training camp has started.
Thomas spent five games of the 2017 season on the Packers’ practice squad after going undrafted and then being released by the Oakland Raiders. He played safety at Oklahoma.
At this point, it appears the Packers are ready to roll with Blake Martinez, Oren Burks and Thomas as their inside linebackers.
It’s unclear how much of a traditional two-inside linebacker defense the Packers will actually use this year. That could also mitigate the loss of Ryan if the Packers go with a single inside backer and/or drop in a third safety.