NFL

Jared Veldheer Could Make NFL History Protecting Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers are preparing for their NFC Divisional round game against the Los Angeles Rams. Having the bye week, they were able to get some needed rest before beginning their playoff run. They still have some issues on the offensive line to sort out before Aaron Donald line ups in front of them. Here comes Jared Veldheer, a familiar face.

Veldheer is going to sign with the Packers and could see some game action. He already got a taste of playoff action this year, so his playtime with Green Bay would be a second helping. If he does end up protecting Aaron Rodgers this weekend, he will be making NFL playoff history.

The Colts brought Veldheer out of retirement

The 33-year old tackle didn’t play football for most of the 2020 season. Jared Veldheer was coaching a high school offensive line at East Grand Rapids High School in Michigan. Veldheer was focusing on the next chapter of his life but still was ready for the NFL should he get a call. After the Colts suffered a mirage of injuries to their offensive tackles, Veldheer got that call.

Anthony Castonzo, Will Holden, and Le’Raven Clark all were out with injuries. They needed a tackle desperately, so they called Veldheer. He jumped at the chance to continue his NFL career. He signed with the Colts and played in their Week 17 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, allowing zero sacks and helping Jonathan Taylor rush for over 250 yards. 

Jared Veldheer’s solid play impressed the Colts so much; they designated him as the starter for their wild-card game against the Buffalo Bills. He singlehandedly saved Indy’s season, as they had no answers at the tackle spot other than him. Who knows where the Colts would be if they didn’t lure him out of retirement.

The Colts season is over, so Veldheer could have returned to retirement. Instead, he will be taking his talents to the NFC, joining the Packers. Green Bay is also suffering from offensive line injuries and might need Veldheer to step in for them.

The Packers offensive line injuries

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Green Bay is coming into the postseason as one of the hottest teams in football. That doesn’t mean they aren’t dealing with injuries. They lost their left tackle David Bakhtiari to a torn ACL right at the end of the regular season. Bakhtiari is one of the NFL’s best tackles, and his loss was a huge one for Rodgers’ blindside. 

They have placed Billy Turner in Bakhtiari’s place. David Wagner is slated as the right tackle, but he is also dealing with an injury. He has a knee injury, and he didn’t participate in either of Green Bay’s practices during their bye week. There hasn’t been any word if his knee injury could keep him out of the game against LA.

With the Packers’ concerns at O-line, it makes sense they would bring in Veldheer as offensive line insurance. Green Bay pulled Veldheer out of retirement last year, playing in their divisional round playoff game last season. 

Per ESPN, he is going to be Green Bay’s top backup option at the tackle spot. Given the injury to Turner, Veldheer might be able to get in the game Saturdays. If he does take the field for the Packers, Jared Veldheer would be making playoff history. 

Jared Veldheer can make NFL history playing with the Packers

There is a real possibility that Veldheer could see some snaps against the stout Rams defense. If he does take the field, he would be the first player in NFL history to play for two teams in the same postseason, per Adam Schefter. How is Veldheer able to play for two different teams in consecutive weeks? It because of his designation when he was with the Colts.

The Colts signed Veldheer to their practice squad, not to their official 53-man roster. He was only elevated to the actual roster for their playoff game against the Bills. Because of this designation, he was able to play for the Colts and then sign with Green Bay days later. Another good thing for the Packers, Veldheer should be able to practice immediately. He was in Indianapolis’ COVID-19 testing program last week, meaning he should be cleared and ready to go.

Jared Veldheer has had an exciting couple of weeks. From coaching high school players to being a part of a potential Super Bowl run, it’s quite the jump for the NFL vet. He has shown he still has what it takes to protect a quarterback’s blindside. He’ll be trading in Colts blue for Packers green and could make history protecting another legend in Aaron Rodgers.