Robert Tonyan is emerging as quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ go-to tight end.
Tonyan wasn’t targeted in the season-opener against Minnesota, but Rodgers sent three balls his way against Detroit, which resulted in two catches for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Tonyan’s third career score came in the waning seconds of the first half as Rodgers found him in single coverage against Detroit cornerback Tracy Walker.
Rodgers always makes it look easy 🔥
— FOX Sports Wisconsin (@fswisconsin) September 20, 2020
In 2018, his first season on Green Bay’s active roster, Tonyan played 6.2% of the snaps. Last season, Tonyan missed five games with a hip injury and played 19.3% of the offensive snaps, which was fewer than Marcedes Lewis (45.1%) and Jimmy Graham (55.9%) at the tight end position.
With Graham departing for the Windy City and youngsters Jace Sternberger and Josiah Deguara still looking to find their way in the NFL, Tonyan’s role keeps growing.
Although Tonyan is still listed on the Packers’ depth chart as the backup tight end behind Lewis, the former Indiana State product has played more snaps (60.9%) over the first two games than his veteran counterpart (43%). Tonyan has also seen more targets, as Lewis only has one catch for four yards this year.
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Other notes from Sunday’s snap counts:
— Corey Linsley played 65 snaps at center before leaving the game with a sprained thumb during the second half. In his absence, guard Lucas Patrick shifted to center and sixth-round pick Jon Runyan filled in for eight snaps at right guard.
— Rashan Gary, the 12th overall pick in 2019, was on the field for 56% of the defensive snaps and logged a career-best 1.5 sacks. Gary was never active for more than 36% of the plays in a single game last year.
— Two games in, linebacker Christian Kirksey is the only Green Bay defensive player to have played every snap this season. He led the Packers with 12 tackles against Detroit.
— Second-round pick A.J. Dillon played just seven snaps, two more than Week 1 in Minnesota. He’s collected 31 rushing yards on seven carries (4.4 average) this season.
— The big offensive story Sunday was Aaron Jones, who played just 48% of the snaps but registered a career-best 236 total yards and three scores. Jones saw 18 carries and eight targets, meaning the Packers attempted to get the ball in his hands 74.2% of the time he was on the field.
GAME 2: LIONS (OFFENSE)
GAME 2: LIONS (DEFENSE)