Packers starting linebacker Jake Ryan tears ACL, will miss entire 2018 season

Jake Ryan, expected to be a major contributor for the Packers in 2018, will miss the entire season after tearing his ACL in practice Monday, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Ryan started 12 games last year

Ryan racked up 81 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in 15 games (12 starts) for the Packers in 2017. The University of Michigan product, picked in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft, has played in 43 games over his first three seasons in the league, including 27 starts.

This injury really hurts for both Ryan and his team. Ryan, 26, is coming into the final year of his contract and was approaching the season as a clear answer as starter in the middle of Green Bay’s defense. He had impressed all offseason, and he fits the Packers’ 3-4 scheme well as a run-stopping linebacker.

“He was just devastated,” fellow inside linebacker Blake Martinez said. “Obviously, he was super-excited about the season. He’s been putting a tremendous amount of work in.”

Oren Burks is a possible replacement

Replacing Ryan will not be easy, and the Packers certainly have their work cut out for them with the opening of the regular season just over a month away.

One name that will be looked upon as a possible replacement is Oren Burks, a third-round pick this year out of Vanderbilt. Burks is a little bit undersized — he was drafted to play primarily in passing situations — but Green Bay’s inside linebacker depth behind Ryan and Martinez was already shaky before Ryan’s injury. GM Brian Gutekunst could look to the free agency market, where former Pro-Bowl inside linebackers such as Brian Cushing, Lawrence Timmons and NaVorro Bowman are still looking for homes.

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Jake Ryan (47) is done for the uear. (AP Photo/David Richard)