With Bakhtiari, Jenkins and rookie center Josh Myers (knee) all currently out, the Packers are missing three-fifths of the starting offensive line they planned on having at some point this season. Only Jenkins has been ruled out for the season, however. As with Bakhtiari, no timeline has been divulged regarding Myers.
For Nijman, the three earlier starts were the first of his career. Undrafted out of Virginia Tech in 2019, the 6-7, 314-pounder spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad and made the active roster last season, playing mostly on special teams.
When he was first inserted into the lineup, having to face star San Francisco pass rusher Nick Bosa in his debut, Nijman was given help in pass protection via chip blocks from tight ends and running backs a fair amount.
The more he played in the ensuing games, the less that help was required, so Nijman already has a solid foundation under him as he resumes his substitute role.
“I think every time a guy goes out there and is able to perform at a high level, you just see their confidence build, and I think that is so important in this game,” LaFleur said.
“Yosh has all the traits you look for in an offensive lineman. He’s big, he’s athletic, he can bend, he’s strong, powerful, everything. It’s just about putting it all together on a consistent basis.”