June 18, 2024

GREEN BAY – Jonathan Owens discovered a very long time in the past the worth of endurance and perspective.

Whereas pursuing his NFL desires, the previous undrafted security meticulously climbed his means up from the Houston Texans’ apply squad to turning into a 17-game starter a 12 months in the past.

Now in Inexperienced Bay, the fifth-year veteran has been the following man up behind Packers beginning safeties Darnell Savage and Rudy Ford through the first two months of the 2023 marketing campaign.

Nonetheless, Owens’ mindset has remained the identical as when he broke into the league – do what’s requested, and when your time comes, be prepared for the second.

“Somebody has to step up. That is just about what the NFL is,” Owens stated. “The subsequent man has to return in and carry out as a starter does. Simply prepared for the chance.”

Owens’ preparation was pivotal this previous Sunday in Denver after Savage aggravated a lingering calf harm within the second quarter and didn’t return in opposition to the Broncos.

With out Savage, Owens was pressed into motion. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound security started the sport as Inexperienced Bay’s dime cornerback however completed alongside Ford within the base and nickel.

Owens is the probably substitute for Savage, who was positioned on injured reserve on Wednesday. Inexperienced Bay hopes to get the previous first-round choose again this season however he’ll miss not less than 4 video games.

“He is executed all the pieces we have requested him to do and I am excited to see him for his alternative to go on the market and compete,” stated Head Coach Matt LaFleur of Owens.

“He is only a regular, calm presence I’d say within the again finish and on (particular) groups. You already know you are going to get nice effort and execution from him. He is an excellent communicator, actually good tackler.”

It isn’t the primary time Owens has been the following security up. His first NFL begin got here in December 2021 after Texans beginning security Justin Reid was sidelined with a concussion.

One week later, Owens caught his first NFL interception off Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert together with his mom, Arthurie Cannon, and spouse, world champion gymnast Simone Biles, in attendance.

The well-studied Owens has ably dealt with any position the Packers have given him this season. Along with rotating in on protection, Owens has performed the third-most snaps on Inexperienced Bay’s particular groups. His three protection tackles are tied for the Packers’ lead.

“He got here in right here and competed and labored his butt off and actually opened all of our eyes,” defensive coordinator Joe Barry stated. “We have given him some completely different roles in some completely different packages as properly, and he is proved he is very educated. He is an excellent professional. I am excited for him, despite the fact that it is in Darnell’s absence, that he’ll be capable to go in and play some good ball for us.”

Owens and the Packers have a troublesome task in entrance of them Sunday, because the Minnesota Vikings experience a wave of momentum into Inexperienced Bay following their 22-17 win over San Francisco on Monday night time.

Each rookie receiver Jordan Addison (seven catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns) and tight finish T.J. Hockenson (11 catches for 86 yards) had large video games in opposition to the 49ers, who got here into the matchup with a 5-1 document.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for 378 yards within the victory with out being sacked as soon as on 45 drop-backs. It is a large problem for a Inexperienced Bay protection hungry to remove the soccer.

“Their offensive line performed very well,” Owens stated. “Clearly, (Addison) performed actually good, and he’ll be a key a part of their offensive plan. Explosive however we have got to return out and everybody do their job and make performs.”

The circumstances are completely different at the moment in Inexperienced Bay than they had been two years in the past in Houston, however Owens is greater than prepared to help a secondary.

It isn’t simply him, both. After a hard-fought battle for a beginning spot on Inexperienced Bay’s again finish this summer season, safeties coach Ryan Downard talked to his whole room about recognizing how briskly alternatives can sneak up on you.

Owens is aware of that higher than anybody. He is constructed his profession on being prepared in a pinch and that mentality has the 28-year-old security on the verge of seizing one other integral defensive position.

“It simply comes right down to reacting and taking part in quick, and realizing what to do is the most important half,” Owens stated. “I am a fairly good man, so I at all times be certain that I do know my job and attempt to know what everybody has to do.”

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