Packers 2016 Recap: G T.J. Lang
- 13 games played
- Pro Football Focus: 87.0/100 (8th out of 72)
Expectations going into the season: High
Expectations were: Exceeded
Analysis: Lang goes above and beyond in a contract year
T.J. Lang abruptly became the elder statesman on the Packers’ offensive line just before the start of the 2016 season. Faced with the departure of his close friend and teammate Josh Sitton, Lang played through a very similar situation to Sitton’s with courage and tremendous effort. Faced with an expiring contract, he didn’t become anything resembling a malcontent in the locker room. Instead, he played some of the best football of his career.
The middle of Lang’s 2016 season is emblematic of his play for the entire year. Lang broke his foot in Week 10, but returned with a full workload in Week 14, despite warnings from the medical staff.
Playing with his still-healing foot, Lang was a key piece of a rejuvenated Packers offense, and his high level of play helped the Packers into the playoffs.
Unfortunately, Lang’s year ended with another injury in the NFC Championship. Seeing him leave the field in tears over the end of his year and (perhaps) the end of his time in Green Bay was one of the most striking images of the season.
Lang’s development into a leader has been an amazing story, and if 2016 is a last chapter, it was a fitting end for one of the toughest Packers in recent memory.