Robert Tonyan, who became well-known around the NFL last season while racking up touchdown receptions with the Green Bay Packers, will miss the rest of the 2021 season.
Tonyan, 27 and a McHenry East graduate, suffered a torn left ACL in the third quarter of the Packers’ 24-21 win Thursday over the Arizona Cardinals. He limped off the field next to a member of the Packers’ training staff and was later shown on TV being assisted to the locker room.
Tonyan’s agent Jack Bechta tweeted this Friday afternoon: “I can unfortunately confirm Robert Tonyan suffered a Left knee ACL tear. Isolated Clean with no lateral damage.”
I can unfortunately confirm Robert Tonyan suffered a Left knee ACL tear. Isolated Clean with no lateral damage.
— Jack Bechta (@jackbechta) October 29, 2021
Tonyan caught a 33-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers and suffered the injury while running just before he was tackled. Replays showed something happened on Tonyan’s last step, indicating the damage had occurred before any contact.
Tonyan immediately grabbed his left knee after the play, then was attended to for several minutes on the field.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur knew the news would be bad for Tonyan on Thursday night.
“I’m sick for him. I’m sick for us,” LaFleur told ESPN’s Rob Demovsky after the game. “My heart goes out to him.”
While growing up in McHenry, Tonyan was a quarterback. He was recruited to Indiana State to play quarterback, but his athleticism led coaches to ask him to switch to receiver.
Tonyan (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) thrived at wide receiver in college and added weight to move to tight end in the NFL. He spent one season on Detroit’s practice squad and the last four seasons with the Packers.
In 2020, he became a favorite target for Rodgers. Former Packers tight end Jimmy Graham signed with the Bears, leaving the starting spot open, and Tonyan took full advantage.
He caught 52 passes of 59 targets thrown at him, an 88.1 catching percentage, which was highest among NFL tight ends. He tied Kansas City’s Travis Kelce for the most touchdown catches for tight ends (11). Tonyan also had zero drops.
Tonyan signed a $3,384,000 contract in the offseason, making more this year than his previous years combined.
Source: The Daily Chronicle