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Who is Robert Tonyan?

If you watched the Green Bay Packers the last few weeks, including Monday night against the Atlanta Falcons, you’ve probably heard the name Robert Tonyan a few times. So, who on earth is this guy catching touchdown after touchdown from MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers?

Robert Tonyan Packers
Credit: Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

Humble Roots for Robert Tonyan

Robert Tonyan Jr. played for FCS powerhouse middle of the road team Indiana State. Initially a quarterback turned wide receiver, Tonyan would set a school record for touchdowns (20) and consecutive games with a catch (21). Tonyan went undrafted despite these numbers, then signed with the Detroit Lions practice squad in 2017 before winding up with the Packers practice squad.

He would appear in nine games prior to his first career reception in 2018, but that first catch was a big one. Tonyan hauled in a 54-yard touchdown strike from Rodgers. He celebrated by simply shrugging his shoulders in what would be the start of something beautiful.

The 2019 season was a bit of struggle for Tonyan, being unable to crack the depth chart for much playing time, only having 10 receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown.

Breakout Performance for Tonyan

This season has been incredible for Tonyan, and his fantasy owners, already. Projected to be third or fourth on the depth chart, if he even made the roster, Tonyan burst back to the scene in Week 2 against Detroit, setting up shop in front of the end zone for Rodgers to find the big man for the touchdown.

Week 3 was even better, after Davante Adams was unable to suit up against the New Orleans Saints. Tonyan found the end zone once again. And, as we all saw Monday night, three more touchdowns came for “Big Bob” Tonyan.

Relationship With George Kittle

The tight end has worked out and lived with George Kittle each of the last three offseasons. Maybe you’ve heard of him. Tonyan even came into training camp this year with a similar hairstyle, but would not confirm whether or not it was part of the training program. He did, however, confirm a potential Mr. Miyagi (also a Packers fan) type relationship with Kittle, doing laundry and dishes for the house while living together.

Now that you know Robert Tonyan, expect to see him a lot more. While the Packers do have standout receiver Davante Adams coming back soon, LaFleur’s offense is running back and tight end-heavy. Tonyan is a favorite of Rodgers, which only works in his favor as a force to be reckoned with in 2020.


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