The hits just keep on coming for the Green Bay Packers.
Bob McGinn reports that Mike Neal's shoulder injury and Brady Poppinga's knee injury, may land them on Injured Reserve:
Rookie defensive end Mike Neal of the Green Bay Packers has a serious shoulder injury and probably will miss the rest of the season.The Packers haven't made known the type or extent of Neal's injury, but sources said it didn't look good for him to return this season.
It's possible that Neal could be placed on injured reserve Saturday if the club, as expected, needs a roster spot in order to activate cornerback Al Harris from the physically unable to perform list.
Linebacker Brady Poppinga, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday, also is a candidate for season-ending injured reserve.
Backing up this report is Jen Lada of Fox 6 who recently spent a good deal of time with Neal and, presumably, members of the training staff for a piece she did on the hyperbaric chamber Neal has been using since his early season rib injury.
After McGinn's headline "Neal may miss rest of year", started to appear on Twitter, Lada posted this to her Twitter account:
I've been led to believe the same.
The loss of Neal, while seemingly minor considering how little the rookie has played this year, could play a big part in the Packers' fortunes on defense, especially later in the season. One of the biggest issues facing the defensive line last year was the amount of snaps the likes of Cullen Jenkins and then-starter Johnny Jolly were asked to play. The personnel has already started to feel the effects of a shortened rotation, with BJ Raji asked to play almost every defensive snap last week against the Dolphins. The dropoff is noticeable from Neal to fellow rookie C.J Wilson and second year man Jarius Wynn.
The loss of Poppinga is mitigated by the presumed return of Clay Matthews from a hamstring injury. The Packers have been rotating between Brad Jones, Frank Zombo and Brady Poppinga at outside linebacker. Rookie Robert Francois had a two-series audition during the Dolphins game and then did not see the field again from scrimmage.
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