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Question Marks after the Bye Week

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Question Marks after the Bye Week

In season’s past, the Packers have come off their bye week, ready to gear up to the end of season. So when the schedule came out it was hard to imagine how the Packers could benefit from the earliest bye week of the season.

The Packers return to action this Sunday when they welcome the Detroit Lions to Lambeau Field nowhere close to the end of the season. The Packers haven’t even completed the first quarter of the season.

But the Packers needed the early break. Injuries had nearly depleted two key positions, safety and running backs. Mistakes and inconsistencies and once again failing to win in close games plagued the Packers early games.

With the Packers returning from their off week on Monday, a couple of questions still remain.

1. Is anyone actually feeling better?

Morgan Burnett returned to practiced and seems to be in the best shape he has been all season. Both rookie running backs, Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin also returned. But the list of players who remain sidelined is long, and full of big names: Clay Matthews, Jermichael Finley, John Kuhn, Jarrett Bush and Casey Hayward.

2. What is going on with the roster?

With the Packers bringing up RB Michael Hill from the practice squad on Monday, the Packers roster is once again full at 53 players. But the move begs the question, another running back? That doesn’t seem to bode well for Starks or the Packers long term running plans. At the start of the season the Packers had one stand out bruising back, one flashy running back and one veteran to show them the way and Kuhn to block for them all. Now the Packers are looking at three rookie running backs, talented, but unproven.

And then there’s the issue of the cutting Jeremy Ross. It was a move that needed to be done. Aside from his fumbles, Ross showed in three games this season that his decision making skills are lacking on many fronts. From his inability to decide when to run out of the end zone, to his inability to make a quick decision and cut and run up field, Ross was a weak spot of a weak return game.

But now the leaves the Packers with four wide receivers. Four. In contrast, in 2012 the Packers carried seven wide outs. And with an injured Jermichael Finley and Andrew Quarless playing a pseudo full back role on occasion to fill in for the injured Kuhn that leaves a limited amount of options for Aaron Rodgers to target.

The strength of the Packers offense lately has been, we have too many weapons and you can’t cover them all. Four wide outs, a tight end at half back and three rookies running the ball, those sound like weapons that can be maintained.

3. Chemistry

The awful word. Does Rodgers have it with certain teammates? Does the team have it with each other? Are there real ripples in how the Packers offense is run?

Chemistry is a buzz word, thrown around a lot over the last couple of years to seemingly sum up any on or off the field issue. But after the talk of lacking motivation and desire last year, to the departed wide receiver drama club, to the sideline arguments between the coach and QB1, what exactly is the mood of the team?

Over the past couple of season the Packers have had “come to Jesus” moments, turning points in the season. After the horrific loss to the Giants, when McCarthy proclaimed the Packers are nobody’s underdog, the Packers have gone through adversity and in general come out the other side stronger. It’s too early in the season and there isn’t the same “The Ship is sinking” feeling, but how will the team respond to a game in Cincinnati that seemed to show the ugly underbelly issues of the team?

Jayme Snowden is a feature writer at CheeseheadTV and a contributor to Today’s TMJ4. She also co-hosts CheeseheadRadio, part of the Packers Talk Radio Network at Packertalk.com. You can contact her via twitter at @jaymelee1 or email at Jaymelee1@gmail.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (22) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

hayward4president's picture

Did Finley have some sort of "super-concussion" ? I thought concussions were only a week away from playing injury? Hate to say it but without him our offense just isn't the same. ( see cinci game)

PackerPete's picture

he can't play or practice until cleared by team doctor and independent doctor. could be 1 day or indefinite.

Jayme Snowden's picture

Depends on the person, concussion history and the brain. Someone can go all day, start passing all the tests and get a headache and the protocol has to start over. Returning from a concussion is different from returning from other injuries. Not like a broken bone and you can see on xray that it's healed.

BrianD's picture

In the 2010-2011 season, the Milwaukee Bucks lost F Carlos Delfino for two months due to a concussion.

Jahvid Best's concussion symptoms were so prolonged that he never returned to the NFL. It's a scary injury situation to be in, and should not be rushed or taken lightly.

Nerd's Phone's picture

Nourish blood and yin essence. Harmonize shen. He'll be fine.

denniseckersly's picture

Sidney Crosby.......

Evan's picture

@JermichaelF88 5m
Good News. #GoPackGo

Sounds like someone was just cleared.

denniseckersly's picture

Sidney Crosby

redlights's picture

Oh yes, bye week questions. I'm frustrated by the team, too. But I think some of the readers at this site need to find alternative uses of their time instead of insisting on more GBP.

Jayme, Is Eric Snowden your BIL?

Jayme Snowden's picture

Nothing says fun like walking into a government agency mere weeks after the Snowden stuff and saying "I'd like my last name to be Snowden" :)

lebowski's picture

Watching the Saints' killer instinct last night, still trying to score while up three touchdowns made me wish McCarthy and Co. could hold a 4th quarter lead. The way Sean Payton utilized Sproles made me wish McCarthy could be a little creative with Cobb. The pressure and sacks they generated without big name guys made me wish we could fine ONE GUY who played half the game CMIII plays. We got things to fix to compete with the big boys, that's for sure.

MadJam's picture

Agree.

Tony's picture

Looks like Jermike is good to go...eases some concern!:

Jermichael Finley ?@JermichaelF88 2m
Good News. #GoPackGo

Mike's picture

I know right? I wish they were practicing today so we could see if he were on the field. But I guess another day can't hurt him!

Nerd's Phone's picture

Hahaha Kuhn's a big name.

Franklin Hillside's picture

Needing him in the backfield on 3rd downs makes him a big name for this team.

Jamie's picture

Did we end up signing the GB Grizzlies (or whatever they are) KR/S?

Nononsense's picture

No I don't think they did, I see they signed a Hill, Michael not BJ. Wish they would though.

jake -from State Farm's picture

The Lions game will tell a lot. We all will finally get some answers to just what kind of team this is.
I for one do not question Ross being cut, rather how he made the team in the first place. I still believe we have a small number of Ross' on this team.

Norman's picture

Not to nitpick but wasn't it the New England game that Flynn started (and almost won if not for Badger-like poor clock management at the end) where MM made the "we're nobody's underdog" comment? To quell any talk of a moral victory.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

That's how I remember it, yo.

Lou's picture

The team is 6-1 after bye weeks, agreed that this game will tell a lot especially because it is a home game - HUGE momemtum change if they don't win. Bostick is basically their "5th" receiver but they need another soon. Starks has played in 22 games and missed 26 in his first 3 years - no matter how he flashes he needs to be moved if they can find a trading partner - as McCarthy always says, "availability" counts. Hayward not practicing after all this time leads me to believe he is injured more severely (Bishop) than they let on. Although Perry holds the edge (Walden was terrible) he needs to get to the QB, its time for some results as is the case with Datone Jones, with his limited snaps he should be able to go 100% on each and show some push.

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