Defensive Line Depth of Concern With Pickett Out, Neal Questionable

Ryan Pickett will miss the Bears game with a concussion while Mike Neal is nursing a shoulder injury sustained in last week's game.

The chances that a pair of defensive linemen will play for the Packers in their Christmas Day game against the Bears took a hit when Ryan Pickett was ruled out of Sunday's game and Mike Neal was listed as questionable, giving him a 50/50 shot of playing.

For Pickett, it will be the second game in a row he'll miss after having to miss the Week 14 game against the Raiders with a concussion. He did not play last week against the Chiefs and has not practiced at all in the past two weeks, though he has attended meetings.

Pickett's concussion appears to be more serious than initially thought. The day after sustaining his blow to the head, head coach Mike McCarthy expressed optimism that he would be able play in the Chiefs game. He hasn't practiced since, but the recent news about attending meeting can be viewed as a positive step in the right direction.

Neal suffered an injury to his shoulder in the loss to Kansas City and has been limited in practice this week. Whether he'll be able to play against the Bears remains to be seen, but McCarthy said he's hopeful that Neal will be ready.

Howard Green is on the injury report as well with a foot issue but is listed as probable.

The Packers have only three truly healthy linemen heading into the game against Chicago: B.J. Raji, Jarius Wynn and C.J. Wilson.

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Comments (24)

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Evan's picture

December 23, 2011 at 02:05 pm

Maybe TJ Lang will see double duty.

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Jersey Al's picture

December 23, 2011 at 02:10 pm

Wynn and Wilson stepped up big last year when they were needed. Time for a repeat...

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Oppy's picture

December 23, 2011 at 02:31 pm

Mike Neal + Recurring Shoulder Injury = Deja Vu on multiple levels..

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Evan's picture

December 23, 2011 at 02:57 pm

I don't think it can be recurring if it's different shoulders.

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Tarynfor 12's picture

December 23, 2011 at 05:27 pm

He's ambidextrous!

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Oppy's picture

December 24, 2011 at 02:49 pm

I haven't seen it reported it was a different shoulder. My bad- I guess I just figured it's the same one since this is now his third shoulder injury in less than two years.

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Bearmeat's picture

December 23, 2011 at 02:31 pm

This injury situation is getting almost as bad as the Redskins/Dolphins stretch last year.

I hope we can get healthy by the playoffs.

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Nerd's Laptop's picture

December 23, 2011 at 02:41 pm

1: The Bears Oline is in tatters and wasn't good to begin with.
2: Forte is out too.
3: The 9ers will probably lose Saturday night, making this game moot anyway.
4: Look for plenty of Psycho package!
5: Is Lawrence Guy on the PS?

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FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

December 23, 2011 at 03:23 pm

I was wondering about Guy as well. Is he PS or was he cut?

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ZeroTolerance's picture

December 23, 2011 at 03:34 pm

IR.

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Oppy's picture

December 24, 2011 at 02:57 pm

I really hope Guy develops, he's got the right size/speed/strength combo that gives you a lot of hope for his potential, but he's a major project- probably a multi year investment in development before he's got a shot at being something.

Strictly physically speaking, he fits the mold of Cullen Jenkins...

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Chad Toporski's picture

December 23, 2011 at 03:57 pm

Marion Barber has also been ruled out this weekend. What offense do the Bears have left?

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Bearmeat's picture

December 23, 2011 at 04:23 pm

Still, our OL and DL depth is a concern. We've had nasty injuries two years in a row at this point...

We need to be healthy going into the divisional round...

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PackersRS's picture

December 23, 2011 at 05:53 pm

They may very well be the worst offense in the league right now.

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Tommyboy's picture

December 24, 2011 at 10:02 am

Henry Burris

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Mojo's picture

December 23, 2011 at 05:10 pm

Is anyone else concerned about Pickett? I've seen in sports what seems to be an innocuous concussion ends up being something that lasts for months or even threatens a career.

For example Carlos Delfino last year for the Bucks.
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/111504714.html

What seemed like nothing went on for months for Delfino.

Keep in mind Pickett has had a concussion previously this year. Can't say I like how our D-line will look if he's not available for the rest of the year.

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IowaPackFan's picture

December 24, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Jahvid Best went on IR because of recurring concussions. Some players are just suceptible to these things. Hopefully Pickett is not one of those.

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fish/crane's picture

December 23, 2011 at 06:20 pm

Defense? You wanna talk Defense? Then we got troubles cause that isn't going to be how we win this year I fear. The O has to step it up...even more.

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KurtMc's picture

December 23, 2011 at 08:44 pm

Any chance to line up Walden as a speed rush DE, play Zombo or Francois in his place?

Don't let McClown kill us like Orton last week.

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SoTxPhil's picture

December 23, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Any chance to line up Walden as a speed rush DE, play Zombo or Francois in his place?
-------------------------------

I'd rather see Vic So'oto line up as a rusher in place of a DE. He seemed to have more strength, speed with moves than the other 2 mentoned, though he has had a back problem. Now is the chance to see what he can do.

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IowaPackFan's picture

December 24, 2011 at 12:41 pm

+1

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Bearmeat's picture

December 24, 2011 at 02:14 pm

He's on I.R....

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Oppy's picture

December 24, 2011 at 02:54 pm

Collins, Green, Guy, Quarless, Sherrod, and "Shaky" Smithson are the only players on IR right now.

So'oto may be banged up, but he's definitely not on I.R. according to Packers.com

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Tommyboy's picture

December 24, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Bearmeat - there was speculation that he would be placed on IR, but that never happened.

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