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Injuries and Bye Week Cloud Packers Preparation for Chargers

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Injuries and Bye Week Cloud Packers Preparation for Chargers

For Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy the messages sent to his players this week was simple and straight-forward. 

First ‘I don’t want to hear anything about the bye week’, and secondly ‘if you are healthy you play’ regardless of when the bye week happens to fall.

As is the case with all teams in the NFL at this time of year – the Packers injury list is flush with players a coach would much rather have on the field.   But tempered with that desire is the knowledge that those players should not play unless they are healthy, and if they are rushed back too soon there is a good chance that it will bite the team in the behind down the road.

The Green Bay Packers official injury list (per NFL.com) reads as follows:
 

Green Bay Packers Injuries

 

Nicholas Perry

LB

--

Did Not Participate In Practice

--

Busari Raji

DT

--

Did Not Participate In Practice

--

Bryan Bulaga

T

--

Full Participation in Practice

--

Randall Cobb

WR

--

Full Participation in Practice

--

Ladarius Gunter

CB

--

Full Participation in Practice

--

Davante Adams

WR

--

Limited Participation in Practice

--

Morgan Burnett

S

--

Limited Participation in Practice

--

Demetri Goodson

CB

--

Limited Participation in Practice

--

James Jones

WR

--

Limited Participation in Practice

--

Thomas Lang

G

--

Limited Participation in Practice

--

Jake Ryan

LB

--

Limited Participation in Practice

--

 

The eleven players listed as injured by the Packers ties their Sunday opponent, the San Diego Chargers, although the Chargers list revealed that 8 of the 11 players did not practice including five starters.

Thursday’s practice added one other name to the above list with the absence of DE Datone Jones.  The reason for his absence was not known but it was later revealed that it was not injury related.

With one game remaining on the schedule prior to the bye week news on the injury front was actually quite good.

Starting WR Davante Adams (ankle) and G T.J. Lang (knee) again took part in Thursday’s practice.  During the portion of the practice in pads, both concentrated on individual drills and seemed to be moving well.  In addition S Morgan Burnett and reserve linebacker Jake Ryan also practiced and seemed to be nearing a return to the playing field. 

The return of Burnett would have a domino effect for his fellow defensive back-mates.  With Sean Richardson done for the season after being placed on IR this week, a healthy Burnett would allow Chris Banjo and Micah Hyde to be fresher for special teams play.

Two other key defensive players nose tackle B.J. Raji (groin) and linebacker Nick Perry (shoulder) attended as observers only.

With an offense that has lost some of its punch in the past two games, having a full complement of starting offensive linemen (with the return of T.J. Lang) would be huge.  Lang appeared to be wearing a knee brace under his sweats but was moving with no apparent discomfort and appears a good bet to play this week.

An even bigger impact would be felt if Davante Adams, who was first injured against the Seattle Seahawks and then re-aggravated the injury the following week against the Kansas City Chiefs, returned to the field. It appeared that Adams’ ankle was heavily taped in the latest practice but he seemed to move well with no apparent limitations.  Without Adams, opposing defenses have been able to concentrate more manpower on Randall Cobb and James Jones limiting the downfield opportunities for Aaron Rodgers.

The decision for Mike McCarthy is this:  does he play it safe and not play his returning injured players this week giving them in effect an extra two weeks to fully heal?  Or does he put the returning players on the field knowing that they could help his team achieve a perfect 6 – 0 record with two weeks of rest prior to meeting the Broncos in Denver when they return?

Given the Green Bay Packers very conservative approach to injuries it would not be surprising to see many of those dinged-up players shelved for the Chargers game.  Yet with McCarthy’s pronouncement that if the player is healthy enough to play and unlikely to aggravate his injury that many of the Packers walking wounded would indeed see action.

Perry’s injury will almost certainly keep him on out of Sunday’s match.  With the problematic nature of groin injuries, playing it safe with Raji might be wise and allow the key contributor to come back strong vs. Denver.

Both Bulaga and Lang look like ‘goes’.

All eyes will be on starters Adams and Burnett.  If they come out of Saturday’s practice no worse for the wear, I expect to see them dress and contribute albeit on a ‘pitch count’ regarding number of plays.  Even then, their presence will be welcome.

Should the Packers prevail on Sunday you can bet that a jubilant Mike McCarthy will be the first person to bring up bye week and remind the players what they have already accomplished.  He will also surely mention keeping their noses clean while away from the team. 

Six-and-O sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (25) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Hematite's picture

6-0 means nothing at this point.
Let the injuries heal.
Having these dinged up players healthy for the stretch run is more important.

Nick Perry's picture

"6-0 means nothing at this point" HUH???? I understand what you're really saying by that but the Packers at 5-0 are 4-0 in NFC games, 1-0 in the division, and own any Tie Breaker with Seattle. After San Diego and the Bye the Packers have 6 of the next 9 games on the road including Denver, Carolina, and Arizona. While I think they'll win AT LEAST 2 of those 3 games, they'll need every W they can get to make sure this whole Cha Cha goes through Lambeau.

I'd just soon see Burnett, Raji, and Adams sit as well and get ready for this second half. If you look at San Diego's injury report, the whole damn OL seems to be hurt. If that's the case and with the way Hyde's been playing, they can rest those guys and should be just fine.

They'll really need Adams to start playing like the TC MVP he was this summer in this second half. Whatever it takes to get him and keep him there I'm all for. When he re-tweaked the ankle against KC it sure didn't look like much. Just get healthy!

Busari??? Poor Guy...

Tundraboy's picture

Nicholas? Perry. Did not know.

Lphill's picture

If the medical staff clear someone to play then I guess they play, if the Pack jumps out to a fast start then they can limit snaps for some . This is probably the approach. 6 and 0 very big going into the Bye. I see a big game for Elliot against a weak O line.

RCPackerFan's picture

The 2 guys I would really like to see rest through this game are Adams and Burnett. They have missed so much time already, I would prefer to see them get one more game of rest and have the bye week then come out strong after. I would hate to see them re-aggravate their injuries and miss more time down the stretch after the bye.

That being said, I completely understand where McCarthy is coming from. He doesn't want his team getting complacent right before the bye, and he wants to make sure that if guys can play that they are ready to go.

EdsLaces's picture

Totally agree. Adams has to play against Denver and these other top defenses we will face after the bye. Morgan's absence isn't missed as much though. Hyde has played pretty well. These are key players and we could definitely use them both, but it's a long season MM.

croatpackfan's picture

I think all those siff attitude from Mike McCarthy comes from idea to wake up team, to not allow them to be satisfied with what they achieved. He knows it is dangerous to underestimate any opponent in the NFL (prove? Watch Saints vs Falcons game!)... So, he may insists that all "healthy enough" players dress for the game, but in the game, he may manage number of snaps and time of playing for some of the players... Now, he can do that, because he does not call plays!

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"Nicholas Perry"

Why not just use the names they prefer?

Guisado's picture

Even stranger is that the author's first name appears to be his preferred form of "Jeffrey"...or maybe Jeff is his legal name and he's just envious of more formal names?

What's the deal, Jeff?

FITZCORE1252's picture

He pulled it off NFL.com

Guisado's picture

Got it. Thanks, now that makes sense.

davy jones's picture

I completely understand wanting to rest Adams and Burnett until after the Bye, but if they're healthy I think I'd rather see 'em in there. I don't think you can play to avoid injury...can't play scared. This game absolutely means something as every "W" is important in race for playoff positioning. I'm not so worried about Atlanta (tho they play in a weak div) or Carolina, but Arizona could challenge (especially with a head to head game) and I think Seattle will still go on a run. I'm not sure 12-4 insures homefield. 13-3 probably does. Gotta have every win and having your starters on the field if they're ready to go is a must.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I don't view sitting Adams, Burnett, Raji, etc. as playing scared. I think it is a sign of confidence that MM thinks GB can win while sitting some front line players. This is a non-conference game, too, but I get your concern over home field advantage. We already screwed up with Adams once. Have the guys that the medical team thinks can play active, but don't play them unless necessary.

toolkien's picture

Wouldn't the decision really be would two more weeks improve the injury beyond where it is already at? In other words, if healed up to point X, it is subject to the same risk four weeks from now versus a week from now? If a guy is 90% this week and likely to be 90% four weeks from now, and the same risk of aggravation exists, then what's the difference? If waiting two more weeks takes a guy from 70% to 90%, then they probably can sit. I don't see it as a simple on/off switch. It depends on the injury and the phase the healing is in.

FITZCORE1252's picture

If they're cleared, they play. In years past I would've said sit them to get a couple more weeks rest. Screw that, the season is too short. And who's to say two more weeks benefits them? If you can go, you go.

PaulRosik's picture

Busari? Hell, I'd go with B.J. also.

Since '61's picture

You always want to put your best players on the field if they are cleared to play because they give you the best chance to win. If you get into a blowout situation you can always pull them out and remove the injury risk. I am a little surprised not to see Lacy on any list. Is his ankle back to 100%? Has he been practicing at full speed? Lacy is a player that I would consider resting for this game because I believe that Starks and Harris can get he job done against SD. Thanks, Since '61

Tundraboy's picture

Good point on Lacy. I do not remember Harris playing at all last game.

Dan Stodola's picture

There's nothing wrong w/ Lacy IMO. Everyone is talking bout his ankle. Well you know what its been over a month or more. His ankle is fine. If it wasn't he would be on the injury list. But he hasn't been at all lately that I remember.

You said yourself, if he's cleared to play then he plays because he gives you the best chance to win. So then why the hell would you rest him? He's not on the injury report, that means he's not injured, so he plays!

Hate to say it, but your contradicting yourself in one comment. Comes off like T Trumps or whatever his name is.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

1st) During practice this week Lacy removed the tape that he has been wearing around his ankle, so it sounds like he is getting better.

2nd) (Edit: I just read your comment below, Dan. Yes, there is a difference between hurt and injured, though the line is a little blurry.) Just because a player's name is not listed on the injury report does not mean that he is not injured (i.e. 100%). IIRC Bakh hasn't been listed on the injury report but many think he is gutting through an injury that is impeding his ability to play well.

3rd) There is no comparison between Since '61 and tWins.

Dan Stodola's picture

In other words his ankle hurts, but isn't injured.

Agree no comparison w twins, however he did seem to contradict himself.

Since '61's picture

Dan - I would agree that my post was probably unclear. Concerning Lacy I was trying to say that it seemed strange to me that he had not appeared on any injury list even though we have been hearing that he is not 100%. If he is not 100% then it would make sense to me to rest him this week against the Chargers. However, if he is in fact 100% ( which we can assume since he is not on the injury report) then I agree that he should play, at least until the game reaches a blowout status. I appreciate Reynoldo's update on his status. As for tWins he remains in a class by himself, enough said. Thanks, Since '61

Dan Stodola's picture

Fair enough. Thanks for the well thought out response.

Dan Stodola's picture

Difference between being injured and hurt. If your hurt you play. NFL players are always hurt / hurting. If your injured you generally don't play.

Expect most Packers are hurt at this point, not injured.

Duke Divine's picture

Sit them all! They still win by 2 touchdowns. Need everyone healthy for Denver. I have no doubt in my mind that the Denver game comes down to the Green Bay offense. There is no way rag arm and the lack luster stable of RBs in Denver put any sort of points on the board vs this Packers defense. However the Denver Defense is the cream of the crop and I just assume rest Adams in preparation for that match up while this week letting STarks and Harris run the Chargers into the ground. Run to set up the pass this week and the WR injuries and inexperience won't even factor into tomorrows 13 point win.

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