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Jimmy Graham "on track" to play vs. Vikings

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Jimmy Graham "on track" to play vs. Vikings

There shouldn't be any questions about Jimmy Graham's toughness anytime soon.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the Green Bay Packers' prized tight end acquired over the offseason is on track to play Sunday night against the Vikings despite a broken left thumb and a knee injury.

Graham was one of the seven players listed as "questionable" for the divisional clash after being designated as a limited participant on Friday.

During the Packers' last practice on Thursday, Graham wore a heavy wrap on his hand that secured his thumb. Coach Mike McCarthy noted that Graham took his normal number of reps for a practice at that point in the week.

Graham "caught the ball fine," according to McCarthy. "I thought it went well."

Graham was in the lineup when the Packers first faced the Vikings earlier this season, tying his season-high in catches (6) and his second-highest in receiving yards (95). While he's shown flashes of excellence, Graham has yet to really become much of a staple in the Packers' offensive plans this year.

Having him available in some capacity against the Vikings, however, helps other targets gain opportunities by drawing attention to wherever Graham is lining up. If McCarthy's sentiments are any indication, the security around his thumb shouldn't hinder Graham's ability to catch.

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV and a contributor/analyst for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (11) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bearmeat's picture

I don't question Graham's toughness. I don't even question his willingness to block anymore.

I just question his ability to run and thus be an effective "Y", and thus question the wisdom of signing him in the first place.

Packer Fan's picture

Toughness isn't the issue. Can MM use him effectively? The sad answer is no.

The TKstinator's picture

Especially disappointing after MM said something along the lines of “you need big targets running through the middle of the defense”.
Or was it “big targets running one yard squareouts and checkdowns”?
Alas, poor Yorick, memory fails me yet again.

Since '61's picture

At this point I'd rather see Tonyan get the snaps. Thanks, Since '61

EdsLaces's picture

Agreed 61. At least he can catch . Hes 1 for 1!

The TKstinator's picture

And I’m not opposed to the fact that he has two healthy thumbs.

Gort's picture

Two unbroken thumbs up from me.

Dash Riprock's picture

This news isn't actually comforting to me. I think most of us picture Jimmy Graham as a healthy and ineffective veteran quickly fading on his way out of football. Now we picture a guy with a knee problem and a club on one hand trying to catching a ball. Just sit or IR the guy like Perry. We'd be much better off playing young hungry guys like Tonyan and Kumerow.

Johnblood27's picture

MM would rather beat a dead horse than ride a derby winner.

Gort's picture

Thats LOL funny, not HaHa funny.

Old School's picture

The Packer passing attack when Gutekunst took over had a "Big 3" of Adams, Cobb, and Nelson. Gutekunst made us different by replacing Nelson with Graham . The calculus was that Adams would draw double teams, Graham would threaten the middle of the field, and Cobb play slot and work underneath.

So if this all works, the only need we have for a #2 WR in this scenario is some guy who can maybe get deep and win a jump ball against the other team's weakest corner.

But guys got hurt and Graham was targeted a little more often. He's a very good player, and he'll be a good player next year. But if the expectation is that 30+ year old guy TE is going to give you deep speed down the middle.....well, that's just crazy thinking. Nobody gets faster as they get older, and he's already on the bad side of 30.

But he's big, he's smart, he can catch, and in a game that we absolutely had to win, he went out there and played with a freshly broken thumb.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

So, when MM is replaced, is the new coach going to have to keep Pettine? Does Pettine have to stay? And does it make any sense to rebuild around an older QB who is expensive and on the backside of his career...with an injury history?

Worst case scenario? The new HC brings in his own new guy as DC and Rodgers is compelled to learn a new system for the first time in his career.

IMO, a better scenario is that we keep McCarthy, keep Pettine, trade Rodgers and rebuild around a younger guy. With all the draft picks and salary cap money we could free up, I think Pettine could probably put a pretty good defense on the field.

And WHOEVER the new QB is, he'd have a pretty good team around him. If MM is the QB guru he's supposed to be, great. If not, he can be replaced with a better guy for the new QB.

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