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Packers Continue Dealing with Injuries

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Packers Continue Dealing with Injuries

The Green Bay Packers hosted another Family Night event this past weekend at Lambeau Field.  A near sellout crowd gathered (and paid) for a practice and got a chance to see their Packers in action.

During the night, left tackle David Bakhtiari limped off the field after suffering an ankle injury.  He was later carted to the locker room and the collective Packers faithful held their breath (or in my case, began dry heaving into a commode).

The questions began: should the Packers stop doing Family Night?  How could this have been avoided?  Should any key players suit up at all for any of the upcoming preseason games?

The injury bug is frustrating.  It can take your team from a championship hopeful to a total zero in the blink of an eye.  Football is especially prone to it with its physical nature and abundant contact.

The reality is that it's football.  Injuries are going to occur.  We might as well add that to "death & taxes" as the two biggest life certainties.  To play or watch football is to accept that players are going to go down and miss time.

The difference between championship teams and the others is how they mitigate losses.  The 2010 Packers were actually hit hard with injuries, but many of them weren't to key pieces or the team had a back up option they could plug in (Desmond Bishop comes to mind).

While it seems like Green Bay always leads the league in injuries, they aren't that different from most other NFL teams.  Hopefully new General Manager Brian Gutekunst has constructed a roster that will allow young players to step in and contribute if they're needed.

We'll start to get an answer to that question this week as the Packers play in their first preseason game.  If the answer is that the young guys are just not ready yet, the team may have to go out and bring in a veteran.  That may plug a hole, but it takes a roster spot away from another young player who might help in another area of need.

Getting back to Family Night and taking a proactive approach to avoiding player injuries, there is only so much a team can do.  Players need practice to stay fresh and improve.  The environment can be controlled only so much.  And keep in mind that many major injuries that occur in practices are those that involve no contact.

In fact, it was Family Night 2013 when Bryan Bulaga tore his ACL, prompting Head Coach Mike McCarthy to scrap the old format and turn it into a glorified practice session.  Bulaga had just moved to left tackle and in his absence came Bakhtiari, who has firmly held the left tackle spot since.

Elite athletes taking their bodies to the max of their ability and with an opponent that has the same desire to win, injuries are bound to occur.  Short of putting these guys in bubble wrap, there's no other way to make the act of playing football any safer.

As frustrating as it is to lose key players, the likelihood of it happening again during the regular season is high.  We as fans may as well embrace it and hope that the team has a solid "Plan B".


Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (40) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

GBPDAN1's picture

Based on the sideline reports posted- in regard to our backup O-lineman - after family night, it's a blessing Baks injury isn't serious (from what I've read ) and Bulaga looks to be on track for the opener

We are thin at certain positions and losing any of the following players will impact our seasons outlook;

1) Rodgers (obviously)
2) Adam's ( no established, quality, outside receivers behind him, yet) - Cobb is a slot and Graham is not a true boundary receiver.
2) Bak ( must protect Rodgers blindside)
4) CM3 or Perry ( no established depth at OLB, yet)
5) MLB ( Ryan's injury has thinned this position)
6) HHCD ( safety is somewhat of a question mark, so far)
7) Bulaga ( could be ranked higher based on how our backups have looked so far)

To me, Bak and Adam's are neck and neck as for players we don't what to lose, maybe Bak is higher). 4-7 could change order of importance depending on circumstances.

Here's to good health for these players, and all of our players, for the 2018 season and beyond!

croatpackfan's picture

You forget Corey Linsley. Center is very, very important, too

Jonathan Spader's picture

Especially because of the lack of depth behind center Croat. If Linsley goes down we don't have Tretter to fill in. Who is our backup center in 2018?

Since '61's picture

I think the plan, os of now, is for Lucas Patrick to backup Lindley at Center.
Thanks, Since '61

carlos's picture

My biggest concern is offensive tackle. We all know what happens when Rogers can’t play.

carlos's picture

All players who get to this point are “freak” athletes. Injuries kill depth, but experience is what separates the players. All can play. Some are just a twinge better and that’s what separates the average player from the super stars. Injuries will happen in all sports or even to a worker in a factory. These are elite athletes whose bodies are under a constant stress from working out year round and the drive to be great. Players who don’t have that work ethic don’t make it. Besides, football isn’t a tough game, but a violent game.

HankScorpio's picture

"While it seems like Green Bay always leads the league in injuries, they aren't that different from most other NFL teams. "

This is true. There is nothing that the Packers training staff is doing wrong. The players are not fragile. There is nothing in the water in GB. Better nutrition won't help. Whether they make a grand event of Family Night practice or just hold a normal practice is not particularly relevant either.

"The reality is that it's football. Injuries are going to occur. "

More truth. To the extent there is an issue, it is with the nature of the game itself.

WKUPackFan's picture

I wish that it were possible to give Hank's comment 1,000 thumbs up.

Some people think that the training staff should have a magic method or elixir that prevents broken bones, torn ligaments, etc.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Great comment. Long time, happy to see you commenting again.

The TKstinator's picture

You mean stretching isn’t the answer????

dobber's picture

No...the answer is always better pad level.

The TKstinator's picture

I apply that all the time in daily life as well!

Lare's picture

I have no way of knowing what the Packers training staff is doing right or wrong, but there are training regimens that can help prevent injuries such as strained hamstring and groin pulls. Over-developing some muscles can put stress on other supporting muscles, and the main key to preventing most muscle strains is proper warmup and stretching.

That said, there is no way to prevent contact injuries in a contact sport. The best you can do is be in good physical condition and wear proper equipment.

HankScorpio's picture

"Over-developing some muscles can put stress on other supporting muscles, and the main key to preventing most muscle strains is proper warmup and stretching."

This is definitely another way the game has evolved. Gone are the days of there being an "offseason". Players that are not training year round don't last long these days. Back in the days when I was walking 10 miles to school each day (uphill both ways), guys could slack off during their months away from the team. Not anymore.

dobber's picture

Many of those guys were working second jobs to help support their football hobby.

Since '61's picture

"Dancing is a contact sport, football is a hitting sport", Vince Lombardi.
Thanks, Since '61

The TKstinator's picture

True, but if GB’s training does not already know those things, they indeed should be fired.
But I’m willing to wager they already do, since my guess is at least some of them went to college and stuff.

LayingTheLawe's picture

If everyone starts blowing out hammies or dry heaving on the sidelines then you look at trainers. But knees, collarbones and ankles are just not part of the trainers purview. Maybe the Chinese or the Russians have some super secret training program that makes bones tougher. But the rest of us we will always be listed as day to day and subject to the whims of fate.

Since '61's picture

Russians have steroids. Thanks, Since '61

Since '61's picture

Russians have steroids. Thanks, Since '61

Grandfathered's picture

"The reality is that it's football. Injuries are going to occur. We might as well add that to "death & taxes" as the two biggest life certainties. To play or watch football is to accept that players are going to go down and miss time."

The theory that injuries just happen and there's nothing you can do about it is plain wrong. And we keep hearing that "it seems like the Packers suffer more injuries, but really not" never seem to follow up with any actual statistics,

Different technologies and a coaching staff's willingness to accept and implement them make a difference. Data is available that measures and correlates a variety of medical and statistical data about each player. Its what a team accepts and implements is haw it translates into each teams' injury statistics.

jasonperone's picture

Grand, you're right, the theory IS wrong if you include "don't play football" as a method of avoiding injury. Football is a physical game and guys get dinged up all the time. Some result in their being hurt and some are actual injuries. When bodies bang into each other, the results vary but it IS reasonable to say "there's nothing you can do to prevent it" in that case. I'm sure you experienced this when you were a youth running around wild with friends or perhaps you played ball yourself. Stuff happens, it's a valid thought and you can't always predict it.

You're probably talking more about soft tissue injuries that may be prevented with better eating, stretching and conditioning. There is something to be said for what that can do to reduce injury but you'll never prevent it all. Like I said, you can't predict when it will happen or how severe. It's why teams put injury clauses and have settlement language in the contracts. If they knew they'd suffer a certain number of injuries, they'd be in much better shape to manage a roster. But that injury total changes each season. It's not a flat line.

You're also right that there is data on this. I'm not a deep diver by nature so I didn't opt to get too scientific but there are stats that paint a numerical picture, if you want one.

There have already been many major injuries suffered this offseason/preseason. Adam Schefter recently posted a tweet on just the ACL's. The Packers had just one: Jake Ryan. Bakh, Brice and Daniels should all return from their current ailments so it's not as catastrophic as it seems and if we're going to harp on the training staff and coaching staff to get involved to fix this issue, we have to also give them credit for getting a guy back on the field a week after he was carted off (Brice).

Bearmeat's picture

we aren't unusual. the NFL is a war of attrition. That's why depth is so important.

The TKstinator's picture

This is why teams TRY to avoid drafting for need. Just take good players, because you’re just one injury away from a “new” need at any position.

dobber's picture


Tarynfor12's picture

That would mean or imply the Packers are of need still because we haven't had good players which in turn means the ' half empty' glass thinking is justified or the half full glass is evaporating quicker.

The TKstinator's picture

Ok, for the first time in a long time, I’m gonna cut the crap. I don’t intend to be mean or belittling here, so I hope you don’t take it that way.
I find your writing style to be unnecessarily elongated and awkward. I anticipate you think that means I’m some kind of simpleton who is unable to comprehend complex ideas. I assure you I am not. I think the goal of communication is to share ideas in a way that others can understand.
For example: “the Packers are of need” do you mean “the Packers are IN need”?
And once again your entire post is just one long sentence. I don’t need “See Jane run”, but I DO think with a little adjustment to your writing style, your messages would be much clearer. And isn’t that a desirable outcome? To convey complex thoughts but in a clear way?

Tarynfor12's picture

I believe I make my points quite clear. I have contended that we have been short on talent on this team for a time now. You contend the Packers try not to draft for need via drafting good players. Obviously the theory is sound but the execution has failed. Argue if you will but MM stated such in his most recent presser. He admitted to not having this amount of depth in a long time, in the secondary as the reference point. Not having depth is by reason the fault of not drafting good players and acknowledging a need over a period of time. Will this season be different, who knows.
You and others can and most likely will alter my clear point by simply saying that isn't what MM meant. That would be an interpretation opposed to mine but mine is backed up by the play, the turnover of players and if a failed secondary is again seen, does that take blame from Capers since the same comes from Pettine.
Will it be good scheme-bad players.
Will it be good players-bad scheme.
Will it be good scheme,good players-bad game coaching.
We'll begin to see Thursday.
Sorry if this is elongated and or awkward for you but it is on point and clear. : )

The TKstinator's picture

When did I say GB doesn’t draft for need?

“That would be an interpretation opposed to mine but mine is backed up by the play, the turnover of players and if a failed secondary is again seen, does that take blame from Capers since the same comes from Pettine.”

You have to admit that sentence is a mess.

Lare's picture

I generally don't waste time on up or down votes, there's just some posters I tend to skip over. Some are convoluted, many are longwinded, a few are just trying to start an argument, and some are trying to make this a Facebook page where we're all supposed to care about their personal lives.

It's a Packers online forum, we're brought here (except for the Vikings fans) because we support our Packers. It is what it is.

Since '61's picture

It's all OK because we have you here as the post police to tell the rest of us what we're doing wrong with our posts and steer us back to how and what you think we should be posting. Thanks, Since '61

The TKstinator's picture

PS Todd Nicholas from Cory’s Corner wants to buy a “punctuation sprinkler” from you.
PPS The pot wants to know what color the kettle is.

The TKstinator's picture

It is what it is, except for when it isn’t. At those times, it is what is isn’t, or, if you prefer, it isn’t what it is.
So, what is it?

marpag1's picture

Just think of this as a very multi-cultural Packers fan-board, on which many posters and even some authors (cough, cough) are speaking their native language, which obviously isn't English.

4thand1's picture

I looked up serious in the dictionary, there was a picture of Pettine there.

Duke Divine's picture

If I hear another moron say they need to revamp the training staff because of the injuries I'm going to spit... It's football!! Players get hurt! Not the best training staff in the history of the world could prevent injuries when giants crash into each other at full speed! To say as much makes you lose all credibility.

The TKstinator's picture

But, but, but!
What if the ice packs aren’t cold enough?!?!

Lare's picture

IMO, you lose credibility when you feel you have to call people that have opinions different from yours names like "morons" in an effort to justify your opinion.

Lphill's picture

Charity softball , injuries , family night , injuries maybe on family night they should play chess .

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Davante Adams is having "epic battles" with Kevin King. That should really help King develop, so I support exposing Adams to the rigors of practice.

AR needs to develop timing and trust with his receivers. He has to practice.

Bakh helps pass rushers develop but....

That said, I support using them in controlled practice drills, but not nearly as much in games, or 9 on 7 where they might get rolled on by the players next to them. Still, they have to play at least some at game speed, in 9 on 7, and 2-minute drills.

It is a balancing act. Bakh, and the others don't need tons of time to get ready, do they? I guess I'd hate to see Clark destroy McCray, who got tossed on the ground and rolled over towards the RT, and see Bulaga get trip over McCray's bouncing body and reinjure himself.

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