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Packers, Jean Francois Reunite to Bolster Defensive Line Depth—Again

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Packers, Jean Francois Reunite to Bolster Defensive Line Depth—Again

After barely over a week on the market, the Green Bay Packers will be bringing back veteran defensive end Ricky Jean Francois in an effort to bolster their defensive line depth.

It likely wasn't too difficult of a decision considering Jean Francois spent the entire offseason with defensive line coach Mike Trgovac and grasping the scheme. Jean Francois already has an edge in his return with his sense of familiarity.

The reasoning behind the move is likely due to the fact that defensive tackle Mike Daniels is dealing with a nagging hip injury, presumably the same issue that forced him to leave Sunday night's loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Daniels played just seven snaps before exiting.

Seven is still more than the six snaps Jean Francois played in the week one game against the Seattle Seahawks just two days before his release from the team. 

He signed a $3 million dollar contract with the Packers in March, only to be one of two surprise cuts in order to make room for wide receiver Geronimo Allison, who returned from suspension last week. Cornerback LaDarius Gunter was the other cut.

Daniels and third-round pick Montravius Adams were the only two defensive linemen on the Packers' Wednesday injury report. Daniels was held out of practice whereas Adams was a full participant, still waiting for full clearance to make his rookie debut. Daniels is one of eight players who didn't practice on Wednesday on a list that runs as deep as 13.

While Jean Francois' signing may indicate a lack of depth rather than Daniels potentially heading to injured reserve, his signing is expected to officially be announced on Thursday along with a corresponding roster move to open up a spot for him.

According to NBCSN's Ross Tucker, Jean Francois will get paid double by the Packers for every week he's on the roster moving forward. Depending on however long that is, you can expect a few more Dunkin Donuts establishments to pop up around Green Bay.


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 (35) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Tarynfor12's picture

I know this bring a player in, you put that player out, you bring that player back in and shake him all do the hokey pokey and hope you turn yourself around and that's what it's all about. : )

Nick Perry's picture

"While Jean Francois' signing may indicate a lack of depth rather than Daniels potentially heading to injured reserve"

I guess the general feeling is the Packers wouldn't have signed RJF unless they expected Daniels to miss more than a few weeks. That's NOT GOOD news for that defense. The Packers are going to need Daniels to get healthy and get healthy quickly. 4 or 5 weeks of no Daniels could really put a damper on any chance at home field advantage.

Zachary Jacobson's picture

To your point, Nick Perry also didn't participate in practice today with a hand injury. Your name just reminded me.

Nick Perry's picture

I saw that Zack....SIGH.....A BIG A$$ SIGH!

BUT I should say welcome back RJF!!!

croatpackfan's picture

NIck, do not worry! It is come back of "club hand" to Packers defense - 11,5 sacks last season!

Perry will play!

RCPackerFan's picture

Per McCarthy. Perry has to have surgery on his hand. So he will be out for who knows how long.

RCPackerFan's picture

one thing to remember is that they play Cincinnati Sunday and the Bears on Thursday.
2 games in 4 days. Healthy players don't like playing Thursday games.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Unhealthy players don't like it either. I like watching but I wish for the players sake they would end it.

That said, I thought it would be Ringo coming back.

RCPackerFan's picture

Honestly. Thursday night games have been horrible.

IMO if they want to continue to have Thursday night games they need to add 1 more bye week and have every team that plays the thursday game have a bye the week before. The product on the field would be so much better.

I thought Francois would be their first choice. He is a proven veteran.

rdent's picture

It's the NFL alone who wants Thursday night games, the players hate it, the coaches hate it and the fans hate it, the ratings have plummeted the last several years. It's hard to enjoy that game if you got work the next day, Sunday night too.

RCPackerFan's picture

I will say, i would enjoy the game much, much better if the product on the field was better.
Teams that play the game a week and a half after the thursday night game usually play well. So why not change it so they could have a week and a half before their Thursday night game. Having teams play 4 days after playing a game is just stupid.

Bearmeat's picture

Yeah, that's true. However, those two games will be FAR easier than what we've already done. I fully expect to have two yawners.

Yeah, win the games. But don't rush guys back whom you probably won't need. It's about the Cowboys game now.

RCPackerFan's picture

Oh night and day difference from playing the Seahawks and the Falcons.

Those are 2 of the top 10 teams in the league. Right now the Bengals and Bears have been bad.

That being said, we shouldn't overlook the Bengals. They fired their offensive Coordinator, and had the extra few days to prepare. They have talented players. Green is one of the top 5 WR's in the league. They have good RB's, and good players on defense. We shouldn't completely overlook them.

The TKstinator's picture

He shore do look surprised!

Since '61's picture

Resigning RJF is fine. I was surprised that the Packers released him in the first place.
But the possibility of Daniels going to IR is Yikes!!!
It is unbelievable that this team never, ever catches a break with injuries.
I have never seen anything like it in any sport with any other team that I have followed.
Thanks, Since '61

RCPackerFan's picture

From everything that I have heard is that Daniels hamstring is a minor injury. If so he won't go to IR.

Point Packer's picture

GB's personnel decisions so far this season can best be described as "questionable". Why RJF was not on this roster the last two weeks and we have five RB's, 3 of which never (or rarely) see the field, is just beyond me.

Oppy's picture

Im taking a flyer here, but I'm guessing you're right- it is probably beyond you... and me... and all the rest of us.. because we're not privy to a tenth of what goes on inside that building.

Point Packer's picture

That's all true, but not being privy to any of the information, doesn't make the decisions the right ones for the Green Bay Packers. Only one RB has really seen the field so far this season and yet we have five on the roster. Two of which haven't played a snap and could have likely been stowed away on the PS.

croatpackfan's picture

Probably because RJF can not play cover on ST?

GBPDAN1's picture

Another hand injury for Losing Daniel's and Perry at the same time is terrible. Need to win the next two at home and hope Daniels and others return by Oct 8th against the Cowpies

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

If we're missing Daniels and Perry, we'll lose to Cinci...

...and no one loses to Cinci.

Nick Perry's picture

I don't think so, not at Lambeau.

Bearmeat's picture

No. And not to the Bears either.

This team will be 3-1 going into the Cowboys game. 4-1 would be a GREAT start.

Finwiz's picture

Yeah, I actually thing losing Perry and Daniels is worse than losing Bulaga and Bahktiari . If you can't get any pressure, and can't stop the run, any team will move the ball on us, and we won't get off the field.
What a nightmare, year after year with these injuries.

dobber's picture

Unless Perry has an injury that precludes him using that whole arm, I think he plays. Brooks practicing is a help in that regard. Daniels is the bigger ???.

Tarynfor12's picture

I think we lose with or without them or either...Cincy needs a gift box and we're primed to be it.....history dictates.

croatpackfan's picture

Perry's "club hand" came back. Watch out, you frightened opponents ..

Lphill's picture

I think before releasing Francois with everyone healthy that we were still short on the D line due to the extra O linemen we are carrying including having an unproven player Adams in the mix .you need extra big guys to rotate as the game goes on and I think we still need maybe one more .

RCPackerFan's picture

I'm happy to see them bring back Francois. He was the odd man out when they need extra OL. Now that Daniels was hurt, and Lowry got dinged in the game they know they need more DL depth.

One of the things to remember is that this Sunday is against Cincinnati and then they have the short week against the Bears. They are going to need the depth for both games.

And they are especially not going to be missing Daniels for the 2 following games which are at Dallas and at Minnesota.

Razer's picture

The biggest vulnerability of this team is the D-line. Once you take out Daniels, the rest are young guys without proven stoutness and/or talent. The better defenses are featuring 4 guys who can play the run on the way to the QB and they are getting pressure on the QB.

Better O-lines have no problem with the Packer defense whether it is running or pass protection. I am a win it in the trenches believer and our D-line needs to do just that. Rather than go light with these exotic 'nitro' packages, I would prefer 3 guys who push the pocket and control the line. We are bringing back RJF because we don't have 3 good guys. At this point, we might not have two good guys.

Sorry, Ted has missed so many draft picks on defense that we will be talking about this again next year. At least he is going outside the draft to try to fill the voids. This might be Elliot talking.

RCPackerFan's picture

I disagree about our DL. While Lowry and Clark are young they are really good players. Clark is a beast in the middle.

The problem in the Falcons game was that they lost Daniels on the first series. Then later in the game they also lost Lowry. They were down to just Clark and Dial. Well those guys get wore down over time.

There will be a drop off from Daniels to the next guy because he is our best defensive player. You can't take away top talent and expect them to be just as good before.

We are bringing back Francois because Daniels is hurt and Adams is just getting back into playing. They can't go into a game with 3 DL.

Razer's picture

Sorry RCPackerFan but we don't have enough talent or depth on the D-line. Clark may have shown something late last year. Lowry is totally unproven. If it wasn't for Dial we'd be lining up Perry and Matthews in the trenches (which we did). RJF should never have been let go particularly with M Adams not healthy.

Ted is trying to save money on the D-line just like he tries to save money on the O-line. For my money, if you don't control the LOS you can't control the game. Atlanta never appeared to be in trouble on offense and could score when needed. We were busy throwing 'nitro' at their offense because our base defense doesn't have any push without Daniels.

RCPackerFan's picture

With injuries the depth is the main concern. Most downs they use 2 DL so they really only need to have 4 DL on the 45 game day active list.

Last year Clark really came on late in the season and has been excellent in the first 2 games. Lowry has played well but he got hurt in the Atlanta game.

I agree that they shouldn't have let Francois go.
But I don't get this statement. "If it wasn't for Dial we'd be lining up Perry and Matthews in the trenches (which we did)"
They brought Dial in a proven veteran to help solidify the DL. He is apart of the rotation. And the reason why they line Perry and Mathews up in the trenches is by design for pass rush. They did that in the Seattle game as well.
We can't just look at the Atlanta game and come up with a conclusion for the entire season based on this game. During this game they were down to 2 healthy DL during a stretch.
And yes our DL took a hit without Daniels. He is one of the best DL in the league for a reason. Its like losing Nelson and wondering why the WR's can't do as well. Anytime you take away one of your best players there will be a drop off in play.

I agree with you that games are won in the trenches. But this isn't the year we should complain about Thompson and not doing anything. In previous years they would have went with Ringo and Price as our DL. Instead they went out and got Francois and Dial. While they maybe cheaper veterans they still are veterans who have a lot of experience.

The Nitro defense is mainly to defend other teams Passing attacks. Basically all it does is replaces an ILB with Burnett. And it has worked. Through 2 games Jimmy Graham and Austin Hooper have a combined 5 catches on 9 targets for 15 yards mainly from Burnett covering him.

Razer's picture

My point is that we are thin at D-line at both talent and depth. Against good O-lines we don't stand up. Just listen to Capers who said that they couldn't take the run or play action away from Atlanta. If we are going to play a 3-4 then at least get 3 very good big men that can play the trenches and eat-up the blocks or collapse the pocket. I can't say how many times I saw the Atlanta linemen blocking out around the linebackers. Nitro or not - you got to win the LOS and we are not.

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