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Packers Will Deal With Attrition in 2017

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Packers Will Deal With Attrition in 2017

One preseason game into 2017 and the Green Bay Packers are already monitoring at least four players for injuries sustained in the game.  Damarious Randall, Kentrell Brice, Don Barclay and Malachi Dupre all left last week's game against the Philadelphia Eagles and did not return.  There were a few other injuries as well.

Injuries are an obvious part of football.  The nature of the game lends itself to guys getting dinged up and having to recover from those bumps and bruises.  While that's a known, teams never know when injury will strike and to which players.  My mantra this season is "when healthy".  It's an implied start to any sentence relating to a Packers player.

We've seen the injury bug bite the Packers many times before.  Last season it hit at the worst possible time, during the NFC championship game.  A game that saw Letroy Guion trying to fill in on the offensive line.  The year prior, the Packers were fighting for their season with just Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis as the main targets.  It's often said that teams need some luck to go far in the playoffs.  Luck in health is certainly part of that equation.

It seems like this is a topic that we're discussing every season.  Some opine that the Packers are constantly at the top of the list of teams who are hardest hit with lost time due to player health.  Maybe true but the bigger point is that the Packers are no stranger to losing players.  They know they'll need to replace a few guys this season (and let's hope it's only a few).  Is the depth on this team enough to overcome some losses?

Obviously, it depends on the position or player in question.  If it's Aaron Rodgers, the answer is an emphatic "no".  Brett Hundley has proven capable of running the offense, but you simply can't replace all that is an Aaron Rodgers.  Rodgers is the extreme case as far as the Packers go.  But if we're talking about those mentioned above, how do the Packers currently stand to be able to handle those losses?

Randall and Dupre are both in the concussion protocol.  Head injuries are hard to predict so it's unknown how long both will be out.  Randall needed this preseason time to settle into his role as a slot corner and Dupre is fighting for a roster spot in a crowded receiver group.

Barclay and Brice are valuable depth at positions that can't afford to be short handed.  Long-term or season-ending losses there shake up the roster and have a trickle-down effect.  The Packers may need to keep extra guys at positions suddenly weak instead of stacking another position.

Beyond right now, the reality is that there are going to be more players lost to injury this season.  Hopefully this past game wasn't foreshadowing what the Packers will be dealing with throughout this season.  For a team that seemingly has a chance to make a run at a championship, it would be extreme disappointment to see that thwarted because key players are lost.

Being a football fan means accepting changes to the roster and losing valuable players along the way of a typical season.  The same can be said for the teams themselves and hopefully the Packers have a solid formula prepared for 2017.



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

Lphill's picture

Revis is still available why not make an offer , it would provide a veteran presence for the younger guys . If the price is right why not?

HankScorpio's picture

"If the price is right why not?"

Indeed. But that is always the sticking point--disagreement on the right price. Sometimes that disagreement is between teams, where one team puts "the price" at a higher level than another. Sometimes that is between the player and the team, where the player puts a minimum value on his worth that exceeds the value any team places on him. And sometimes 'the price" is not financial at all---Green Bay, as the smallest market in the NFL , is not everyone's cup of tea.

So the qualifier you put on, ie If the price is right why not?, answers the question as to why Revis has not already been signed.

Obviously the price is not right.

Nick Perry's picture

Revis has always been about the money it seems but if he wanted to show the rest of the NFL last season was a fluke he might need to take less. Maybe a "Small Town" atmosphere for a fair salary AND an excellent chance at a Lombardi trophy would be exactly what Revis needs. It may not be his "Cup of Tea" at first. But winning, playing with Rodgers, and playing for the greatest team in all of sports might be something he'll drink!

billybobton's picture

Most of the time "PRICE" is a term without meaning.

We lost this very same Revis a couple of years ago for PRICE but the patriots and this very same Revis won a super bowl, we go stomach aches.

The same patriots who found the PRICE for MOSS and paid the PRICE and won a super bowl while we got stomach aches.

and never forget BEAST MODE who got a price in Seattle because we could not pay the price and got ONE SUPER BOWL WIN and nearly another while we got upset stomachs and watched all these super bowls on tv

I think teddie's history on paying the price is more complicated and far less impressive than some

Bugeater's picture

Randy Moss does not have a Super Bowl ring. That was the almost unbeaten season when NE was beaten by the Giants.

Amanofthenorth's picture

Pass rush makes all pro cornerbacks. Not the other way around. Put your money where the muscle is

Somedumbname's picture

Revis is a horrible tackler. His coverage skills are declining as well. No thanks.

ThxJackVainisi's picture

An issue to keep in mind with the cap is Rodgers' contract will likely be extended next season. I don't think they'll wait til the last year of his deal (2019). Thompson will likely want to roll over as much as possible into next year.

The TKstinator's picture

None of us here have any idea how much Revis has declined, but the NFL teams do. And to this point NOBODY has offered him anything. That tells me all I need to know on the matter.

carusotrap's picture

This roster seems to be the most complete and talented they've had in years, but the "when healthy" qualifier is true.

The thing I wonder about -- and I don't follow other teams closely enough to say if this is only a Packers thing or true across the league -- is the "delicate" nature of our roster. I'm not sure what I'm saying here (other than weak metaphors), but we do seem to build our house of cards better and higher than most teams, but then one card shifts, and the whole thing collapses. Our "next man up" just doesn't always seem ready to be that.

flackcatcher's picture

caruso81 since the CBA went into effect, the number of injuries and type that lead to team collapse seems to have increased. Both the Ravens and Panther were wiped out after super bowel seasons. Neither had completely recovered one year later. Yet the Packers and New England both dealt with season ending injuries to their QB, and made it deep into the playoffs. In the Packers case, TT leading the front office gave a superior coach the players to overcome. It's the same with New England. Since61 has a great comment putting the Packers injuries into perspective. The Packers front office has had their share of failures, but rest of the league...(The number of flat out bad teams have increase due to the constant inability of front offices to simply put the right kind of players their coaches need to win. And those coaches and front office inability to judge players in the compressed time they have.)

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I don't think so. I'd suggest the team will be better in 2018 than 2017. I will deal with 2017, though. Don't see much depth at lots of positions.

OL: Last year, I was comfortable with Tretter going to LT for a game or 3. We need Spriggs to show something. While I am not impressed with the starting guards, they're adequate. However, we need Spriggs, Murphy or ? to show something. At OC, there is a complete void. Barclay stinks, Amichia isn't NFL ready. Maybe Patrick? Thin.

WR: We have 5 receiving options: Nelson, Adams, Cobb, Bennett, Kendricks. Ought to be enough. We do need an option that can get deep to keep safeties from cluttering up Cobb's and Adams' underneath routes and the seam routes of the TEs. Maybe Adams can get deep often enough. Nelson still looks like the linchpin, but maybe not.

OLB: Need at least one of Fackrell and Elliott to be able to play a lot, and both would be good. Maybe Biegel later on.

CB: There is no #1. Hope we can field two #2 types and get by. After House, Rollins, I have concerns. King and Randall could come through. Others are known to be bad or unknown.

Note I am discussing reasonable expectations for production, not talent. King, Spriggs, Jones, Fackrell and Randall have lots of talent. They, and others, have time to improve their technique and help us this year. We will see.

Nick Perry's picture

The Packers need the O-Line, OLB, House, and D-Line to stay healthy and in that order. The depth behind the starters at those positions is either thin, unproven, or both.
Obviously Rodgers health is priority one. That just goes without saying.

RobinsonDavis's picture

See below Mojo's comment about Lucas Patrick. One of the elephants in the room concerns the O-line depth...all of our starting interior linemen are free agents next year, along with Barclay and others.

PackEyedOptimist's picture

Additionally, bad luck for starters can be good luck for backups. I'm a huge Brice fan, and I was unimpressed by Marwin Evans--until this last game. Hopefully the injuries we incur along the way aren't of the season (or career...) ending types. Short term losses of starters can lead to some interesting discoveries.

RCPackerFan's picture

Injuries happen. Its apart of the game. The injuries that happened to Barclay and Brice happen all the time in games.

The injuries that could have been prevented however are the hits that Randall and Dupre took. In today's game and all the talk of head injuries and player saftey the plays that have to get out of the game are the hits that those 2 guys took.

Randall's hit the WR launched upward and hit Randall right in the chin. If he blocks Randall the right way he hits him in the chest not chin.

Dupre's hit has been debated but regardless the Safety lined him up and led with the crown of his helmet. The same safety that lined up Dupre for the big hit, a few plays later hit McCaffrey late.

Hopefully these guys can come back soon.

sonomaca's picture

Why weren't any Eagles "layed out."
My guess is the Packers are going to see more of this, at least until they return the favor.

4thand1's picture

I rewatched the Randall cheap shot a few times. If it had a college game that bum would have been kicked out. MM sent a tape to the league and hopefully he gets fined at least.

Handsback's picture

I think, not sure, that the Eagles had one guy to leave the field due to injury and Green Bay had 5. It was a pre-season game but the Packers carted off the field had no chance of going back in if it had been a regular season game.

That is troubling just from a numbers standpoint. I know there's nothing the staff can do, except making the players play in bubble wrap, but as long as Rodgers is upright they can still do the job.

Mojo's picture

Wonder if anyone noticed how Lucas Patrick did at center? From what I saw there wasn't anything noticeably bad in his play.

He's bigger, younger with less of an injury history than Barclay. He has also played guard. He can probably take on the bull-rush better than Donny which I always thought was one of his weaknesses.

The Packers liked Patrick last year but a hand injury set him back.

Perhaps the latest Barclay injury might be a blessing in disguise. Not to Barclay of course who should get his due for fighting through major injuries and maintaining a spot.

But between Patrick, Gray (who's had a good TC) or Kofi this presents the Packers with the opportunity to upgrade the swing backup position.

RCPackerFan's picture

While I didn't solely focus on him. I thought he looked good from what I saw. I don't recall a bad snap either.

The injury to Barclay I think might not only help Patrick but also could help Kofi out a lot actually. It will give him a lot more opportunities to play OC.

Turophile's picture

After the players had been graded for the game, McCarthy did say he liked what he saw of the young center play and the grades on that were good. That is surely a tribute directed at Patrick, who played center after Barclay was injured (Barclay played well there as also).

I found that encouraging as I had heard absolutely nothing about Patrick up until then. All the good young O lineman talk before, was about Geoff Gray who plays guard.

RobinsonDavis's picture

Would totally agree. Prior to switching to center he looked very stout at guard too.

Since '61's picture

I think that we'll see Randall and Dupre back by the 3rd or 4th preseason game. Brice was a dislocated finger so he should be back soon as well. Barclay depends on how bad the ankle injury is. We would know by now if it was a break or achilles tendon. If it wasn't for the fact that he is the backup Center there is no loss with Barclay. To me the important injury is House's hammy. If he's gone 4-6 weeks we are only slightly better off than we were last season, assuming that King can start and Rollins is 100%. If we go into the season with House and Randall down it's going to be a problem. We can do without Randall if we have House, King and Rollins at 100% but it will hurt to lose House right out of the gate. If the Packers know that House won't be ready then I would go with LPhill's suggestion up top and sign Revis ASAP. Why are we sitting on $18 million of cap space anyway? Using a few million to sign a player like Revis should be a no brainer, plus he actually knows how to tackle. Thanks, Since '61

RobinsonDavis's picture

From my calculations, we are $13-14 million under the cap to START the season, but you point is taken, '61.

dobber's picture

" Why are we sitting on $18 million of cap space anyway?"

My suspicion is that we might see one of these pending FAs (Linsley, Adams, etc.) signing a new deal during camp (think Bakhtiari last season) with a big, front-loaded 2017 number to take the heat off future caps.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I can only envision 1 or 2 scenarios where front-loading the 2017 cap # makes much sense to me, Dobber. I doubt that TT will let Adams, Linsley or Taylor leave w/o making a real offer. Wild cards would be Evans, RJF and House, depending on their play. The joker is Burnett: that depends on his play, his health, his cost, and whether Josh Jones or Brice can replace him.

It might be that TT envisions not losing any FAs of note, or only Burnett (who might be worth a 4th rd. comp.). He might envision dumping Cobb and/or CM3. Perhaps if one wanted to buy a one or two year FA rental, then front loading the cap of one of our guys might make sense. 2018 is a lousy year for OLBs in FA, but CB and WR have strong candidates and depth. If there is no OLB worth buying, it is hard to dump CM3 unless several of our young guys there come through.

Spock's picture

Since '61, as Somedumbname above pointed out Revis is done. I recall reading a report (I think it was while Bob McGinn was still around) from a scout who said Revis, who never was a speed demon, had lost: a, speed b, confidence and c, after his injury (concussion?) was reluctant to TACKLE. The article was about whether Revis could move to safety (ala Woodson) and the scout flat out said Revis would not tackle any more! That does NOT sound like someone to sign. Revis may know HOW to tackle, but it sounds like he doesn't WANT to tackle. No thanks on signing him. Wish I could reference the article but it was a while ago, and it may explain why no one has signed him to this point.

egbertsouse's picture

I hated to see Dupre get hurt but the other guys don't bother me that much. Barclay is a stiff, maybe this will cause TT to get a quality back-up. Not sold on Randall, he has "bust" written all over him. Brice is a big hitter who misses tackles while shooting for the highlight reel hit.

As long as its these types they have to replace I'm not worried.

Lphill's picture

As I said earlier Revis is available and I believe there was an article after last season ended where he said he would play for a contender so maybe he would take what the Packers are willing to offer .

Packer Fan's picture

Brice is a non event. He will be back soon. Dupre with a deep receiver group behind him is also a non event. Got to watch Barclay, but at this time if the young players mature, then OK. Cornerbacks are going to be suspect until the season starts. There is not one player on the roster that doesn't have to prove themselves. From either poor play last year or still developing. Waters is gone for the season and now Randall has a concussion. Wait till House, King or Rollins gets hurt. And they will. Will Hawkins or Goodson be a quality backup? Who knows. I don't think this is the time to pull the plug on a guy like Revis, but the Pack better have a backup plan.

holmesmd's picture

Why does anyone here believe Revis has anything left? I haven't seen him do zilch in years! Many lament the cliff that CMIII may have fallen off but on when he looks around during free fall , Revis is right next to him. Lol

A Pickled Packer's picture

Revis must be asking to much, he was our answer day one and now he'll just wait until we get desperate and meet his price. If we could have just paid this guy before the draft we would have had him and TJ Watt. Could have killed two birds with one stone.

dobber's picture

I don't know if Levy would be an OLB in the 3-4. Do you think he would have to move inside?

RCPackerFan's picture

Yeah I'm pretty sure he'd be an ILB in the 3-4 defense.

Grandfathered's picture

The premise of the article was that " injuries happen and lets hope it does not happen to us too badly". But that premise is not entirely true. A few years ago, after the Packers were once again the most injured team, there was news about some players trying Yoga and other types of non-traditional conditioning, the team putting the so called GPS on players to study, and a concerted effort made to see whether they could become less injury prone. And they succeeded the following year. In the offseasons since, there has been almost no talk about any team effort to enhance conditioning, or any word on the Packers implementation of the GPS, and whether effective use can reduce injuries. I'm saying that if the team takes the effort to reduce injuries, they can be effective. It would be nice to see a written article about the implementation of that GPS data, by the way.

flackcatcher's picture

Players union signed a deal for biomedical data and I think that includes GPS. If the teams want it, since it medical data, it's HIPPA protected. Going to be a big sticking point at the next CBA.

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