Raji's Arm Injury Could Be Real Trouble For Packers

The defensive lineman was seen after the game with a large ice bag strapped to his biceps area.

Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji suffered an apparent arm injury early on in the team's preseason victory over the Oakland Raiders. The former first round pick dropped out early in the first quarter and remained on the sideline for the remainder of the contest. 

From the Journal Sentinel:

After the game, Raji was seen with a huge ice bag strapped to the biceps area of his right arm.

"He had an initial exam," coach Mike McCarthy said. "B.J. is pretty confident about it. That's why you do the tests. We'll see what the tests say tomorrow."

Well I'm glad Raji confident about it. Because I'm not. 

Here's hoping tomorrow's tests come back negative and Raji hasn't torn anything.

If he as, the Packer will be forced to turn to Josh Boyd and Mike Pennell to man the nose in Capers' 3-4. Or, perhaps, Ted might make a call to Ryan Pickett, who is still waiting to sign with a team.

Losing Raji would be a big blow for a team that seemed to have finally rediscovered the guy who helped them win a Super Bowl at the nose tackle position back in 2010.

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Comments (23)

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DraftHobbyist's picture

August 23, 2014 at 01:14 am

Johnny Jolly is still out there, too, right? So there is another option. It would depend on how fit those guys are I think. Maybe there is a better guy to bring in around the league, but I doubt it. Teams don't usually let big guys go.

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Big Moe's picture

August 23, 2014 at 08:55 am

My first thought was Jolly as well, I think of the two he has more remaining in his tank than Pick, but I'm not sure how well he play's the nose. I'm a big fan of how Jolly plays the game and I love a redemption story though so I am a little biased.

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sonomaca's picture

August 23, 2014 at 10:39 am

Don't know about the neck with Jolly. His conditioning might be sub-optimal at this point, as well. Might have to go with Pennell, who has shown that he will be at least adequate. Boyd is a little guy. Ditto for Thornton.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 25, 2014 at 02:10 am

According to one report, Boyd weighed 328 pounds at the beginning of camp. MM later was quoted as saying that Boyd was bigger. I wrote that in a post some time ago, and you (Stroh) asked me for the source (actually we were talking about Datone Jones and his weight loss during the season). Here is the link again:

http://www.acmepackingcompany.com/2014/5/30/5765556/packers-2014-ota-wei...

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Bearmeat's picture

August 23, 2014 at 09:31 am

"Losing Raji would be a big blow for a team that seemed to have finally rediscovered the guy who helped them win a Super Bowl at the nose tackle position back in 2010."

I don't buy that for one second Nagler. Raji has been BAD for 3 years now. Sure, I'm excited about the potential of his switch back to NT to show us the guy that was around in 2010, but he hasn't shown that yet. If he shows that for for half a season and THEN gets injured, then I'll panic. Until then... meh.

The only hurtful thing about this potential injury right now is that there is no one better at NT on the roster. Raji was below replacement value last year.

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Tarynfor12's picture

August 23, 2014 at 10:39 am

I agree....the team hoped they would rediscovered the guy from 2010,which now becomes possibly moot for the season.

Question now is...Will the Packers even attempt yet another one year tryout for the 15' season or simply move on? Of coarse this depends on if the injury is season ending or...IR designate to come back?

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snaus's picture

August 23, 2014 at 11:51 am

I buy it. Raji seemed to get a wake-up call by there being no interest in him last offseason and was dominating in camp and in the games when he was playing. He was a force, and if he's torn a bicep here, that's a huge loss.

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Oppy's picture

August 24, 2014 at 06:26 pm

For the record, Raji has all but straight out stated that his motivation to play hard has been an issue, citing that having "early success" and a super bowl probably wasn't the best thing for him.

Dude played soft.

As far as him being a good NT, look no further than the MJD break out run that led to the TD on friday. Raji gets knocked way off the ball, spun around, and washed out of his gap. He has never held the point well vs. the double team. Can't have that out of your NT.

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JimTaylor31's picture

August 23, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Actually I'm very worried about losing Raji as it appears he is gone for the season. The weakness of our ILBs will be magnified without Raji up front. I know Pennel has looked good and shows promise but he is very raw and I do not believe he is ready to start at the NFL level. Boyd? Hopefully he can help. I think a call to Pickett or Jolly is in order and we can rotate the big guys and hopefully minimize the damage of losing Raji.

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JimTaylor31's picture

August 23, 2014 at 01:46 pm

I think it's not realistic to think that Mike Pennel, given his inexperience against even top college competition, is ready to step in as an effective starter in the NFL much less be better than Raji. Wishful thinking IMHO. And Jones and Hawk are the STARTING ILBs and without some cover up front their weaknesses will be even more exposed. IMHO.

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sonomaca's picture

August 23, 2014 at 04:00 pm

Here's the old scouting report on Pennel:

STRENGTHS Rare size and body mass. Looks the part with a well-distributed frame and carries his weight well for a 350-pounder. Is seldom moved off a spot. Can lock out and walk back blockers with sheer brute strength. Flashes some violence in his hands. Strong short-yardage/goal-line plugger.

WEAKNESSES Gets hung up on blocks too easily and can't split the double team. Plays flat-footed. Limited explosion, quickness and agility to shoot gaps or make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Plays with limited knee bend and tends to stand tall. Could stand to do a better job protecting his legs. Did not dominate vs. lesser competition. Has been disciplined for not following rules and must prove committed.

DRAFT PROJECTION Round 7-Priority free agent

BOTTOM LINE A massive run-stuffing space-occupier with the bulk to plug the middle or function outside in a traditional 3-4 front. His calling card will be defending the run on early downs.

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The TKstinator's picture

August 24, 2014 at 11:48 am

When reading these scouting reports, I try to separate physical traits and technical traits. If a guy lacks technique, he can be "coached up", but particular physical limitations can be awfully hard to overcome; notably lack of height, and/or speed/quickness.
Pennel's weaknesses seem to be more of the technique oriented variety, thus giving me the impression that he is a good candidate for "coaching up" and improvement.
But like everything, time will tell.

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sonomaca's picture

August 23, 2014 at 04:04 pm

That's a great comment regarding Daniels. He's got a bunch of young guys under his command: Jones, Pennel, Thornton, Boyd, and maybe one more yet unknown.

This is the Mike Daniels regimen, which should be fun to watch.

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Bearmeat's picture

August 23, 2014 at 01:43 pm

This sucks, but the sky isn't falling yet. Raji hasn't shown the form befitting his big name outside of the latter half of 2010. The worst part is not losing Raji, but that behind him is Boyd, Pennel and Guion. All have talent, but all of them are also unproven. Perhaps Pickett or Jolly get a call now.

Let's just hope there aren't many more big injuries.

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sonomaca's picture

August 23, 2014 at 01:54 pm

The preseason is where good seasons go to die.

It's the Mike Pennell show now, at least until Guion comes back or Pickett is ready.

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sonomaca's picture

August 23, 2014 at 01:56 pm

What about Jones' injury. Seemed to be a knee problem. I'd rather have Barrington now anyway.

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pooch's picture

August 23, 2014 at 03:09 pm

RAJI done for the year,best get Jolly on speed dial

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JimTaylor31's picture

August 23, 2014 at 06:03 pm

The sky is not falling but the bottom line is: The defense simply is not as good without Raji at NT than with Raji at NT.

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Imma Fubared's picture

August 23, 2014 at 07:20 pm

Great we can rely on one of two players that no other team showed a lick of interest in, they are probably both terribly out of shape and its game time.
The 4 3 doesn't need nose tackles. Packers should cut Raji since he is on a one year contract, no point paying him for not playing.

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sonomaca's picture

August 24, 2014 at 02:19 pm

So, Tretter is probably gone for first half of season, at least. No looking at Linsley at center. Two of eight Packers expected 8 O-linemen already gone and we haven't even started the season.

I think Linsley will do ok, but this is now 5th center in 4 years for Rodgers. The other option they're discussing is Sitton at center and Taylor a starter at guard.

In that case, who is the backup guard?

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sonomaca's picture

August 24, 2014 at 02:23 pm

Just looked at roster. Tiller was hurt in Oakland game, as well. Only guard left is McCray. Only other center is Gerhart. Getting extremely thin.

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JimTaylor31's picture

August 24, 2014 at 03:20 pm

The quality line depth is getting very thin and we're not even out of TC. Deja vu all over again.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 25, 2014 at 02:23 am

Somewhere in my career I read a poem that said something like when you are away every day is like a week, every week like a month, etc. I think that is MM's code for injuries.

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