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Williams Has A Chance To Play; Neal Has Surgery

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Williams Has A Chance To Play; Neal Has Surgery

There was some good news and some extremly sobering news coming from the podium occupied by Mike McCarthy during his post-practice press conference earlier this afternoon.

First, McCarthy indicated that, despite being held out of practice today, and despite the possibility that he may not practice at all this week, Tramon Williams has a chance to play in Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.

Unfortunately this positive news was followed by some extremely bad news - defensive end Mike Neal had a surgery yesterday after his knee did not respond well to last week's practice time. McCarthy did not give any specifics but did say that Neal would miss a "significant" amount of time. Most will remember that the word "significant" was a buzz word last year when Packers were getting injured seemingly every week and eventually heading to injured reserve.

McCarthy did say he did not see Neal as a candidate for injured reserve.

We'll see.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (70) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

PackersRS's picture

Next man up. It's on you Jarius and CJ. And get well soon Mike.

asshalo's picture

So true. I would go one step further to say it's only a matter of time before Neal is on IR and replaced with a sixth DL. Maybe Ted finds another gem. Certainly plausible given his track record.

I also really hope the "bust" talk doesn't emerge it's ugly head. It's not like Neal has had the same chronic injuries (pectoral, knee).

alexwoodsIAM's picture

There goes that damn ambulance again... Wynn needs to come through. I think Ted will find a suitable player in Free Agency. am not too disappointed that Neal may go on I.R. We really dont know what he is capable of during a whole season.

RockinRodgers's picture

That sucks for Neal. I wonder if we will bring someone in or from the practice squad.

Dayne Shuda's picture

I'm back on the Bustin' Justin Train.

NoWayJose's picture

And it's officially time to hit the Justin Harrel Memorial Panic Button.

(I remain optimistic, but we are definitely there now after an IR and another significant surgery in two years).

Bearmeat's picture

I've been calling this guy Harrell part deux since last year.

Raji's season just got a lot harder. At what point does TT try to find a body to fill the spot and I.R. Neal?

Where's the pass rush going to come from? Walden - I'm talking to you! I want 10 sacks, buddy.

I think we can all safely say letting Cullen go last year was a mistake now.

packeraaron's picture

"I think we can all safely say letting Cullen go last year was a mistake now."

*bangs head on desk*

chazman's picture

So'oto's back, lets see what he can do.

Bearmeat's picture

Why Nagler?

From the Horse's mouth: "The good Lord doesn't make too many big men."

Then WHY wouldn't you resign a great vet for cheap - like the Eagles did?

Between Cullen and Neal you'd probably get 16 good games.

Now Wynn and Wilson have to hold down the fort, and we have to hope Walden steps up with pass rush - or we're in trouble.

That simple.

I vehemently disagree with you - doesn't happen often.. but here... yep.. vehement is the right word.

sammer's picture

Maybe it's a little early to call it a mistake, considering the Packers have lost exactly zero games so far this season. And Wynn and Walden each got a sack last week.

Deep breath.

Bearmeat's picture

Yeah Sammer, you are right.

But this was the 1 area of the team I was concerned with last Spring. And TT did nothing to make it better. Nothing. I'm not talking about paying Peppers money at all - just 5 mil for 1 year for Jenks? We have the $$...

I know the philosophy is draft and develop, but sometimes you have to hedge your bet just a little. It burned TT in 08, in 09 at the safety position, and almost last year.

It's not too often things work out like they did last year.

PackersRS's picture

There's so much wrong with your post I don't know where to begin with.

Well, the second paragraph was reasonable, at least.

Chill the $#%# up dude. It's gonna be a wonderful ride.

Bearmeat's picture

Ok RS,

We argued about this on draft day as well. You still haven't swayed me. How about not just attacking my post carte blanche, and start with some objective points?

Like: Wynn has shown improvement. Or - Wilson has really stepped up his run D - look at play X,Y,Z as an example. Or - Walden has routinely been able to turn the corner and run with backs... look at play ABC..

Yes, Wynn played well last Thursday. It's one game, and we are dangerously thin at DL. Where's the passrush going to come from? Capers can't scheme around every 1 on 1 that a OLB/DL needs to win.

I am nervous - and I say it's perfectly reasonable.

PackersRS's picture

If you know the answer already why do you ask me to say it?

It was the same issue with the secondary last year. We are too thin, blah blah blah.

This is an instance where nobody outside the building can evaluate how thin we are. Nobody outside the organization knows what is Jarius Wynn and CJ Wilson's potential.

We know for a fact that we can win games without Neal and Jenkins. We've done so in the past. We did it last night.

There were many other factors in us giving that many yards, most importantly the lack of tackling practice.

The pass rush WILL come from Capers, WILL come from the absolute beast that is Clay Matthews, WILL come from the absolute beast that is BJ Raji.

With this secondary, with 2 unblockable players, with so many capable and battle-tested role players, and with a mastermind like Capers, it is borderline insane to say the defense won't work based on 1 game against an Elite, top 3 offense. And in the same game the defense came up big in 2 separate, key instances. The same defense that in the playoffs made play after play after play, and it wasn't Jenkins or Neal making the play in the majority of the time.

This post didn't have to be written, and you know it. You are panicking. There is reason for your panic, but it is NOT a good reason.

In the end, in this instance, either you trust the coaching staff and management, and after last year you should, or you don't.

Bearmeat's picture

I get it. I trust the coaching staff - but coaches are like politicians... when the chips are down, they don't say: "Everything is terrible. We are screwed." They fine some angle, no matter how obscure to obfuscate the situation and keep their heads on their necks - and not the silver platter. I think that's what MM would say even if he thought we were screwed.

I'm NOT saying we are screwed. I AM saying I am worried. We have two legit pass rush options on an every down basis. (no, Woodson does not count because he can't blitz every play - it's the surprise that makes it effective as much as Wood's abilities.)

If I'm an opposing O coordinator, I make sure CM3 and Raji are doubled/chipped on every pass play. A good QB can make two rushers null and void. Three or four? Not so much. That's what makes PIT so deadly, even with that bogus secondary they have.

In the end, the X's and O's boil down to beating your man. If GB can't make it happen one on one, Capers' influence and scheme will only do so much.

A healthy Neal or Jenkins solves a lot of those problems.

I hope you are right and I am chicken little. I really do. But until I see it a number of times on the field, I remain nervous.

cow42's picture

Right now I'm trying to convince myself of the following things...

1. Don't need Neal, won a SB without him.
2. Don't go off the deep end and start yelling to "CUT HIS FRAGILE ASS!"
3. Letting Jenkins go wasn't a mistake.
4. All the praise Wynn has been getting from the coaches isn't a load of crap. He has improved and will end up being a solid player.
5. We'll get Neal back for the end of the season playoff push.
6. Capers will still be able to get guys to the QB even though Raji and Mathews are the only real pass rushers.

I'm not doing a good job of selling any of this to myself.

Dayne Shuda's picture

C'mon man :)

The Packers just beat one of the best teams in the league without Neal or Jenkins.

Mojo's picture

And gave up nearly 500 yards of offense. I have the same concerns cow42 has.

CJ in Guatemala's picture

500 yards on offense to Drew Brees... not Chris Painter ok buddy? Thanks.

Mojo's picture

You're welcome Pal.

It's been hilarious since the N.O. game to read all the apologists sign-off on the poor GB defensive performance because they were facing Drew Brees. Until recently I was not aware of Brees invincibility, his ability to overcome any obstacle, this essence of a supernatural empyrean deity in human form.

Certainly in his 10 year career he has never been slowed down. In fact he is so great I'm certain he's won at least a half dozen Superbowls. He must have all the career passing records. He must be approaching the other, the one no one though could be surpassed, the incomparable Brent Favre.

Wait, no. He has only one Superbowl. During his best year he averaged around 316 yards per game. That's still a hundred less than he got against GB Thursday.

Why is it so hard for fans to admit the Pack played a poor defensive game against a quality opponent. It should have never come to a goal line stand considering how well the offense played. I'm not panicking about the defense yet, but I thought they didn't look great in last years SB, this years preseason or the N.O. game.

PackersRS's picture

"Why is it so hard for fans to admit the Pack played a poor defensive game against a quality opponent"

It is not. They did not play a good game. That being said, this week broke the record for most passing yards. Coincidence?

Of course not. How many of those yards happened due to missed tackles? I'm pretty sure this week also recorded a record-setting number of missed tackles, but I don't have that stat.

What I do know is that our defense missed a lot of tackles, that there were no OTAs or Minicamp (not player organized workouts), and that Training Camp didn't have two a days. Never in the 16 regular season games format has defenses came into the first game of the season having practiced so little live tackling.

But why consider the variables?

packsmack25's picture


While I understand the frustration with the defense, the fact of the matter is that there were a LOT of defenses that gave up a LOT of yards this weekend.

Drew Brees IS a great QB, and their offense IS great when they are healthy.The last time they were healthy, 2 seasons ago, they AVERAGED 402 YPG. That means even with a few bad games scattered in, they had enough yardage to AVERAGE over 400 yards.

A few things to keep in mind:

1. The Packers only gave up 81 yards rushing, and gave up under 4 YPC.

2. 79 of Drew Brees's passing yards came on the final drive against a prevent defense.

3. The Saints attempted 49(!!!!) passes on Thursday night. It would be one thing if they had piled up over 400 yards on 35 passes or something, but as long as you're holding a good passing team under 10 YPA, you're holding up as best as you can.

CJ in Guatemala's picture

HE IS A TOP 5 QUARTERBACK IN A PASSING LEAGUE WITH MULTIPLE WEAPONS... DEAL WITH IT. Holy shit, the packers might have played poorly but there is NOBODY that can convince me that a rookie is throwing 400 yards again, against the superbowl champions even without tramon. CAN'T HAPPEN WON'T HAPPEN, stop being such an arrogant fool.

packeraaron's picture

Cow42, did you watch Wynn on Thursday night?

Calm down. They are fine.

bigfog's picture

Perhaps they will be fine. But I think two phone calls should happen today - one to the NFL Commissioner to figure out what needs to happen to have Jolly return to the team and two - to Jolly and his agent and figure out where he stands physically.

PackersRS's picture

Jolly adds close to nothing in terms of pass rushing when healthy and active.

Jolly is not healthy and active.

deelux523's picture

I may not talk you off the edge on all 6 points, but here's my attempt at getting you to mellow out -- or at least think longer term -- about missing Jenkins.

With Neal hurt, I agree Jenkins may be significantly missed THIS YEAR, but he's also had durability issues (missed 5 games last year) which will only get worse with age (he's 30).

Philly signed a $25M/5yr deal with Jenkins. Had TT offered the kind of money Philly did, how much would GB have left for Sitton, Nelson, Masthay(?), Finley(?) and any other priorities?

Find your center, take deep, cleansing breaths and trust Ted. Good luck.

cow42's picture

don't sign jones.

sammer's picture

"Cut his fragile ass"?!?!? I'm sorry, but I don't understand this thinking at all - injuries aren't a result of moral weakness - it's bad luck more than anything else. This is professional football - players get injured. The well-run teams in the league find a way to succeed anyway.

I don't understand why fans get so upset when players get hurt... they're not doing it on purpose. I wish I could have seen Justin Harrell succeed for us, too, but I don't talk about him like he ran over my dog.

cow42's picture

some players seem to get hurt more than others. get rid of the ones who do. waste of money..

sammer's picture

You mean like Cullen Jenkins? Good thing we cut his fragile ass, right? *facepalm*

cow42's picture

you guys are right. we're much better off without another quality pass rusher.

packeraaron's picture

So you are resigned to the fact that So'oto will add nothing. Ever. Got it.

cow42's picture

yeah. don't worry about a back injury. those never linger.

are you going to tell me you think this team is better without neal?

chazman46's picture

So what is Justin Harrell doing now a days? It's not like he was a bust talent-wise . . . at least not so you could tell, he never was on the field long enough.

James Rarick's picture

This is why you draft/get multiple big men. I wondered why Ted did so year after year. As Ted said, "The good Lord did not make that many of them." He should have included, "That many that can stay healthy."

Tarynfor 12's picture

Players should be banned from discussing their injuries until they play in a game afterwards.

Tarynfor 12's picture

They should be fined for misrepresentation of themselves.

sammer's picture

Why, exactly?

joshywoshybigfatposhy's picture

i guess the karma police decided woodson not getting suspended for a streetfighter uppercut was worth 6-8 weeks (i'm guessing, don't panic) without neal.

can someone revisit (i'm lazy) what exactly this injury is? if he had an MRI, how did we go from (possibly ready for the opener) to (needs surgery and will be out a significant amount of time)?

i can just see the doc coming into mccarthy's office - "so, uh, mike... i guess doc johnson accidentally sent me the film for some other guy, and i think these ligaments i found out in the parking might be neal's cause i can't find them in his MRI"

joshywoshybigfatposhy's picture

but in all... no, in some honesty - i wonder if the team doc is too embarrassed to admit he can't decipher a thing in any x-rays or MRI's, so he just makes it up and says a little prayer afterward.

I have a credible source that says radiology is kind of like a sense of rhythm - you've either got it or you don't. telling the difference between a bone, a liver, and a happy meal toy in an x-ray is either a god-given talent, or a really convincing lie.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Perhaps he should consider sleeping... Worth a shot.


Nerdmann's picture

This happened in a NON-CONTACT drill, and the dude SAID THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG afterwards.
Now he's had surgery and MM is using the word "significant?"
I now officially don't like Neal. Doesn't bother me that he was injured (again.) I just don't like to be lied to like that.

PackersRS's picture

Yep. He lied.

If you were in his shoes, in a damn though job, where saying you are hurt is a sign of weakness, and medieval "laws" demand you play through pain, where opposing Olinemen will absolutely cheap shot you in the weak spots, you'd lie too and say it was nothing.

But fuck that, right? Damn Neal. Who does he think he is to LIE! I TELL YOU, LIE! to a fan in the face like that. He should go to hell.

nerd's phone's picture

People get hurt all the time and don't lie about it.

PackersRS's picture

"People" aren't in the same situation as this guy.

"People" also lie to their partners about how they look, "people" also don't give back a wrong change, "people" also change lanes without signaling...

It's very easy to come into a blog and chasticize a guy because he didn't want to say how serious his injury was, and act all high and mighty about it, like they have never done something reprehensible.

Idiot Fan's picture

Nobody lied about anything. He thought the injury wasn't too bad, then they let him participate in practice, and his knee didn't respond well to it, so now he's having surgery. That's not deception.

asshalo's picture

He's joins a long list of college and professional athletes who have told a white lie about their injuries. There's a reason coaches and players sit on this stuff and it's nothing new.

packsmack25's picture

This is just like the hand-wringing over Al Harris last year. People want to kill themselves because the Packers don't have a Pro Bowl caliber player at every position.

cow42's picture

don't want to kill myself. just feel that this team would have been better with neal than it will be without.

packsmack25's picture

They still might have Neal later on. Can't rule him out til we know exactly what kind of surgery he had. If it's just a scope, who knows how quickly he could come back?

bomdad's picture

They'll have a better recovery timeframe once they can rule out a staph infection. :0

JerseyPackFan's picture

Nothing is going to let me down this season no matter what happens or who gets injured. We are the defending World Champs. Sounds pretty damn awesome reading that, doesn't it?

Things could be a whole lot worse in my opinion. We could all be Vikings fans.
Donovan McNabb had 39 yards passing last week.Hahahahahahahahahahaha...oh my god!

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture


Idiot Fan's picture


mark's picture

What the fuck happened to the Packer fans I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst! "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Mark, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Peterson, he's a dead man! Stafford, dead! Cutler...

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Mark... Wood's gone, rally the troops... It. Is. Time. It is time.

I'm with you.


Jim's picture

Spill it Pickett! Spill It! SPILL IT!

Oppy's picture

Pass rush from your D-line in a 3-4 is a luxury. A great one to have to be sure, , but in general, the D-line is supposed to eat blocks and let the LBs make the plays.

Yes, we're a multiple front, and not having neal long term will hurt in other fronts, but Jarius Wynn is a speed/twitch type rusher, Raji shows extremely good penetration when let off his leash, and CJ Wilson, while not by any means a pass rusher, did show improvement in that category late last season, getting some disruption under his belt.

People, We're a 3-4 base. It's not Jim Bates' 4-3 match scheme anymore. Forget your old concepts of where pass rushers -need- to be lined up. Besides, Dom has proven he can and will take whats available from a personnel standpoint and find an alignment that will be successful vs. any week's opponent.

It's sad Neal is down, but I'm not climbing out on any ledges just yet. Neither should you.

Don't forget, Dom ran almost exclusively in 1-5-5 and 2-4-5 during a game without ill effect because we were so thin at D line due to injury once upon a time....

MarkinMadison's picture


PackersRS's picture

Well, that's not entirely true.

When you spend 80% of your snaps on a 2-4 alignment, you need pass rush out of your Dlinemen.

What I diverge from a lot is that I believe Jarius, Wynn, Walden, Zombo and So'oto will be able to generate enough pressure to compliment what Matthews and Raji bring, specially if you consider the DC we have, and the secondary we have.

asshalo's picture

Neal needs surgery and will miss a significant time? In english: Neal is a lame duck roster spot until Thompson can scrap together a 6th DL.

You could say I am calling Mike McCarthy a liar, but I trust he and other coaches have a myriad of reasons why they need to hold injuries like this close to their vest. Ends justify the means.

But man does it really suck when the truth comes out. I have no doubt the coaches didn't know Neal would require surgery back in August, but there's no doubt they were selectively truthful the past few weeks.

While I was going to school at U of Iowa you would hear about players getting hurt much quicker than the coaches would announce it. For example, Jewel Hampton tore his ACL well before camp in 2009 and coaches played coy well into camp. In this case, Hampton tore his ACL. Nothing to really be selectively coy about in that instance. Point is, when coaches are shady about an injury, there's plenty of cause to worry.

Norman's picture

What's Justin Harrell doing, we need him back. No wait, get Johnny Jolly. Well, what about Joe Johnson? Can Santana Dotson still play? Can we get Gilbert away from his Lingerie League coaching gig? How about Ezra Johnson? Well there's always...

Sure glad TT's in charge and not the fans.

JerseyPackFan's picture

+1 for the Ezra Johnson reference.

JoePackersNYC's picture

All this jibber-jabber has me craving a new episode of PACKER TRANSPLANTS. Aaron, when can we expect a new show?

davyjones's picture

Shocked and disgusted by all this alarmist bullshit....ok....not shocked, just disgusted. These are the World F'ing Champs, folks, with a real chance to put together a really special season--with or without Neal...or Jenkins.

cow42's picture

not as good of a chance, though.

packeraaron's picture

Preach it brother Davy...

Ruppert's picture

Wow. This is truly an amazing set of comments. Mike Neal is a 3-4 DE. No team--anyplace---ever, had its entire season's fortunes change because of a 3-4 DE.

And honestly, have we really, REALLY seen enough of Mike Neal to determine if he is actually a long term, high quality player? This point is certainly open for debate, but I haven't seen enough of the guy to form that opinion. Injuries happen. The Packers have gotten off good so far this year on the injury front.

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