SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 06: Desmond Bishop #55 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates his sack of Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers during the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on November 6, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Packers won 45-38. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
I don't enjoy writing about injuries. It's not that I don't enjoy writing, it's that this type of column can only contain bad news, and I'd much rather leave it at one sentence, saying that no noticeable injuries took place. Those of you who participated in last night's game thread saw me mention ad nauseum that I wanted everyone to stay healthy. Well, the Packers had no such luck.
The first unfortunate moment took place early in the game, on the team's second defensive series. It looked like while trying to make a tackle, Desmond Bishop's leg got caught under a falling player, leading to an unpleasant-looking twisting of his knee. Seeing him get helped off the field and then carted to the locker room was an unwelcome sight for the Packers' defense, which had hoped to rely on Bishop heavily as its premier inside linebacker.
Coach Mike McCarthy described the injury as a knee sprain with possible damage to Bishop's hamstring, but wouldn't yet set a timetable for his return. It would be nice to see some optimism from the coach, but I didn't see a whole lot here:
Desmond’s injury didn’t look very good. Hopefully, we’ll get some good news as testing goes on. But talking to doctor (Patrick) McKenzie, it’s up in the air.
We're hoping to find out more news about his knee today or over the weekend. For now, let's just be relieved that D.J. Smith played well last season and in camp and has been practicing at Bishop's position. Unfortunately, if Smith has to start full-time, that probably means that A.J. Hawk will be seeing more of the field on passing downs.
The other worrisome injury that took place last night was to Davon House, the emerging cornerback who has taken the early lead in the race for the starting spot opposite Tramon Williams. After playing well during the first half, House "popped out" his shoulder covering a punt early in the third quarter, and will await X-rays today to find out the extent of the injury:
I was trying to get by the guy and threw my arm and next thing I knew there was a sharp pain. I’ll get X-rays tomorrow. Hopefully, it just popped out.
Losing an established starter to a potentially season-threatening injury and an improving, young player with a chance to start is not the way that any of us scripted this first preseason game. One silver lining is that the offense appeared to remain relatively healthy, which can't be said for the Chargers. More on that can be found after the jump.
While Packers' defenders nursed injuries, Charger running back Ryan Mathews broke his clavicle on his first run of the evening and will have surgery to repair the fracture, putting him out at least four to six weeks. Mathews was counted on to carry a big load at the running back position after missing a handful of games in each of his first two seasons, but this leaves Ronnie Brown as the prospective starter while he returns from this injury.
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