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Packers Notes: Neal and Poppinga Out For The Season, Who Can Replace Them?

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Of course, we can't talk about a Green Bay Packers game without discussing some injuries. Mike McCarthy said that both DE Mike Neal (rotator cuff) and LB Brady Poppinga (knee injury) will have season ending surgery. He also didn't commit to either DE Ryan Pickett or DE Cullen Jenkins returning next week. He did praise the three defensive lineman who were healthy and active for the game on Sunday night: DE C.J. Wilson, NT B.J. Raji, and DE Jarius Wynn.

And those three are nearly all the remains available on the defensive line. Recently re-signed DE Mike Montgomery was inactive last week (which won't happen again next Sunday). Otherwise the final defensive lineman anywhere on the roster is DT Jay Ross, who was recently signed to the practice squad. At 6'3", 302 lbs., Ross doesn't appear to have the size to be a run stuffing defensive tackle, and he only recorded 7 sacks in 3 seasons as a starter at East Carolina. He could be a good hustle player, and he's certain to have better technique than OL T.J. Lang, who was forced into action on the defensive line for a few plays.

A nifty series by Tom Silverstein at the Journal-Sentinel in which he quotes the coaches regarding some key plays. First was WR Percy Harvin's easy TD run. Dom Capers said they need to "clarify where our safety knows where he has to fill." That was a play when the Packers only had two defensive lineman in, there were multiple lanes for Harvin to run through, and S Charlie Peprah chose the wrong one. Second was the fake FG attempt, when QB Matt Flynn came out as the holder and attempted a long pass to TE Andrew Quarless. Special teams coach Shawn Slocum said that "Andrew ran out of gas at the end of the route." Third was QB Aaron Rodgers long pass attempt to WR Jordy Nelson on 3rd and 2 in the 4th quarter. Receivers coach Jimmy Robinson said "against that coverage, you want to get the quick throw and get the first down."