The news that Green Bay Packers LB Nick Barnett is facing the prospect of season ending wrist surgery came as a surprise since he hurt it during the Lions game, but then returned with a cast on his wrist. From Mike McCarthy:
(Is there a possibility you could miss Barnett for an extended period of time?)
Yeah, there is definitely a possibility. That’s why there is more information being gathered in
Nick Barnett’s case. He’s been here every day getting treatment and he is going to see another doctor on Friday.
As Greg Bedard tweeted, it isn't a question of if he needs surgery, but when. And the hits just keep coming from Mike McCarthy:
(Have you guys determined how serious the injuries to Barnett and Chillar are?)
I would put them in the same category. They are both getting second opinions, gathering more information. That is something that is probably going to go on through the week.
Greg Bedard's tweet about LB Brandon Chillar's injured shoulder, he missed last week against the Lions, said it doesn't seem like a season-ending injury, but he's not likely to play against the Redskins either.
The good news is that while these injuries have taken out their top two inside linebackers, this is an area of considerable depth. LB A.J. Hawk will likely never leave the field again, and some combination of LB Brady Poppinga and LB Desmond Bishop should take over in Barnett's place.
The bad news is that all three replacement middle linebackers are worse in pass coverage. I've never been a fan of Poppinga, but he doesn't miss any assignments (even if he can't fight through a block). Bishop has been known as Mr. August and may finally get a chance to show he's a starting caliber LB.