In his press conference on Monday, Green Bay Packers' head coach Mike McCarthy mentioned that linebacker Andy Mulumba had suffered a knee injury that McCarthy would only label as "significant." Of course, in McCarthy-speak, that usually means that a player's limb is practically falling off - or at least that it's an injury that will ilkely send him to injured reserve.
With McCarthy's comments coming after Mulumba went down clutching his knee on special teams in the second half of Sunday's game against the Jets, the logical assumption was that the linebacker suffered a torn ACL. That indeed appears to be the case, as Mulumba himself addressed the injury on Twitter Wednesday morning:
1/2 Unfortunately, My ACL injury was confirmed this morning, and it's just one of those bumps on the road! Nothing that I can't overcome!— Andy Mulumba K. (@A49K) September 17, 2014
2/2 prayers, hard work, dedication, family and love for this game will help me comeback better than before!! #mindset— Andy Mulumba K. (@A49K) September 17, 2014
We're certainly sorry to hear that Mulumba's season is likely done after just two games. Despite not seeing the field on defense in the first few weeks of the regular season, Mulumba was a key contributor on special teams units and was likely looked at as solid depth in case of an injury to a Packers' starter at outside linebacker. Unfortunately, it appears that Mulumba will probably be put on Injured Reserve this week.
As for who would take his place on the 53-man roster, the Packers could go in a few different directions in promoting a player from the practice squad. If they're primarily concerned about the depth at outside linebacker, rookie Adrian Hubbard from Alabama could be an option. In that case, fellow undrafted rookie Jayrone Elliott would likely be activated on gameday to take Mulumba's spot on special teams (he was inactive for both of the first two games) while Hubbard gets up to speed.
Another direction the team could take would be to add some more versatility to the special teams by promoting Chris Banjo back to the active roster. A mainstay of the special teams units while playing all 16 games a year ago, Banjo could also help with the depth in the secondary behind starters Morgan Burnett and Micah Hyde and fellow backups Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Sean Richardson.
We wish Mulumba well in his recovery and hope that he can return in time for a full training camp in 2015.