The Green Bay Packers have suffered more than their fair share of injuries this season. Although Football Outsiders does not publish their "Adjusted Games Lost" metric until after the season concludes, it is a sure bet that the Packers will be among the teams with the highest number in that category when it is released. Critical injuries to linebackers, running backs, corners, and offensive linemen have ravaged the team, forcing young players into bigger roles all across the roster.
For Sunday's opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, the challenges due to injury have been fewer over the course of this season. They have been dealt a rough hand at running back as well, but most of the rest of their starting lineup has stayed relatively intact - Michael Bennett missed five games in the middle of the season, making him the highest-profile starter to miss time prior to the injury to safety Earl Thomas. Still, Seattle's approach to roster construction often has them plugging in a different type of player as an injury replacement - a veteran free agent signing rather than a young player still adjusting to the NFL.
Still, Seattle's replacement for Thomas is an undrafted three-year vet who has little to no playing time on defense. But because he has experience learning the system, Pete Carroll and company have confidence in him to get the job done. The best Packers comparison there might be LaDarius Gunter, who struggled a bit early on when thrown into the fire but has been growing by leaps and bounds and is arguably the Packers' best cornerback at this point.
Those topics and more are covered in today's Cheese Curds as we continue to prepare for Sunday's NFC grudge match at Lambeau Field.
Seahawks trust their defense without Earl Thomas | Packers.com
Michael Bennett spoke to Packers media members on Wednesday and said that great defenses are made up of individuals who each know their role and responsibility. No Earl Thomas? No problem for Bennett, as he expects that none of his teammates will try to do too much.
Seahawks adapt better than Packers | Packersnews.com
One reason for that, according to Pete Dougherty, is the Seahawks' willingness to make selective free agent signings. For example: Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett were both signed on the free agent market, and the two are the leaders of Seattle's defensive line. Still, they have dealt with far fewer injuries than the Packers have this season, which makes "adapting" much easier.
Green and Bold: Gunter Rising | Cheesehead TV
LaDarius Gunter (who earned Arius of the Week honors on The APC Podcast) has been active around the football and at his best over the course of the last two games.
Injured T.J. Lang wants solitude (and beer) for Packers' games - ESPN
Lang tried to watch a Packers road game with some neighbors when they played in Washington, but he found that he couldn't - so he went home to watch by himself with a case of beer.
Packers players, alumni to set sail on Caribbean fan cruise March 2018 | Packers.com
Want to hang out with former Packers like LeRoy Butler and Ahman Green this spring? Get your tickets for this five-night cruise, which start at $699 per person.
2017 NFL Draft: 9 players with the toughest decision to make - SBNation.com
I discussed T.J. Watt in this week's Walkthrough, and he is listed here as one of the players who will have to make a decision about whether or not to leave early for the NFL in the next month or so.