In week one, it was Sam Shields. Then against Minnesota, it was Letroy Guion, Clay Matthews, Morgan Burnett, and Datone Jones. Now, it’s Jared Cook and Aaron Ripkowski.
Those are the names of key players on the Green Bay Packers’ injury list after three games, as each one of the players listed above has a significant injury that either prevented them from playing on Sunday against the Detroit Lions or knocked them out of the game.
That week 4 bye doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?
The latest news out of Green Bay is about the newest addition to the offense, tight end Jared Cook. Cook left Sunday’s game in the first half, and was spotted on crutches later on. Cook’s injury is to his ankle and although ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reports that the injury is not expected to end Cook’s season, it is serious enough that he will almost certainly miss time after the bye week. However, the bye will cut down the number of games Cook misses by one.
Meanwhile, Shields continues to work through the concussion protocol after suffering either his fourth or fifth such injury as a professional. Last year, Shields was concussed against the Cowboys in week 13 and missed the final four games of the regular season plus the Wild-Card game in Washington before returning in the Divisional Round against Arizona. Add to that the report from Adam Schefter about Shields likely not being cleared for a few weeks and that bye helps even more.
And then there is the recovery of the other injuries which are keeping players day-to-day. Those include Clay Matthews’ hamstring and ankle, Morgan Burnett’s groin, and knee injuries for Guion and Jones. Every one of those players should get a head start on their recovery during the bye week, as they can spend additional time working to rehab those issues instead of trying to get ready for game action. Meanwhile, Aaron Ripkowski’s back will get a chance to heal as well after he left Sunday’s game.
All told, the roster is chock-full of injured players in key positions of all units - offense, defense, and special teams. As we saw against Detroit, the defense went into a bit of a conservative, vanilla scheme in the second half and gave up multiple scoring drives to the Lions. Getting veteran players back would help Dom Capers get back to the more aggressive playcalling that has given his units their greatest successes.