If it seemed to you that the Green Bay Packers suffered more injuries than usual in 2016...you're right. The number of players placed on injured reserve was not terribly high - just seven, the same as in 2015 - but the number of man-games lost to players with less severe injuries was massive. Despite those numbers, head coach Mike McCarthy expressed faith in his team's training regimen during his year-end press conference; however, reports this week suggest that he will be re-evaluating that program in light of the recent trend.
That's no surprise - McCarthy speaks each offseason about evaluating all facets of the football program. However, the report in today's Cheese Curds suggests that this examination will be more than just a cursory glance.
Then we move to the front office, where the speculation about Ted Thompson's plans for the Packers' roster continues to fly. One argument - that is difficult to dispute - is that the Packers need to find faster players overall, and particularly on defense. With Sam Shields out for the season in 2016, the Packers didn't have a corner with blazing speed, at least not one with whom they were comfortable on defense. Adding speed at that position and a few others should be a top priority in the draft and in free agency (if Ted decides to dip his toe in those waters after all).
Mike McCarthy will study Green Bay Packers' injury problems again - ESPN
Three years ago, the Packers completely revamped their practice schedule, and it had an impact - dropping the number of players put on IR significantly and cutting down on the number of players who were on the active roster but ruled out. In 2016, however, the Packers had more gameday inactives due to injury than in the past two years combined.
Green Bay Packers' Jordy Nelson impresses with 1,080 snaps - ESPN
In his return from injury, however, Nelson was only ruled out for a single game all season, and that had nothing to do with the ACL he tore last year. In fact, Jordy was not only the Packers' most productive receiver, but he also played more snaps all season than any other wideout.
Packers' 12th annual Tailgate Tour set for April 4-8 | Packers.com
Good luck if you're in Northern Wisconsin or the UP - the Packers are coming your way in early April!
Green and Bold: Fool Me Once... | Cheesehead TV
Don't scour the list of unrestricted free agents looking for a Ted Thompson target; instead look to the players who are released by their teams shortly before the start of the new league year on March 9th - that's where Ted's recent impact signings have come from.
Packers' defense needs more speed | Packersnews.com
One position of focus in this examination is the inside linebacker position, one that has constantly been a thorn in the Packers' side. Haason Reddick of Temple made a statement at the Senior Bowl; he might tempt Packers fans, but he probably will not be available by the time Ted starts to consider inside linebackers. However, we go back once again to the 2014 draft, and Bob McGinn says that the Packers were targeting C.J. Mosley and Ryan Shazier, both of whom were gone when the Packers took Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Matt Ryan: We won't 'fine' Shanahan for lost playbook - NFL.com
Ryan doesn't think it's a a big deal, but admitted that he "travelled light" and doesn't bring his own playbook with him to media days.