On Thursday night, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24-9 in the teams’ preseason opener. However, what Green Bay lost could prove to be far more valuable than a victory in a game that means nothing in the standings.
The Packers saw five players leave the game with injuries, all of whom did not return. Several of those individuals are key players on the depth chart, and the severity of their injuries could leave significant holes for the team to fill during their absences.
First up was cornerback Damarious Randall, who left the field during the first defensive series after taking a massive hit from Eagles wideout Bryce Treggs, who was throwing a crack-back block. Randall has been primarily playing the slot corner position, and when he left the game the Packers went by committee to replace him. The team later announced that he was being evaluated for a concussion before confirming that he does indeed have one. To our knowledge, this is Randall’s first concussion as a pro, but he will need to go through the NFL’s concussion protocol before being allowed back on the field.
Later on, fellow defensive back Kentrell Brice left the game after a finger injury. It did not appear that the injury was overly serious, but Brice is a key component of the Packers’ safety group. As the primary backup at strong safety, his play allows the Packers to use Morgan Burnett and/or Josh Jones all over the field, from inside linebacker to slot corner. Hopefully Brice will not be out long.
The Packers lost another key backup, offensive lineman Don Barclay, to an ankle issue. With Barclay being the primary backup center, any length of time he misses would require the Packers to shuffle the young players along the offensive line. Lucas Patrick came in for Barclay when he left the game.
The most serious injury the Packers suffered was to wide receiver Malachi Dupre. The seventh-round draft pick out of LSU was going over the middle and got leveled by a helmet-to-helmet hit that was not flagged:
Here's the hit on Malachi Dupre: pic.twitter.com/agGRO5LNaA— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) August 11, 2017
Dupre laid motionless for a while before eventually being taken off on a stretcher. Thankfully, the team announced late in the game that he had feeling and motion in all of his extremities and that he was heading to the hospital. In light of other neck injuries that have struck Packers players in the past few decades, we hope for a full recovery for Dupre. Head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed that he was still in the hospital “going through some tests” immediately after the game.
The final significant injury came to Raysean Pringle, who was being evaluated for a concussion following a hit he took on punt coverage. Greg Ward muffed Justin Vogel’s punt and the ball bounced right to Pringle, but he could not fall on the ball and took a hit to the head.
All told, these five players will be worth monitoring throughout the week, along with the handful of individuals who sat out the game — Davon House and Richard Rodgers particularly. Stay tuned for more updates as the weekend goes along.