For the third consecutive season, the Green Bay Packers will be affected by suspensions on the defensive line in Week One. And now, an injury to a significant rotational player threatens the position even more.
With Mike McCarthy calling rookie defensive tackle Montravius Adams’ foot injury a “multiple week” setback, Green Bay’s interior line depth is officially a concern. Adams, who was the last draft pick to sign his contract this offseason, suffered a stress fracture early in camp and could be out as much as six weeks after surgery. While it doesn’t appear Adams has suffered any foot injuries in the past, this current injury is a major blow to a team counting on the first-year pro to be a contributor during Letroy Guion’s four-game suspension.
But Green Bay has been bitten by the bug before. In 2015, Guion was suspended for the first three games for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Mike Pennel then served a four-game stay on the suspension list in 2016 before Guion again was sentenced to a four-game probation to start this upcoming season. For the Packers’ organization, this is a troubling pattern and one that must end, especially in light of Guion’s summer DUI arrest in Hawaii. Yet, Green Bay was set to weather its annual storm of suspensions.
That is, until Adams’ injury last week.
Hopefully the injury will not lead to Adams being placed on Injured Reserve, but if it does lead to a six-week absence or longer as he goes through the recovery process, Green Bay may be forced to alter its opening week roster. Just a couple weeks ago, APC released its 53-man roster predictions. Knowing Guion would be sitting out, writers unanimously agreed that six Packers would be on the roster in Week One: Adams, Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels, Ricky Jean Francois, Dean Lowry, and Christian Ringo.
Possibly down to five healthy bodies from those predictions, Green Bay may still have enough depth to get by for the first few weeks. In the past two seasons down one defensive lineman, the Packers have chosen to keep five men at the position after training camp. Green Bay is extremely fortunate it signed the versatile Jean Francois in free agency who can play all around the line.
Still, another man may be needed at a position that demands some of the most physicality on the roster and often suffers preseason injuries. With that in mind, the Packers could turn to up-and-coming practice squad returnee Brian Price or undrafted rookie Izaah Lunsford of Bowling Green for at least a short stay on the active roster.
However serious Adams’ injury turns out to be, it appears to be a rather large stunt in the development of the Packers’ third round pick and it’s difficult to say how soon he will be fully cleared to practice and compete.
Here’s hoping that Adams heals quickly and Green Bay’s string of early season misfortune on the defensive line comes to a conclusion after this season.