The mailbag is here again! It’s time to answer some NFL questions as we gear up for football season. This time around, we had some great questions about injuries and officiating for the season. Remember, we want to hear YOUR questions, so comment some real football questions after this article, be on the lookout for the next #AskAPC hashtag on Twitter, or visit the Acme Packing Company Facebook page to get involved!
Let’s open some mail:
Do the Packers suffer more injuries to players compared to other teams, or does it just seem that way? Every. Stinking. Year. #AskAPC— TPC SW MO (@tigerpackcard) August 24, 2017
Often times, it just feels like the Packers have key players missing chunks of games or playing with injuries that slow them down. Last season, wasn’t nearly as bad as it may have appeared initially. When looking at the numbers, Green Bay was roughly middle of the road in Adjusted Games Lost. They were 15th last year and actually 9th the year before despite not having Jordy Nelson for the entire season. The Packers ranked dead last (most AGL) during the 2012 season while ranking 3rd just two seasons later in 2014. Injury-prone players happen, but also so does bad luck.
I think the main cause for this feeling of injury-proneness are that the Packers do have a few guys that are consistently dinged up. Clay Matthews always seems to be dealing with lower-leg injuries even when he is playing and Bryan Bulaga has only played in 80 of a possible 96 career regular season games. To win a championship, it takes skill and luck. Not just the ball-bouncing-your-way luck, but the luck of not having a star player blow an ACL on a non-contact injury.
To piggy back off the first question, Dennis Kuhn on Facebook: What is the team doing to reduce injuries this year?
In 2014, Mike McCarthy implemented GPS technology to help monitor an athlete’s health during intense periods of activity. Since then, the Packers have actually been able to reduce injuries during the regular season by adjusting their practice routine during the days leading up to Game Day.
During the playoffs, however, it looks like the Packers tend to break down physically. In the past 2 seasons, I feel like this has to do with the Packers needing to keep the intensity at a high level because every game counts for them to make the playoffs. So in a weird way, winning early will help reduce injuries later. No word on any adjustments just yet, but the roster is talented, so they have to be thinking about what they need to do should they be contenders late in the season.
Rookie Justin Vogel has been a bright spot this preseason. He doesn’t have the strongest leg, but he can be accurate. in 13 preseason punts, Vogel has put 7 of those inside the 20. If the Packers defense struggles like it did last season, then winning the field position battles will help cover up some of their mistakes.
David Wilhelmi on Facebook asked: What is the likelihood the NFL will permanently add a Middle Judge to its officiating crews in 2018?
No word yet on whether they want to do this, but it makes sense to me. Having extra eyes on the field should reduce officiating inaccuracies, especially helping with calls being made in the secondary and hopefully reducing missed Pass Interference calls. They’re making the move to have full-time referees too, and that appears to be taking precedent for the moment. We’ll likely see Ed Hochuli flexing with an 8-man squad soon.
Thanks, folks! Let’s do this again soon.