When the Green Bay Packers take the field for their next game, they will be missing a key player in the middle of their defense.
Through about six quarters of football in 2019, Raven Greene had played 71 snaps on defense, primarily lining up next to Blake Martinez as the team’s WILL linebacker. Those totals included 56 snaps in week one — almost 77% of the team’s defensive snaps — and another 15 plays in the first half against the Minnesota Vikings in week two. However, Vikings tight end Irv Smith rolled up on Greene’s ankle late in the first half, sending him to the locker room on a cart.
Greene did not return to the game as the Packers went on to win 21-16, and the team rolled out linebacker B.J. Goodson and safety Will Redmond at the linebacker role the rest of the way. Then on Monday, head coach Matt LaFleur addressed Greene’s status.
Unfortunately, LaFleur told the media in his press conference that Greene will not play in week three, when the Packers host the Denver Broncos. With Greene being the second or third option at that linebacker spot — Oren Burks still appears to be out for another few weeks — that will result in more playing time for Goodson and Redmond next Sunday afternoon.
In two games under head coach Vic Fangio, the Broncos have been more effective passing the football than running it. Joe Flacco has thrown for 280 yards per game with a pair of touchdowns and one interception, while the team’s running backs have averaged 4.2 yards per carry on the ground. As a result, Greene may have been a big part of the game plan this week, particularly with the Broncos heavily using rookie tight end Noah Fant and their backs in the passing game to this point.
LaFleur did not address the injury to safety Darnell Savage, and the safety was still spotted in a walking boot on Monday.
UPDATE: Any hopes for a quick return on Greene’s part was short-lived. Just a few hours after LaFleur announced that Greene would miss week three, the Packers placed him on injured reserve in conjunction with the addition of cornerback Tremon Smith.
According to Matt Schneidman of The Athletic, the timeline for Greene’s injury is estimated at around ten weeks, which would make him a possibility to return late in the season. That time frame would put Greene back on the roster around week 13 ahead of the Packers’ game against the New York Giants.