NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has reported that pass-rusher Chauncey Rivers had a non-contact injury at practice yesterday and is likely to go on the Packers’ injured reserve list. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky later clarified that it was an ACL tear that happened on the penultimate play of practice yesterday.
Rivers, who was picked up off of waivers in August, is the Packers’ third pass-rusher to sustain a major injury this season. Za’Darius Smith, the team’s All-Pro, had back surgery last week while Randy Ramsey, who likely would have made this team, is also on injured reserve for an ankle injury.
The newest Green Bay Packer, Jaylon Smith, actually could provide the Packers some depth as an edge rusher, something Smith did more in his college days at Notre Dame than with the Dallas Cowboys. Worth noting is that the defensive coordinator Joe Barry is beginning to open the playbook up and do certain things like allowing inside linebackers to play off the edge in nickel packages defensively.
Either way, the Packers are going to need to replace the reps that Rivers played over the first month of the season. Currently, they have four outside linebackers on the roster: Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, Jonathan Garvin, and La’Darius Hamilton. Hamilton, despite being picked up off of the Buccaneers’ practice squad on Week 2, has yet to be activated for a game.