The Green Bay Packers squandered their defense’s best performance of the year on Sunday, giving away nine points on special teams in a 13-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. But the fact remains that the defense, and several young players on that unit, held the Chiefs in check for almost the entire game, not allowing a touchdown after the contest’s first drive and coming up with another stop in the red zone.
Much of the credit for the unit’s performance should belong to young players, as a rookie, a second-year pro, and a third-year veteran all contributed in significant ways to the effort. The defense was a net positive in terms of expected points for the fourth time this season, and by that measure it was the team’s finest game of the year, even without a turnover.
Meanwhile, the Packers are facing fines over breaches of COVID-19 protocols involving quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard. These breaches are specifically related to the Halloween party that the two attended, and the team’s failure to disclose that to the NFL.
While a fine of just under $15,000 is virtually nothing to someone who makes the kind of money that Aaron Rodgers does, the league’s hands are tied; they are limited by the COVID-19 protocols and fine schedule that they negotiated with the players’ union, and therefore cannot fine either player more or less than the reported amount.
Read on for more about the fines and the young players who stepped up for the defense on Sunday.
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The Green Bay's secondary, particularly Darnell Savage, and rookie lineman T.J. Slaton earn praise from Mike Spofford in his film review from week 9.
Even in defeat, Barnes turns in 'best game as a Packer' in Kansas City | Packer Report
Meanwhile, Krys Barnes was a demon on the field, filling run gaps with authority and preventing a touchdown with a clean, crushing tackle along the sideline.
Packers, Saints, Patriots, Seahawks? Let's examine where Odell Beckham Jr. might land – The Athletic
Perhaps the biggest question mark about whether OBJ will end up in Green Bay is the price tag. How much of their limited cap space will the Packers be willing to drop to acquire him, and will it be enough?
Davante Adams Among PFF's Top 50 NFL Free Agents for 2022 - Sports Illustrated
Adams still remains on an expiring contract, and bringing him back next season will require some salary cap gymnastics, though that is not impossible. The other player on the list is De'Vondre Campbell, the best value signing of 2021 who will be due for a big raise next spring.
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, Allen Lazard fined for COVID-19 protocol violations| ESPN
The Packers have been fined $300,000, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers and receiver Allen Lazard have each been fined $14,650 for violating COVID-19 protocols. While this seems like a drop in the bucket for Rodgers (it is), the fines are largely consistent with how the NFL has levied these types of punishment over the past two years:
The penalties are in line with precedent. Here were some of the fines from last year. Saints and Raiders were 3-time offenders:— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) November 10, 2021
Saints: $1.4m, 6th round pick
Raiders: $750k, Gruden $250k, 6th round pick
Patriots, Titans: $350k
Steelers: $250k, Tomlin $100k
It is also notable that the league had little wiggle room on the players’ fines, as that fine schedule was collectively bargained by the NFLPA.
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You too can create a legendary monument in your hometown if you leave your parked car unattended for half a century!