The Green Bay Packers entered Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings a bit shorthanded already, with a few key contributors on defense sitting out with various injuries. What transpired on the field at U.S. Bank Stadium was a proverbial bloodbath, as Packer after Packer left the game with significant injuries.
Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone was just the beginning, although it was the most critical and problematic injury of them all. But after he left, the Packers saw more big names go down with injuries, as three of the starters on the offensive line left the game and the cornerback situation went from bad to worse.
Here’s how the playing time broke down on Sunday for the Packers.
Offense (66 plays)
Brett Hundley 58, Aaron Rodgers 8
Obviously this is the most prominent issue in the game - Rodgers left with a broken collarbone after just eight snaps, forcing Hundley into the game after he hadn’t taken a single rep with the starting offense all week in practice.
RG Jahri Evans 66, C Corey Linsley 66, LG/LT Justin McCray 51, LG Lucas Patrick 38, LT David Bakhtiari 34, RT Ulrick John 32, RT Bryan Bulaga 28, LG Lane Taylor 15
The Packers dressed eight linemen on Sunday, with Adam Pankey sitting on the inactive list. Unfortunately, they needed every single one of them.
Taylor left the game early with knee and ankle injuries and did not return, which forced Justin McCray into the lineup. However, in the third quarter both tackles went down, with Bakhtiari leaving the game due to a flare-up of his hamstring injury and Bulaga suffering a concussion.
That forced the Packers into a nearly impossible situation, kicking McCray out to left tackle (with Lucas Patrick taking over at left guard) and Ulrick John stepping in for Bulaga on the right side.
Needless to say, it didn’t go particularly well for that unit. Now we wait and see which of these players can return in time for next Sunday’s game against the Saints. Expect another roster move or two if any of them cannot play.
Aaron Jones 43, Ty Montgomery 20, FB Aaron Ripkowski 13
Montgomery may have expected a full workload, but it appears that his snaps were still limited a bit by his broken ribs as he was doubled up by Jones. Still, Montgomery touched the football on more than half of his plays — 10 carries and one reception on three targets, which includes his dropped touchdown. Neither back was productive, however, as they each hovered around three yards per carry and had a long run of under ten yards.
Davante Adams 65, Jordy Nelson 61, Randall Cobb 53, Geronimo Allison 7, Jeff Janis 1
The Packers stuck pretty consistently with their 11 personnel, featuring their top three receivers. Both Adams and Nelson saw ten targets, though they caught five and six of them, respectively. Look for Hundley to try to develop a better rapport with those players this week.
Martellus Bennett 50, Richard Rodgers 11, Lance Kendricks 6
This was the first week that Rodgers out-snapped Kendricks, though both players lagged behind Bennett significantly once again. Bennett had a brutal drop on the play when Rodgers was injured, as a sure third-down conversion went right off his hands. Bennett had the only four targets of these three players, catching two passes for 22 yards.
Defense (77 plays)
Kenny Clark 55, Mike Daniels 53, Dean Lowry 34, Quinton Dial 21, Ricky Jean Francois 7
Clark and Daniels were very solid in the middle for much of the game, earning Game Ball designations from APC. Clark’s forced fumble set up the Packers’ only touchdown, and he had six tackles, an impressive number for an interior lineman. Lowry and Dial each played in a heavy rotation, with Dial making a bit of an impact on occasion as a pass-rusher.
Clay Matthews 65, Nick Perry 57, Kyler Fackrell 31, Chris Odom 1
Matthews’ 65 snaps were up-and-down, as he recorded a pair of hits on Keenum and had a big fumble recovery/return, but was sometimes washed out of the play or biting too hard on play-fakes. With Ahmad Brooks inactive, Fackrell got the only other significant snaps at the position, and it’s likely that some of his snaps will go to Vince Biegel if and when the rookie is activated from the PUP list.
Blake Martinez 76, Jake Ryan 48, Josh Jones 30
Martinez finally saw near-full-time duty at inside linebacker, taking the field for every snap but one in this game. Ryan shared duties with Jones at the other spot.
Both Martinez and Ryan made some excellent plays against the run, as Martinez racked up another 11 tackles and Ryan had eight. Blake’s two tackles for loss were a team-high, while he and Jones each recorded a pass breakup.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 77, Kentrell Brice 75, Marwin Evans 15
With Morgan Burnett out, Kentrell Brice played primarily at strong safety despite being nicked up briefly in the game, though he had to move down to slot cornerback on a few occasions due to the injuries at cornerback. Evans played at the strong safety position when that was the case, and he recorded one hit on the quarterback on a safety blitz.
Josh Hawkins 75, Damarious Randall 59, Lenzy Pipkins 46, Quinten Rollins 22
With Kevin King, Davon House, and Burnett out, it was already going to be a weird day at this position, but Quinten Rollins’ injury in the second quarter forced the rookie Pipkins into extended action with Randall having to play largely in the slot afterwards. Pipkins responded well under the circumstances, recording six tackles including a TFL.
As a whole, the Packers struggled with covering Adam Thielen and Laquon Treadwell, as the top two Vikings receivers recorded 12 catches on 16 targets for a total of 148 yards.