From the first offensive snap on Sunday, it was clear that the Green Bay Packers were going to be in for a long day on the injury front. The Packers’ week 9 game against the Detroit Lions saw no fewer than seven key players miss significant time with injuries suffered on the artificial turf at Ford Field, and at least one of those injured is done for the 2022 season.
That is outside linebacker Rashan Gary, who suffered a torn ACL on a non-contact play early in the second half. Gary will have surgery soon to repair the ligament and will hope to be back in time for the start of the 2023 season.
But in addition to Gary, the Packers saw Romeo Doubs leave the game with an ankle injury after making a catch on that first offensive snap. Fellow rookie receiver Christian Watson was taken out for a concussion evaluation for a second straight game. Starting offensive linemen Jon Runyan, Jr. and David Bakhtiari both left the game but were able to return later on — though Bakhtiari’s status continues to be a puzzling one given his continued odd playing time situation.
Also leaving the game were running back Aaron Jones and cornerback Eric Stokes, and although Jones appeared to avoid any major injury, Stokes will likely be out a few weeks after being spotted in crutches and a walking boot after the game — the same setup that Doubs had.
Those personnel issues made it challenging for the Packers, who would eventually lose the game 15-9. Still, the Packers had plenty of chances to score and simply could not get out of their own way. Here’s how the playing time broke down from Sunday afternoon.
OFFENSE (74 total plays)
Aaron Rodgers 74
Rodgers had an especially rough day on Sunday, particularly in the red zone. He threw three interceptions, all deep in Lions territory and two coming inside the ten-yard line. his 23-for-43 day resulted in 291 yards — his highest passing yardage total all season — but he had just one touchdown pass against those three picks for a passer rating of 53.5.
AJ Dillon 49, Aaron Jones 30, Kylin Hill 1
Even before Jones left the game midway through the third quarter, Dillon was getting significant snaps, particularly near the goal line. Jones finished the day with just 25 yards on 9 carries, adding two receptions for 20 yards. Dillon, meanwhile, ran 11 times for 34 yards, catching two passes of his own for 10 yards.
Hill made his season debut coming off the PUP list, carrying the ball for seven yards on his only offensive snap.
Allen Lazard 65, Sammy Watkins 60, Samori Touré 28, Amari Rodgers 19, Christian Watson 17, Romeo Doubs 1
With Doubs suffering an ankle injury on the first play of the game (an 18-yard catch by the rookie), the Packers had to scramble to fill in for his snaps at the Z receiver spot. Then Watson went down with an apparent concussion later on (catching an 18-yard crosser himself before taking a big hit), leaving the team down to just four receivers.
Lazard had a solid day in counting stats, racking up 87 yards and a score on four catches, but he was targeted a total of ten times in the game. Toure had the next-highest production from the group, with two receptions and 34 yards, including a 4th-down conversion.
Robert Tonyan 34, Marcedes Lewis 32, Josiah Deguara 28, Tyler Davis 5
For the second straight week, Deguara has become a major part of the game plan, and he set a career high in receptions in this game with 5, picking up 41 yards. Tonyan had three grabs for 29 yards and was targeted on Rodgers’ third pick, while Lewis had a nice 19-yard reception.
Elgton Jenkins 74, Josh Myers 74, Yosh Nijman 74, Jon Runyan 61, Zach Tom 45, David Bakhtiari 42, Royce Newman 1
On the first series of the game, Runyan came off limping, and the Packers replaced him with Zach Tom at right guard. Runyan would return in the second quarter, just in time for David Bakhtiari to take the bench after halftime and give way to Tom at that position as well.
The snaps at RG gave Tom game action at a third different position in as many weeks after starting at left tackle and left guard in the past two games. Clearly the Packers now think that the 4th-round rookie is their best backup at multiple positions, and perhaps all five across the line at this point.
All told, the line got Rodgers sacked just once, but he did take five hits and was pressured on a handful of occasions.
DEFENSE (62 total plays)
Kenny Clark 49, Jarran Reed 45, Dean Lowry 37, T.J. Slaton 18, Devonte Wyatt 10
With Devonte Wyatt making a flash play or two — he forced a TFL in the run game with good penetration and tipped a pass at the line — and the team needing some consistent production against the run, it’s tough to explain why he can’t get on the field more at this point. Meanwhile, Clark continued in a string of quiet performances, even despite registering seven total tackles. He simply has not been his usual force as a pass-rusher in recent weeks, which is a problem for this defense and will be even more so with Rashan Gary out for the remainder of the year.
Reed and Lowry continue to give the Packers next to nothing, while Slaton had one nice tackle, shedding a blocker to make a run stop at the line of scrimmage.
Preston Smith 50, Rashan Gary 28, JJ Enagbare 26, Jonathan Garvin 20
Gary’s injury will put this unit in a major bind for the remainder of the season, likely giving Enagbare the chance to start opposite Smith. Enagbare should have had the Packers’ only sack, but he was called for a brutal roughing the passer penalty because he made contact with Jared Goff’s helmet, despite Goff going to the ground when the contact was made.
Look for the Packers to call up Ladarius Hamilton from the practice squad when Gary goes on injured reserve to serve as the third or fourth edge rusher for the rest of the year.
Quay Walker 62, Krys Barnes 25, Isaiah McDuffie 15
With De’Vondre Campbell out for this game, the Packers gave the green dot helmet to Walker, who made the calls for the first time as a rookie. Next to him the team decided to rotate McDuffie (who started) and Barnes, and Barnes finished the day leading the team in total tackles with 8.
Adrian Amos 62, Darnell Savage 62, Rudy Ford 4
One of the few units not touched by injury, the safeties had another rough day in tackling, particularly Savage. His four total tackles don’t tell the story, as he was throwing shoulders and bouncing off ball-carriers with regularity once again. Amos was the better of the two, but still has not been the consistent player he was over the past three years.
Jaire Alexander 61, Rasul Douglas 59, Keisean Nixon 39, Eric Stokes 10
On the second series of the game, the Packers lost Stokes to an ankle injury, one that the FOX broadcast crew decided not to replay for viewers. His absence shifted Douglas back out to the boundary with Nixon manning the slot. In total, the Lions’ passing game was fairly ineffective, but there were one or two explosive plays, most notably a 25-yarder to Amon-Ra St. Brown on a crossing pattern through the Packers’ zone coverage.
SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS
Tyler Davis 10, Douglas 9, Dallin Leavitt 9, McDuffie 9, Nixon 9, Eric Wilson 9, Tariq Carpenter 8