Packers Hit Hard
Here is a quick look at Packers IR that is up to 16 (SIXTEEN!) players and mostly starters:
– 2 of 3 best offensive weapons
RB Aaron Jones, WR Geronimo Allison, RB Tra Carson were the drain on offensive skill positions. Jones is the most dynamic thing they have, and Allison was on a tear before being knocked out early. He easily outplayed Cobb as #2/#3 receiver.
– Offensive Line was really banged up
The top 2 right tackles (Bulaga/Spriggs) were hurt most of the year, and LG Lane Taylor was hurt too. LT DBak toughed out injuries, but RG Kyle Murphy and RG Byron Bell were both on IR. The top 2 right tackles and top 2 right guards were both an issue.
– Entire starting Defensive Line
Muhammad Wilkerson, Mike Daniels, and Kenny Clark all went on IR at different times. This is the most talented position group they have on defense, and ALL of the starters were impacted.
– Half of starting Linebackers
2 of the 4 starting linebackers Nick Perry and Jake Ryan were on IR. Clay Matthews and Oren Burks were also dealing with their own issues.
– Cornerbacks aren’t spared
The opening day #1(Kevin King) and #2 (Davon House) cornerbacks both went on IR. Back CB Will Redmond also joined them.
– Safety was important after trading HaHa
They felt they could get by without HaHa, and maybe that’s true if the next guys in line were healthy. Kentrell Brice was hurt, and promising next-in-line guys Ibraheim Campbell and Raven Greene both went on IR.
– Return game affected too
Trevor Davis is their #1 returner, and he couldn’t stay off of IR either.
How Other Playoff Teams Fared
Compare the Packers to some of the best teams going into the playoffs:
Bears IR – Only 5 (*FIVE!*) players
This is mind boggling that they only have 5 players on IR. FIVE!
– Sam Acho (backup)
– Bryce Callahan (backup)
– Kyle Long (RG starter and a great player)
– Dion Sims (backup)
– Andrew Trumbetti (backup)
That’s IT! I can’t remember a professional football team season where they got away with such a minimal impact on injuries.
(Editor’s note: shortly after publishing this article, the Bears activated Kyle Long, meaning they no longer have any starters on IR)
Patriots IR – 9 players (only 1 impact player)
– Ja’Whaun Bentley (backup)
– Braxton Berrios (backup)
– Jeremy Hill (backup)
– Ryan Izzo (backup)
– Ulrick John (backup)
– Eric Rowe (backup)
– Christian Sam (backup)
– Brian Schwenke (backup)
– Isaiah Wynn (First round rookie, projected to be starter)
Isaiah Wynn was definitely a loss for them, but he was a rookie and they have offensive line genius Dante Scarnecchia to mitigate this. The biggest move was trading for a 3rd round pick for Trent Brown and he started EVERY GAME for them at LT. Overall, the Patriots got off very light as well.
Saints – 9 players (only 1 big loss)
– Jay Bromley
– Dez Bryant
– Travin Dural
– Michael Hoomanawanui
– Rickey Jefferson
– Josh LeRibeus
– Cameron Meredith
– Michael Ola
– Patrick Robinson
Dez Bryant was a big name, but he didn’t have any real impact for the team. Cam Meredith was a big loss though.
Rams – 8 players
Losing 2 starting receivers is a big deal. The Rams are pretty talented and handled this pretty well. Still, it’s a big loss.
– RB Malcolm Brown
– Dominique Easley
– Morgan Fox
– Dominique Hatfield
– Cooper Kupp
– Kevin Peterson
– Garrett Sickels
– Mike Thomas
Chiefs – 10 players
– Jordan Devey
– Step Durham
– Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
– Dillon Gordon
– Tejan Koroma
– J.D. Moore
– Byron Pringle
– Terrance Smith
– De’Anthony Thomas
– Armani Watts
Not much in terms of impact guys, but 10 is quite a bit.
The Packers have more starters on IR than those teams have players on IR. What’s the old saying? “The best teams are the healthiest teams”