When the Packers travel to Seattle to open the season on Sept. 4 in the NFL’s noisiest stadium against the defending Super Bowl champions, they’ll take the field without three, possibly four, preferred starters.
Nose tackle B.J. Raji (arm) is lost for the season. New center J.C. Tretter (knee) is out for up to six weeks. Brandon Bostick (leg), who likely would’ve started at tight end, is gone for at least a few weeks. Starting linebacker Brad Jones could miss time with a quad injury.
Yes, none of those players are Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson or Clay Matthews, but you’d rather not have to kick off your season with four preferred starters watching from the sidelines, even if those preferred starters aren’t superstars.
Last season, Packers’ preferred starters missed 70 games due to injury. Since 2010, the Packers lead the NFL with a ridiculous 153 games lost by starters because of injuries.
The 2014 season hasn’t even kicked off yet and the Packers are looking at almost 25 games lost already (16 for Raji and assume four for Tretter, three for Bostick and one for Jones).
I get that injuries are part of the game, every team goes through them. But those are some crazy numbers.
It’s easy to say, “Here we go again” with the Packers and injuries. I find myself muttering that exact phrase all too often.
But you could also put a positive spin on “Here we go again.” The injuries mean opportunity for promising young guys like Corey Linsley at center and Josh Boyd or Mike Pennel at nose tackle.
Most Packers fans are ready to move on from Brad Jones, so let’s see what Jamari Lattimore or Sam Barrington do in his place. Will rookie Richard Rodgers emerge as the top tight end with Bostick healing?
It takes depth to win in the NFL and we’ll find out quickly the quality of the Packers’ depth. As long as Rodgers, Lacy, Nelson and Matthews stay upright, it might not be such a bad thing to overcome these early injuries and have more players prepared to take the field as the season wears on.——————