Packers Injuries: Here we go again?

Josh Boyd

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.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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  • Jeff

    I am also ready to see what Bradford looks like this next game at MLB I am really hoping this is his calling card. He has the speed and body type to be a ILB so lets hope it fits him well. I am not a Hawk hater but it is time to start training someone to replace him!!! He is and always will be the weak link in the middle!

  • packett

    Yeah, not much else to say about it.
    I don’t call for the demise of preseason games like some do. For every preseason game that resulted in an injury, we might have a worse number without preseason games. Just as many players or more players would likely get injured in the first 1-2 games of the regular season, because of playing at full game speed rather than ease into it. The preseason helps players ease into full game speed…or at least starters should be told to play at 75% during preseason. .

  • aaronqb

    On balance, this has not been a terrible year for injuries so far. We’ve lost some guys for the year, but nothing critical yet.

    Barclay. A blow, but only if there are injuries to starting guards or tackles
    Abbrederis. I think he needs to hit the weight room anyway. He is quick, but too thin for the NFL
    Lyerla. Probably would not have stuck on the 53-man anyway
    Raji. Having a great camp, but there is depth behind him. Next man up.
    Tretter. Looks like he will miss 4 or 5 regular season games. Not a killer.

    Last year at this time we had already lost our starting LT and many (myself included) thought the season was over before it started.

    Keep the faith! This is a very strong and deep roster. TT has done a great job.

  • Since ’61

    Adam – I agree with you and the other comments so far. This team is deep enough to survive the current injuries. Let’s hope nothing changes after Thursday’s game. Whether it’s Tretter or Linsley we still have virtually a rookie starting at Center in Seattle. Not sure at this point if there is much of a difference between Bostick, Quarless or R. Rodgers at tight end. All 3 have their strengths and weaknesses so we should be OK going with Quarless and Rodgers as we are Bostick. Raji, not much of a factor last season and many here wanted to move on from Raji after he quit on the team last season. So let’s move on now. Brad Jones, based on his play I don’t see much of a loss there either. He has more experience than Lattimore or Barrington but up until now it has not made him a better player. So let’s see what we have in those two. Even at 100% healthy we all know the Seattle game is going to be a big challenge for the Packers. The keys for the Packers will be ball security, limiting penalties, protecting Rodgers, stopping Lynch (with good tackling), and generating a pass rush. If they can meet those keys then Aaron Rodgers tips the field in the Packers favor. If not, it probably doesn’t matter. Losing Raji may be a factor in stopping the run but it’s time to find out if Boyd, Guion and Pennel can play. No more injuries and Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  • Savage57

    I used to believe that there was something out of whack with the Packers injury-wise, especially with the spikes that occurred in 2010 and 2011. But as I’ve watched this pre-season, it sure seems like every team in the league is getting caught up in the injury maelstrom.

    I want the Packers to go back to the bravado, the ‘oh well, shit happens, next man up’ mindset that served them so well in 2010.

    And the reason I want them to is I think that TT has done the same thing again, stacked up a roster that’s built to endure three deep at almost any position. You know the ‘old screw me once shame on you, screw me twice shame on me’ saying? It would seem that Ted’s taken that to heart, and for the most part has gotten this roster back in fighting trim from top to bottom.

    GPG, KTLSOOTSS

  • marpag

    Other than some wishful thinking, when was Bostick even close to being considered a “preferred starter?”

  • Big T

    Give the strength and conditioning coaches a raise…