Packers News: Saine, Smith done for season, RB White claimed

Packers LB D.J. Smith is out for the season
Packers LB D.J. Smith is out for the season
Packers LB D.J. Smith is out for the season

The Packers dominated the Houston Texans in every facet of the game Sunday night, but the injuries continued to pile up.

Running back Brandon Saine and linebacker D.J. Smith both suffered knee injuries in the Packers’ 42-20 victory. Both players have been placed on injured reserve, and thus, ending their seasons after just six games.

The injury bug has bitten the Packers’ inside linebackers yet again. After losing starter Desmond Bishop in their first preseason game, the Packers have now lost yet another key piece in the middle of their defense. Smith filled Bishop’s shoes in the starting lineup, and now the Packers will likely turn to Brad Jones to fill the starting position.

Jones and Jamari Lattimore both started as outside linebackers before moving inside this offseason. The Packers also drafted Terrell Manning out of North Carolina State, who has yet to make an impact on defense this season. Robert Francois rounds out the Packers’ depth at inside linebacker, after starting two games in 2011.

It’s too early to tell if the Packers will turn to the free agent market and add another linebacker, but the top available players at the position include E.J. Henderson, Gary Guyton and Gary Brackett. But seeing as the Packers still have five inside linebackers on the roster, they’ll likely roll with who they have for the time being.

To fill Saine’s void on the roster, the team has claimed running back Johnny White from Buffalo. White, a former fifth-round pick out of North Carolina, has appeared in 15 career games for the Bills.

With C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson both having been out of the lineup due to injury, White has carried the ball eight times for 34 yards this season. White will back up starter Alex Green and James Starks, and he’ll wear No. 34 with the Packers.


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Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.


11 thoughts on “Packers News: Saine, Smith done for season, RB White claimed

  1. Smith’s injury will hurt. I’m glad the Pack is not playing any elite offenses in the next 3 weeks. This will give Jones, or whoever, 3 games, with live bullets, to hone in on the possition, plus the bye week. Hopefully, the replacement fills in adequately and is ready for the stretch run. (The Pack should be 6-3 heading into the bye)

  2. If White carried the ball 8 times this year for Buffalo he must have been on the active roster, how could GB “claim” him? Was he cut?

    1. C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson both have been injured this year. White was active for just three games. The Packers claimed him off waivers.

  3. Unfortunate injuries, but neither is crippling. There appears to be adequate depth at ILB and hopefully the dropoff isn’t too great. Saine can be replaced.

    Hopefully the injuries to Perry and Shields are not major. Both of those would be more serious than losing Smith.

    I still think the Packer defense will be very good at the end of the year. I’m liking the rookies more and more. Hayward plays CB with terrific form and makes plays; Worthy looks more physical. McMillian made a nice reaction play on Hayward’s second pick. Woodson has clearly dropped off from previous years, but it looks like the other guys are picking up the slack just fine.

    1. Agreed, the rookies continue to improve and fortunately it sounds like we dodged a bullet with Shields and Perry.

      The defense will be just fine. I really believe that.

    2. Woodson “drop-off” = going from great to good. He still seems to be right in the mix most plays!

  4. I’m not the biggest Brad Jones fan but I thought that he looked good in his limited play against the Texans.

    Hopefully he keeps it up!

  5. I feel bad for Saine. This year definitely sucked for him.

    He had a injury that limited him pre-season, and then he gets healthy again… only to go out against with a knee issue.

    As with DJ Smith, I liked what he offered and all I would say is go get your surgery and rest up for next season.

    That being said, I wonder if push comes to shove… that we can use OLB for ILB. I know that’s probably saying much because of the complex scheme of Capers defense is run.

  6. Hate to see Saine get hurt, Starks has not looked like the RB he was in ’10 till the playoff game vs Giants, Green needs some relief. Think Brad Jones or Robert Francois will be efficient replacement for Smith, wouldn’t count out Thompson picking up a FA if another LB goes down.

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