Coming into the preseason, the Packers were pegged to have the best offensive line of the Aaron Rodgers era.
However, since then guard/tackle Don Barclay blew out his right ACL and is done for the season. Center JC Tretter suffered a “significant knee injury” during the third preseason game on Aug. 22 and will be out at least eight weeks. And in the season opener at Seattle, right tackle Bryan Bulaga sprained his left MCL — the same knee that had an ACL tear during last year’s Packers Family Night.
Bulaga will miss a few weeks, which is devastating given that Derek Sherrod showed the world that he is not an adequate pass blocker.
It’s amazing where it all began. The Packers had the core of its offensive weapons return. The defense was to be upgraded with the addition of Julius Peppers and for the first time in a long time, the offensive line appeared to be stable.
Aaron Rodgers has been sacked an average of 32 times a season since he became the Packers’ starter in 2008. And that counts last season in which he only played nine games and this year, which is only one game old. With a little luck, he’ll be able to crack the top 50 career sacked leaders as he passes David Carr’s 267 sacks. Jay Cutler has started 104 games in his career and he’s been sacked 218 times and the more nimble Rodgers has started 88 games and has been sacked 235 times. Figure that one out.
I’ve been saying this for awhile now, but Rodgers’ time is limited. Packers fans have been more than blessed by getting back-to-back future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in a sport that is ruled and won by the position. If Ted Thompson really wants Rodgers to remain healthy for the duration of his contract, which expires in 2019, he is going to have to go out and get somebody.
Offensive line depth was a huge concern coming into camp and now it’s in bold-face font with exclamation points. I don’t see how Sherrod is still on the team through the weekend let alone to see Week 2.
The Patriots traded Logan Mankins for tight end Tim Wright and a fourth rounder in 2015. I realize that Thompson isn’t too keen on trading away picks but if the Packers can package Andrew Quarless and a pick for a solid offensive lineman like Joe Barksdale from St. Louis, New Orleans’ Zach Strief or Tampa Bay’s Demar Dotson they have to do it.
The window for winning in the NFL is very finite. Obviously don’t tell the Seahawks fans that, because the way they’re playing at home, nobody will be able to beat them. But when Russell Wilson signs his first big NFL paycheck, the Seahawks will have to make the same salary cap choices that the Ravens, Giants and Packers all had to make following a title run.
This is Green Bay’s window. They have one of the best quarterbacks in the league, a running back that defensive backs do not want to tackle and a pair of wideouts that gave the highly respected Seahawks secondary fits.
It’s time for Thompson to go all in and go after it. And if there is any doubt that Randall Cobb is not on the roster next year, then he should most definitely do it. It may be hard for Thompson mainly because he spent a 2011 first round pick on Sherrod and by going after another offensive linemen, that would signal that he made a mistake.
Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Rodgers are bar none the best quarterbacks in the game. Every other team has solidified its offensive line in effort to not only keep their best asset upright but to also help their team win.
It’s time for Green Bay to do the same by reinvesting in their best asset.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn