The Packers came out of the Jets game with two surprising facts 1) quarterback Aaron Rodgers finally lead a comeback victory from more than 14 points down and 2) the Packers escaped the game with all their starters healthy. Add to that a quick recovery by running back Eddie Lacy and the promising news from Micah Hyde and Bryan Bulaga and the Packers might be the healthiest they’ve been in a long time.
Casey Hayward – Hayward apparently is suffering from some tightness in his hamstring, something which him and Clay Matthews share in common. Hayward has a history of hamstring injuries, most notably he missed a majority of the 2013 season (weeks 1-7) due to hamstring tightness and then was sent to IR after 3 weeks with a knee injury. While the Packers have never disclosed the exact nature of his knee injury, Hayward did not require surgical intervention, which would again fall in line with a hamstring tightness. There is a correlation between hamstring tightness and knee injuries so it’s also highly probable that Hayward’s tight hamstring were responsible for his knee injury. The typical recovery from a tight hamstring is stretching and icing, with a recovery time ranging from a couple weeks to months; based on Haywards previous history of hamstring injuries I would assume that his recovery time will be longer as the Packers physicians will likely be more conservative with a repeat injury. While Hayward suited up for the Jets game, he didn’t play a snap and Davon House replaced him in the nickel with Jarrett Bush playing the dime, presumably the Packers will continue to use this order or promote Jumal Rolle from the practice squad. Demetri Goodson might figure into the equation at some point depending on how far behind he is after recovering from a concussion.
Micah Hyde – Micah Hyde was injured during a punt return against the Jets in the second quarter and was held out for the rest of the game, which was later diagnosed as a patellar contusion (bruised knee). On more promising news, Hyde has been a limited participant in practice this week but claims that he was fine after the swelling subsided. Recovery time from a patellar contusion is usually 24-48 hours with ice and stabilization (and occasionally crutches), again indicating Hyde will likely be available for week 3 against the Lions. Randall Cobb replaced Hyde after his injury at returner and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at safety; it’s likely Hyde will return to full duty against the Lions but the Packers may decide to put Hyde on a snap count, meaning more time for rookie 1st round pick Clinton-Dix and a chance that fellow rookie Jeff Janis will be active in order to protect Randall Cobb.
Andy Mulumba – Mulumba suffered the most significant injury against the Jets on a kick off return, unfortunately the broadcast went to advertisement right afterwards so the full extent was not shown outside head coach Mike McCarthy stating his injury was “significant”. Later it was announced that Mulumba had torn his ACL, likely meaning his season is over. ACL injuries take 6 to 9 months usually and players typically don’t fully recover until after 2 years (even Adrian Peterson stated that he didn’t feel normal until 2 years after his ACL tear and super human recovery). Mulumba will likely be sent to IR with the possibility of competing for a roster spot with fellow IR OLB Nate Palmer in 2015. In his place, the Packers will likely activate preseason superstar Jaryone Elliot to the active game day roster.
Bryan Bulaga: Bulaga suffered a knee injury against the Seattle Seahawks during the season opener but has been a regular participant in practices, albeit in a limited fashion. Bulaga was inactive against the Jets is reported to still be wearing a brace over his left leg. Again, it appears that Bulaga might have gotten off lucky this time; while initially reported to be a tear of the MCL, it appears now that it was only a sprain, which can be characterized into 3 different grades; Bulaga likely has a grade 2 sprain since he has been spotted at practice wearing a brace, which also likely puts his recovery time at around 4 to 6 weeks. The best news however is that Bulaga avoided a grade 3 sprain, which typically involved tearing the MCL, tearing the MCL usually requires crutches for mobility and usually surgery, which of course has a longer recovery time. Bulaga will almost certainly be inactive again against the Lions with Derek Sherrod replacing him for a 3rd consecutive week.
Brad Jones: Jones injured his quadriceps during the 3rd preseason game against the Raiders and did not play the preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs. While Jones did practice the week going into the season opener against the Seahawks, Jones did not play well even though he played 100% of the defensive snaps. Jones has been in and out of the practice roster but perhaps suffered a setback as he did not practice again this week. While initially Jones’ injury was reported as a “mild” quadricep sprain, being held out of practices nearly 5 weeks after the injury might indicate that the injury is more significant than reported or more likely that Jones re-aggravated the injury, most likely during the game against the Seahawks. Since players who don’t practice rarely suit up for game days per Mike McCarthy’s MO, it’s likely that Jones will be inactive against against the Lions with Jamari Lattimore replacing him.
Demetri Goodson: Goodson suffered a concussion against the Raiders in game 3 of the preseason and has not seen the field since (he was one of the inactive players against the Jets). Goodson did not appear on the Packers injury report this week, so he must have passed league mandated cognitive tests. There’s an outside chance that Goodson gets activated due to the continuing hamstring injuries to nickel back Casey Hayward. However with Davon House and Jarrett Bush ahead of him, it’s likely Goodson would be relegated to special teams duty if he was active against the Lions.
Eddie Lacy: Lacy suffered his 2nd recorded concussion against the Seahawks. Lacy returned to practice the week before the Jets game and was a starter. While Lacy wasn’t a focal point of the offense against the terrific Jets run defense and atrocious pass defense, Lacy did log 55 out of 71 total offensive snaps, indicating that the Packers weren’t concerned about his health. Lacy has been a full participant in practice and is expected to start against the Lions.
Brandon Bostick: Bostick suffered a slight fracture to his fibula has been out since the the 2nd preseason game against St. Louis. Mild fractures to the fibula, which is a bone located lateral to the tibia (the major bone of the lower leg) can typically be treated without surgery and usually heal by themselves, which is good news for Bostick. Fractures of the fibula usually take somewhere between 4-8 weeks, but can take several month to regain full strength and range of motion. Bostick was strangely active for the Jets game but did not record a snap on offense; this indicates that Bostick is healthy enough to play if needed but with the need for more inline blocking prowess against the Jets front seven, the Packers went with Richard Rodgers and Andrew Quarless as the tight end rotation. Bostick may or may not be active against the Lions, who feature as good of a defensive front seven as the Jets but either way it appears as if Bostick has been relegated to 2nd or 3rd string tight end with Richard Rodgers and Andrew Quarless taking about 50% of offensive snaps each.
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.