Week 10 against the Bears not only was great for the Packers in the way only a 55-14 drubbing can do for a team but also because almost 100% of the Packers roster was available, which came in handy when the backups starting getting snaps in the beginning of the 2nd half. A lot of concern was raised over the health of both starting guards TJ Lang and Josh Sitton, who surprisingly were able to play and even lead the way for a spectacular rumbling running back screen ala Eddie Lacy. With the Packers now looking forward to the Eagles, will they have as many healthy bodies as they did against the Bears?
Jayrone Elliott: A surprise addition to the injury report after the Bears game, but add another player to the hamstring injury list. Due to the lopsided score, Elliot made his 2nd NFL appearance (ironically, Elliott’s first appearance was also against the Bears), logging in a grand total of 4 snaps while still contributing to special teams. As with all hamstring injuries, it’s difficult to gauge how long it will take to recover since some players appear to have wildly different timetables; for instance, Clay Matthews historically is hamstring injury prone but rarely misses playing time while cornerback Casey Hayward is also historically prone to hamstring injuries but missed a large portion of his sophomore season due to it. Considering the Packers outside linebacker core is one of their strengths expect to see Elliot inactive against the Eagles.
Brandon Bostick: Bostick had the game of the season, leading the deluge of touchdowns with the first of the season, only to follow it up with a mysterious hip injury that caused him to miss Wednesday practice. Not much has been released about Bostick’s injury other than Mike McCarthy’s comments being rather negative: “It’s going to be, I don’t want to say a challenge to make it this week, but we’ll see how the week goes”. Keep in mind this is coming from a head coach who historically has been a very bad prognosticator or injuries, often times claiming players were doing great only to have the end up on the IR the following week. Considering his relative lack of playing time up to this point, expect to see Bostick inactive against the Eagles, which might have been the case even if Bostick wasn’t injured.
Aaron Rodgers: Apparently Rodgers suffered a tight back due to all the standing around he was subjected to in the 2nd half. Hopefully a hot shower and a Salonpas will fix him right up.
Josh Sitton: Sitton’s injury has finally been disclosed, being a torn ligament in his left big toe; it seems unlikely that this injury occured during the bye week, which is when Sitton first appeared on the injury report, likely meaning he sustained the injury against the Saints. Apparently Sitton’s big toe has swollen 3 times its normal size and Sitton likely needed to be fitted with a special shoe in order to play last week, however Sitton did start the game and likely would have played for the entire game had the score not gotten so out of hand that it became wise to pull him and Lang. Fast forward to this week and Sitton did not participate in practice just like he did last week and this could be the start of a regular schedule, luckily Sitton has enough experience that he doesn’t need all that much practice and will probably wait until the offseason in order to have his ligament surgically repaired. Expect Sitton to start against the Eagles even if he doesn’t practice much this week, his backup are JC Tretter and guard Lane Taylor.
TJ Lang: Lang suffered an ankle injury during the first series of the 1st quarter against the Saints and was deemed questionable to return, but ultimately did not play with backup interior linemen Lane Taylor replacing him. At this point its not entirely known what the exact injury to Lang’s ankle is, with media reports ranging for a pull to a full on tear. Lang took the bye week to heal up and was able to start against the Bears, only exiting the game with the Packers leading by 6 touchdowns in the 2nd half. Lang did not participate in practice on Wednesday alongside Sitton, just as he did last week before the Bears game. At this point Lang has claimed that he wouldn’t need surgery, but it’s unclear if that means he doesn’t need surgery at all or is manageable enough to delay surgery until the offseason. Expect Lang to start alongside Sitton against the Eagles, with Lane Taylor and JC Tretter likely filling in for Lang should he re-aggravate his injury.
In a stroke of either good or bad luck, no Packers player moved off the injury report this week; on the bright side that means a lot of players are healthy, on the flip side, it means injured players are still injured.
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.