For once the Packers have something to be thankful for, the Packers reported no new injuries after the Vikings game, which might be the first time this season where the Packers didn’t come out of a game (or even the bye week) without adding another player to the injury report.
Jarrett Bush: Another mysterious groin injury, Bush did not participate in practice last week after the Eagles and did not participate in the practice before Thanksgiving. Furthermore, Bush was inactive against the Vikings and Demetri Goodson was the man called up from the inactive list and actually played pretty well on punt and kickoffs except for a penalty. Followed up to this week, Bush again did not practice on Wednesday and looks to be a long shot to play against the Patriots; if this is indeed the case, the Packers will likely keep Goodson in place of Bush but could also activate inside linebacker Carl Bradford as well as the Packers linebacking core is still banged up.
Nick Perry: Perry suffered a shoulder injury against the Vikings and while he has been viewed somewhat as a bust since being drafted in the 1st round; Perry’s availability and above average play was one of the reasons why the Packers were able to shift Clay Matthews into the middle. While some people have made a big deal about the Packers inability to stop the run against the Vikings and attributed mostly to the loss of Perry, it should be noted that Perry isn’t exactly a stalwart run stuffer on his own (he has a -0.5 run defense rating for the season according to ProFootballFocus) and that Mike Neal grades just about as well as Perry when it comes to run defense. I’d likely attribute it more to the fact that Vikings were committed to a “keep away” offensive football and the fact that the Packers running game isn’t all that good to start out with (which has been masked somewhat by the offense scoring a ton of points early and teh defense making strides in pass defense). McCarthy seems relatively optimistic that Perry will play against the Patriots but might put him on a snap count with Mike Neal getting the majority of the snaps. With Perry out last week, Jayrone Elliot also chipped in with19 snaps when the game actually mattered and did relative well.
Brandon Bostick: Bostick injured his hip after scoring his first touchdown against the Bears last week and did not practice all week leading up to the Eagles game. Bostick was ruled out quickly for the Eagles game, a rarity for Mike McCarthy press releases but did manage to practice on a limited basis this week. If previous reports of Bostick losing playing time because of him falling behind on learning the offense (which is a little odd since this is his third season with the Packers), another injury bodes poorly as Bostick could again be left behind and might not even make the team next year. In Bostick’s absence, both Andrew Quarless and Richard Rodgers had big plays including perhaps the easiest receiving touchdown ever (and his first) for Richard Rodgers. Should Bostick make it to the active list against the Patriots, he’s still definitely behind Quarless and Rodgers for snaps and likely won’t contribute to the offense.
Josh Sitton & TJ Lang: Lang suffered an ankle injury during the first series of the 1st quarter against the Saints while Sitton’s suffered a torn ligament in his left big toe in the same game. Luckily both were able to take the night off early with another blowout win, but its unlikely that they will be getting many more opportunities to rest. Sitton and Lang both appear to be dealing with injuries fairly well, both grading out well despite their injuries. Both have also settled into “recovery” practice schedule of not participating on Wednesday and then practicing in a limited fashion on Thursday before their recovery day on Friday. Not much has changed as Sitton and Lang continue to fight through their injuries, although the Packers did get a scare when Lang had to step out and get his ankle retaped against the Vikings. Expect both Sitton and Lang to start against the Patriots with Lane Taylor as the top backup.
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. With fellow outside linebacker Nick Perry out with a shoulder injury, Elliott was part of the rotation at outside linebacker and did relatively well (although it was against the Vikings). With Perry’s status trending up but still uncertain, expect to see Elliott play more snaps on defense.
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.