Eddie Lacy: While Lacy seems to have recovered from the bruised hip he sustained at the end of the Falcons game, Lacy again appears on the injury list this week with an eye injury. Head coach Mike McCarthy stated during his press conference that Lacy’s eye injury did not occur during the game which would point to an infection like conjunctivitis (also known as pinkeye), which can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Usually no treatment is required and conjunctivitis usually last around 7-10 days. If this is just a case of an eye infection, Lacy shouldn’t be at risk of missing a game and practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday. Expect Lacy to be a starter at running back against the Buccaneers but may see more of a timeshare with James Starks if his hip injury is not fully recovered.
Bryan Bulaga: Bulaga (not Beluga, David Diehl) suffered a concussion during a Aaron Rodgers interception against the Bills when he was blind sided by a defender. Unfortunately these hits are still legal and often times its rumored defensive players will make an effort to throw a harder hit on offensive players, who typically are protected by the rules and sometimes have been getting the better of the matchup. Bulaga was immediately taken out of the game and headed into the locker room where he was ruled out for the rest of the game. As Bulaga is now in the league-mandated concussion testing protocol, Bulaga will not be allow to participate in any football activities until he passes the test, hence his absence from practice on Wednesday. Keep in mind players coming off concussions tend to have a variety of production the next game; some players don’t appear to have any lingering effects while other like Sam Shields definitely did not look the same after his concussion in the game against the Falcons. At this point, Bulaga is a true questionable decision; many players have passed their concussion protocols within a week and have not missed time while others have taken multiple weeks. With the Packers predicted to get into the playoffs the Packers may choose to be prudent with their starting right tackle and let him rest for a full week. If Bulaga cannot go, JC Tretter will get the first shot at starting with TJ Lang as maybe the emergency backup (with Lane Taylor taking his spot)
Nick Perry: Nick Perry appeared to re-aggravate a shoulder injury that he sustained against the Eagles against the Bills and did not return. Perry has been one of the pleasant surprises this season, but still seems to be plagued with injuries, and the team and fans might just have to accept that Perry is indeed injury prone. Luckily, the injury doesn’t appear to be all that serious since Perry was able to practice on Wednesday in a limited fashion and likely has a shot to be part of the outside linebacker rotation. Unfortunately, the Packers don’t have that many healthy bodies at outside linebacker this week and it will be imperative for Perry and the rest of the outside linebacker to get healthy.
Mike Neal: Neal’s injury is a little bit of a mystery; there wasn’t any glaring play where he got injured but he is listed on the injury report with an abdomen injury and was a limited participant in practice. While Neal is an important player in the outside linebacker rotation, he’s not a big name like Clay Matthews and thus has not gotten any press on his injury. At this point, the only news available is the injury report itself, which likely points to Neal being active against the Buccaneers. Hopefully with Nick Perry also injured, both or either will be healthy enough to contribute at outside linebacker.
Clay Matthews: As if it could get any worse for the linebacking core, add Clay Matthews to the injury list with a bicep injury. At this point, the only healthy outside linebackers are Julius Peppers and Jayrone Elliott, but also luckily Mattews was a limited participant. Considering how banged up the defense was against the Bills, its a little surprising how well they played. Matthews has a long history of injuries, especially of the nagging variety and it’s likely that this injury is similar, expect to see Matthews active against the Buccaneers but he’ll probably be splitting snaps at both inside and outside linebacker as well as on the bench as the Packers attempt to get everyone healthy for the game against the Lions (which likely will determine their playoff fate) and the playoffs.
Davon House: While House managed to finish the game after getting swapped with Sam Shields late in the 4th quarter of the Falcons game, apparently all is not well as House has not practiced in two weeks and was ruled out of the Bills game very early on in the week. With it being a contract year, House stands to make a lot of money with some solid play down the stretch especially if Shields plays as poorly as he has in the last two weeks. At this point, House is probably a true coin flip in terms of playing against the Buccaneers; if House isn’t able to play, expect to see more of Casey Hayward or Micah Hyde as the teams 3rd/4th cornerback.
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. Sitton and Lang both appear to be dealing with injuries fairly well, both grading out well despite their injuries. Both have worked in “recovery” practice schedule of not participating on Wednesday and then practicing in a limited fashion on Thursday before their recovery day on Friday. In a positive note, Lang and Sitton both practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday, the first time that has happened since their injuries, but this might have more to do with the fact that the Packers are short a practice due to playing on Monday more than any indication of Lang’s or Sitton’s health. Expect both Sitton and Lang to start against the Bills with Lane Taylor as the top backup.
Jamari Lattimore: Lattimore suffered an ankle injury in the 2nd quarter of the Patriots while covering a return. While Lattimore hasn’t recovered from his injury per-say, the Packers did pretty much determine his season by placing him on IR this week. While unfortunate, Lattimore becomes the first player who played significant time to be placed on IR during the season; the other two players placed on IR this season are Luther Robinson and Kevin Dorsey, both who were backups just getting their feet wet in the NFL. This is Lattimore’s contract year and it must be disappointing for Lattimore to end on IR but Lattimore hadn’t been playing all that well before the injury. There will likely be a lot of changes to the inside linebacker group during the offseason, Brad Jones is likely gone or on a significantly lower contract, AJ Hawk may or may not be on the team and Lattimore might be a low-cost resigning as well.
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.