Packers casualty report: Playoff bye retrospective All Green Bay Packers All the Time

While Aaron Rodgers injury is obviously on the minds of fans and the teams as they prepare for the playoffs, as the Packers secured a 1st round bye the team will have an extra day off and a different practice schedule, so nothing concrete will really be known until next week. Reports are that Rodgers suffered a fairly significant calf tear/pull and likely will have to play the postseason on a gimpy leg, so how much the Packers change their gameplan and how much Rodgers is capable of doing is unknown.

However before we all start looking to the playoffs it’s a good time to remember just how fortunate the Packers were when it comes to injuries. Ever since the 2010 Super Bowl season, the Packers have had statistically more injuries than basically every other team in the league, especially consistently the last couple years. The 2010 Packers also showed that while injuries can be overcome, more often than not, they will kill even the mot talented teams chances of the playoffs.

At some point the Packers injury rate was going to regress towards the mean and the Packers saw probably their healthiest team since Rodgers became a starter. Perhaps most surprising is that the Packers didn’t lose a single preferred starter to IR over the entire year. Perhaps most significant were an injury to nose tackle BJ Raji, which may or may not have been that significant considering the Packers ultimately choose to get smaller and lighter in the defensive line (neither Ryan Pickett not Johnny Jolly were resigned, even with Raji’s injury)

Next up would have been swing reserve linemen Don Barclay, who likely would have been a great help when Bryan Bulaga was injured, but likely anyone better than Derek Sherrod and JC Tretter would have helped.

The only player who got significant snaps who ultimately landed on IR would be Jamari Lattimore, who did seem to fall out of favor, perhaps due to his injury, before being benched and ultimately sent to IR.

Lastly the Packers were incredibly lucky that Corey Linsley turned out to be a quality starter right from the get go as the Packers placed presumed starter JC Tretter on IR/designated to return during the preseason. I’m fact Linsley played so well that even after Tretter was activated, It was Tretter that stayed on the bench even after he had had a stellar preseason at center.

Overall, the Packers have had their fair share of injuries, this the NFL after all.  Rodgers has dealt with leg troubles and both TJ Lang and Josh Sitton have fought through injuries that will likely require surgery after the season. However, Packers fans need to be aware of what a great season the Packers have been lucky to have when it comes to injuries this year and hope that this good luck continues


Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s


19 thoughts on “Packers casualty report: Playoff bye retrospective

  1. The only thing holding this team back from a deep playoff run, and possible title, is Rodgers calf. Kinda of a bummer that we finally make it through a season with out significant injury only to have our all world QB come up lame. Let’s hope that Rodgers can get through these playoffs without a set back. I believe that will require being a pocket passer only. No runs for first downs and minimal out of pocket plays. This is unfortunate, because that’s what makes Rodgers that much more (special) dangerous is throwing on the run. Go Pack Go!

    1. He’s going to have to run against Seattle. Maybe New England. No one else has the defense to even slow GB down with ARod in the pocket. But with 2 weeks off (3 before the Seattle game), the odds are that he’ll be able to scramble enough to worry people.

      1. I am afraid his scrambling days are over until next season. Opposing defenses are now licking their chops! Very, very unfortunate, I was looking forward to something better that one and done…

  2. “Next up would have been swing reserve linemen Don Barclay, who likely would have been a great help when Bryan Bulaga was injured, but likely anyone better than Derek Sherrod and JC Tretter would have helped.”

    Not to nit-pick, but when Bulaga missed significant time, wasn’t Tretter on IR-return, so ineligible to play?

  3. I still have high hopes for Tretter and Elliot, Janis and even Abbrederis could come up big for us in the future too. But resigning Cobb should be top priority, followed by Bulaga. Then Barclay and Richardson. We need another ILB or two in the draft. AJ and Brad – thanks for your service. But it’s time for you to go.

    1. Well said. Sign Cobb. Sign Bulaga for $6 million/yr for 4 yrs with 40% guaranteed. I am not a Raji fan, so yes, 1 yr contract for $2 million or maybe $3 million (gulp). I don’t think Raji wants more than one year – he wants to play well and cash in. Barclay should be re-signed, dependent on injury. Richardson is a RFA. With snapcounts of 11, 3, 9, 1, 0 (17 on STs) and 4 in the last 6 games, I don’t think I’d want to tender him at $1.431 (last year’s amount – can’t find the new amount but it will be more). That said, I would like to keep him for < tender.

      There was an article at Acme suggesting that GB and Guion are already in contract negotiations. He has played well enough to garner low starter type money. I think he is a DT in a 4-3. Fear here is someone will offer him $4 or even $5 million per year, something I would be loathe to do. Pennel, like many rookie DL, has been up and down. With snapcounts of 7, 1, 7, and 3 (Guion had 34, 23, 45, 28) in the last 4 games, he does seem to have fallen from grace a bit. I'd be interested in Guion at $3 million/yr for say 3 years. Seems to be very little though in FA at DT/NT though.

      1. Yep, don’t know what’s going on with Pennel. Like Davante Adams he’s disappeared the past couple games. Perhaps it’s nothing meaning he’s a rookie and Guion is playing so good they are expanding his role and just taking it easy with Pennel until next season.

  4. Here’s something that just effin bothers me. We know Rodgers has a bad leg and chances are very high he’s probably going to aggravate the injury at some point in the playoffs and probably be lost for the remainder of the game.

    What I saw this preseason from Scott Tolzein was a dynamic qb who just blew right past Matt Flynn at warp speed. He appeared to be able to make all the throws or at least close to what Rodgers could do. I was impressed as hell but I was totally pissed when MM put him at no. 3. I thought he clearly outplayed Flynn.

    We see how long it can take MM to make position switches. Usually they are too little too late. I think Matt Flynn is a waste of time at this point in his career.

    I am hoping/praying that if Rodgers goes down that MM sticks in Tolzein over Flynn this time. I think this guy is a heck of a qb and I don’t necessarily believe we are history with Tolzein in as our no. 2. I think has that gutsy ability and grit to keeps us competitive against anybody. Matt Flynn just doesn’t inspire me at this point. I’ve seen enough. It’s time to move on with Tolzein. Anybody else feel this way about our backups?


    1. You know my attitude. I like Matt like Matt, but when we come down who would be better fit for Packers I’m all Scott Tolzien!

    2. Ted – first of all, you stay with the guy who brought you to the dance. In the case of Favre versus the NYG in 2007, the team was 13-3 with a playoff win under Favre. You don’t replace your HOF starting QB with a virtually untested QB in a championship game unless your starter is out due to injury. Rodgers wasn’t ready then either with # of reps or knowledge of the offense which was proven in 2008 when the Packers only won 6 games with Rodgers as QB. As for replacing Rodgers, if necessary in the playoffs, again I doubt that Tolzien has had enough reps to come in and be effective. Also, his knowledge of the offense would be very limited, not to mention his experience. What you saw during the pre-season is irrelevant. He was playing with the 3rd string team versus 3rd string his opponents. His performance in 2013 was abysmal. In the 3 games he played the Packers were 0-2-1 and they only achieved the tie because Flynn came in and rallied the team in the 4th quarter against the Vikings. Tolzien may have the better arm and may become the long term backup but right now he’s not ready to play, especially in a playoff game. He should get some extra reps now because of Rodgers injury but I don’t think that he is capable of much more than handing the ball to Lacy and Starks at this point. If it comes to playing Tolzien in a playoff game we’re toast, unless we already have a big lead. So I’m hoping that it doesn’t happen. We should be looking to draft a QB this year. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

      1. 61 – I don’t usually disagree with you, but Rodgers knew the offense by 07. He was ready. Remember the Dallas game? We were losing by 20 when AR came in and he almost brought us back. I believe if ARod had played that game we’d have a 5th Lombardi right now.

        That said, I agree with you. You go with who got you there. Favre was the guy in 07. It would have been inappropriate and broken the football world if Favre was healthy and didn’t play in the 2nd half of that NYG collapse.

      2. Since 61, I respectfully disagree in this case. Normally you don’t replace a guy unless he’s injured. Well, Favre in that game was mentally injured. He simply didn’t want to be there in that game. We all saw his body language. He couldn’t handle the cold period. It was over for him and MM knew it except he didn’t do anything about it when he had the opportunity so I blame MM for not making the switch.

        All I am saying is had MM replaced him with Rodgers just for the 2nd half he probably has another ring. There was no tomorrow. It’s for the super bowl. Favre was playing like absolute horse shit in the biggest of NFL games. MM didn’t want to hurt Favre’s ego and it cost him and the fans a shot at a super bowl. Favre ended up effing over MM anyway a few months later so MM did not do his job that game by catering to an old cold qb who only wanted to get on the next nearest warm airplane and get back to MS.

        As Bearmeat pointed out, MM already saw Rodgers in the Dallas game and he shined. He was ready enough. Why I feel Rodgers wins that game if MM played him against the Giants is mainly because the Giants were ill prepared to handle Rodgers’ scrambling ability. He would have destroyed them on his legs alone just like Kaepernick destroyed us a few years ago when our defense wasn’t prepared for the read option.

        Scott Tolzein is a Russell Wilson Jr. workaholic. I don’t buy for a second that he doesn’t know the offense. I guarantee you he has every single play down. He’s Aaron Rodgers in 2007 as we speak and I have no doubt he would give us a better shot than a noodle armed Matt Flynn who has failed time again whenever he was given a shot. I understand he won a few games against bad teams but we are going up against the best of the best now and Tolzein has clearly passed him by experience or not. It’s Tolzein’s time now in my opinion.

      3. Yeah, can’t see replacing your HOF QB who just went 13-3. The hindsight view might give just enough ammunition to make the argument that GB would have been better off with Rodgers in the playoff game. It was a close game. Favre led GB to a game tying FG on the 4th quarter. Ryan Grant had 13 carries for 29 yds (13 long – meaning that the other 12 carries produced the prodigious sum of 16 yards). The only other running play was by Favre: 1 carry for -1. Hard to win with 28 yards on the ground! The Giants, on the other hand, got 63 yds on 16 carries (3.9 ave) from Bradshaw and 67 yds on 21 carries (3.2) from Jacobs, ending up with 134 rushing yards (3.4 average- not great, but decent). Given the void on the ground, one could argue that Favre to Driver carried GB the whole game.

        It was so cold that the punters for both teams averaged only 32 yds gross. It is my contention that severe cold favors the defense. When it is -1 outside, you had better figure that no team is likely to score more than perhaps 21. It was really cold when GB played SF in the playoffs at Lambeau. The score? 23-20, exactly the same score as the NFC Championship game in 2007. In 2007, only Driver (5 rec for 141, 1 TD) and Donald Lee (4/35 1 TD) were productive. No other receiver caught more than one ball.

        1. Favre was so bad that game even the stats were skewed. Favre threw a 2 yard pass to Driver and he went the rest of the way for a long 90 yard td I believe.
          It might be hard for people to pull a hall of famer but every coach has to do it at some time. MM in my opinion really dropped the ball on a golden opportunity to put in a young gun with fast legs Aaron Rodgers when it was clear to the entire world that Brett Favre was struggling just to stay out there. He honestly looked like he was going to die out there. The cold got to him.
          We’ll never know but I believe Rodgers would have put up 21 pts on the Giants in the second half and pulled away and on to a super bowl. MM would be talked like Bellichek had he just made that one move with his backup qb. I already know ahead of time he’ll make the wrong decision again and keep Flynn as his no. 2. Flynn will flop and next year he’ll be dumped in favor Tolzein meaning this whole season from the backup perspective was a total waste of time.

    3. Definitely take my chances with Tolzein over Flynn. Time for Flynn to ride off into the sunset and thank his lucky stars. Never seen a below average qb make that kind of change. No other team in the league wants anything to do with him and that is why old Teddy likes him…

      1. Tolzien over Flynn, long-term, yes. A lot of being a QB is btw the ears. Flynn needs an entirely different game plan than the one put in for Rodgers and even for Tolzien because Flynn can’t make all the throws while Tolzien can. It was always my personal opinion that Tolzien would be better coming in mid-game due to an injury than Flynn, and that Flynn might be better if needed for a few game stretch. Thus, I thought Tolzien should be active on games days where Rodgers is healthy going in. Thus, Tolzien should be active the rest of the way.

  5. Does anyone truly know the extent of Rodgers’ injury? I haven’t heard an update worth listening to since it occurred back in week 16 against the Buccaneers! I am of a mindset that the Packers are doing a “what they don’t know could hurt them” gambit with the rest of the league, i.e. let the potential playoff foes think that he’s hurt really bad, and then trounce on whoever is next. G.B. needs to get past the divisional round this year to be happy with the season, and if that means withholding a little info from the press, then so be it.

Comments are closed.