The Green Bay Packers will be without linebacker D.J. Smith and running back Brandon Saine for the rest of the season.
Both players suffered knee injuries against the Houston Texans on Sunday. Saine has already been placed on injured reserve and the Packers filled his roster spot by claiming running back Johnny White on waivers from the Buffalo Bills.
White is a 5-10, 210-pound bruiser, who was a fifth-round draft pick by the Bills in 2011 out of North Carolina. Like Saine, he’ll probably only see the field on special teams.
Smith’s loss is a bit more of a concern.
He actually became a starter when Desmond Bishop‘s season was ended by a hamstring injury. The Packers will replace him with either Brad Jones, Robert Francois or Jamari Lattimore.
Jones finished the game in Smith’s place on Sunday and has been a part-time starter at outside linebacker for the Packers. Francois started last season alongside Smith in the middle when both Bishop and A.J. Hawk were injured and played well. Lattimore was actually the most impressive of the three in training camp, so the cupboard isn’t exactly bare.
It should also be pointed out that although we was solid against the run and a decent blitzer, Smith wasn’t exactly great in coverage. In fact, you might even say he was terrible.
So it’s probably not time to panic quite yet.
The Packers also received some good news in all of this. Linebacker Nick Perry‘s injury wasn’t as severe as initially thought. We should know more on Wednesday.