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Erik Walden

We knew the Green Bay Packers weren’t happy with Erik Walden‘s production, or lack thereof, at outside linebacker, but he now appears to have completely lost his grip on a starting spot.

A week after using rookies Vic So’oto and Jamari Lattimore extensively in place of Walden, the Packers threw Frank Zombo and Brad Jones into the mix as well. Jones and So’oto both responded with sacks against the Lions and it now appears Jones may have earned himself a starting spot.

“I thought Brad Jones had a very good game,” Capers said. “I thought he played physical in the run. Of course, he had the sack. I thought he had two or three good rushes. I thought Vic So’oto, you saw him show up in terms of rushing. And Frank Zombo did a pretty nice job in the run, so we’re going to get those guys reps this week and take a good look, see how things go and make a decision on who we decide to go with.”

Jones, who’s primarily been used on special teams this season, finished the regular season with 19 tackles and one sack. He’s more or less been the forgotten man among the team’s outside linebackers, but it now looks like he’ll be playing a sizable roll in the Packers defense during the playoffs.

So’oto only played in seven games, largely because of injuries, and finished the year with seven tackles and one sack. Similarly, Zombo played in only five and recorded 10 tackles and a sack. Although he missed several games because of injury, the Packers also made him a game-day inactive when he was healthy, so they obviously didn’t consider him the solution.

They’re re-evaluating that now.

We expect to see Jones, So’oto, Zombo and perhaps even Lattimore get reps during the playoffs. Whoever is manning the spot opposite Clay Matthews, it doesn’t look like it will be Walden.

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. iltarion January 3, 2012

    It was hilarious. Only a couple plays after the Packers put Walden back on the field, the Lions ran the end around at his side. Of course, he was stuck inside and the play went for a 1st down.

  2. Matt January 3, 2012

    you would think at least one of these guys could step up and be half as good as matthews. now we’ll probably waste a draft pick to address the need

  3. Vijay January 3, 2012

    It’s the D Line and nothing else. Tired of saying it. It all starts up front. That’s why Walden/ Zombo combo looked pretty good last year. And this year, why they don’t.

  4. tkhelland January 3, 2012

    Hoping so’otois the James starks of last year. He has major potential let’s see it come through.

  5. Kristofer from Oshkosh January 3, 2012

    Vijay, though i agree the Dline is part of the reason the Walden/ Zombo combo looked good last year, I do not think it is the whole problem as you suggest. Walden especially is not the same player for whatever reason. He looked better when he didnt know the playbook as well as he does now. The spot opposite CM3 is suffering from poor Dline play and, also, poor linebacker play.