If you have been wondering what happened to the BJ Raji and Nick Perry of the first six weeks, then get in line. Both appeared to be headed for career seasons, landed on the injury report for a couple weeks, and then promptly disappeared.
Well, it appears we finally have our answer, and it’s no revelation to anyone. It is pretty much the same reason we hear why these guys have disappeared for long stretches all throughout both their careers- they are injured.
Nick Perry’s situation is old news by now. After looking like he was turning into something and might demand some money in free agency, he re-injured the same glass shoulder that had him sitting out another year’s worth of OTAs. As it turns out, that shoulder might spell the end of Perry’s career in Green Bay.
I have been a fan of what Perry can be when healthy- namely, the best run defender on the team and the edge rusher with the best bull rush. If you put that across from an elite speed rusher, like Clay Matthews used to be, you’d have something akin to what the Pittsburgh Steelers briefly had in 2010 with James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley. A guy who can shrink the pocket, like Perry can, makes life easier for a guy like Matthews.
Unfortunately, there is what could be versus what often is, and Perry has rarely been healthy enough to set up the scenario that Ted Thompson was likely hoping for when he drafted Perry. Even though Perry has played through the injury more often than not in the last couple seasons, playing with one shoulder essentially nullifies Perry’s best attribute- his strength – which in turn largely nullifies his value to the defense.
For B.J. Raji, remember a seemingly “minor” groin injury that landed him on the injury report and forced him to sit out the Week 6 match up with the San Diego Chargers? Raji returned after the bye and has played every game since. However, that apparently does not mean that Raji is over his groin injury. Raji has seen his snaps reduced over the past few weeks, and the injury was allegedly put forth as the reason why.
Certainly the stat sheet would suggest the same. Raji recorded three tackles in two games and four tackles and a half sack in another before his injury. Since returning, Raji has not had more than two tackles in a game and twice he has been shut out from the stat sheet altogether.
With Mike Pennel and Letroy Guion both picking up their quality of play in the past month, the Packers might leave Raji’s reduced snaps alone and go with more of a rotation from here on out. Such a rotation would be aimed at keeping all three guys fresh for the playoffs.
I hope Mike Pennel is ready to take the majority of the NT snaps next year.
Thanks for the article. It all make sense to me now. Aarons comments and body language. Maybe the play book doesn’t fit the personal or visa versa. I like McCarthy, maybe its time for a new coach or maybe he can change the current play book before the play-offs. We’ll see.