We all bitched about it, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy included. That is, the Packers’ week 4 bye, the earliest bye week on the NFL’s schedule. Well, things have changed.
McCarthy has reversed course and he’s now pretty happy about the bye coming in week 4. Why?
The same reason any football team likes a bye week — injuries.
“I never thought I would say this,” McCarthy said, “but for as different a schedule that we have, it’s a great time to have the bye, because we need it. That’s where we are.”
The Packers were without four starters against Detroit, all on the defensive side of the ball. They were Clay Matthews, Letroy Guion, Morgan Burnett and Sam Shields. Another regular, Datone Jones, also sat. Tight end Jared Cook went and sprained his ankle during the game. You’ve also still got receiver Jeff Janis running around with a club on his hand.
So even though it’s only week 4, the Packers are beat up. And really, what’s new about that?
What’s perhaps more concerning is this. With the early bye, the Packers will follow up with games in at least 13 straight weeks.
If they couldn’t stay healthy through three weeks, what are they going to look like in week 17.
Half the team will probably be on injured reserve by then.