We’ve made a big deal out of two things that relate to Blake Martinez’s situation.
First, that the Packers continue to employ Joe Thomas, who has been — to a large degree — the reason they’ve become so terrible against the run, more than any other inside linebacker. Thomas is great in coverage, but terrible against the run, where he’s too easily blown backwards or run over.
Second, that the Packers keep sending guys out on the field who aren’t recovered from whatever injury they have.
Martinez has played the past two weeks after suffering a knee injury in week 11 at Washington. However, he’s primarily been relegated to special teams.
So what gives?
Thomas’ liabilities are obvious. If Martinez — who can cover well enough himself AND is big enough to handle the run — is healthy, then he should take Thomas’ role.
Except Martinez apparently isn’t healthy enough. He’s just out there, which has become the Packers’ M.O.
Can you run?
Okay! Get on the field!
Obviously, as an inside linebacker, Martinez needs to be able to move laterally. He’s been playing with a brace on his knee since returning, so that limits that type of movement.
And that’s why we’ve primarily only been seeing him on special teams, where he pretty much just has to run in a straight line.
I guess the question is, would it be wiser to rest Martinez until he can resume his full duties? Thomas, although he arguably just turned in his best game of the season, isn’t doing the Packers any huge favors out there.
Would resting Martinez make a difference? Or do the Packers just need him on special teams so badly they can’t resist putting him on the field?
The answer to the latter question is most certainly no.
We couldn’t tell you the answer to the former, but considering the Packers’ ham-fisted history with injuries this season, we wouldn’t doubt they’re screwing this situation up too.