We’ve already documented the lack of production — or lack of a second-year jump — from Kyler Fackrell. Literally no one has anything good to say about that guy.
The other backup outside linebacker is Jayrone Elliott. Is he any good?
Well, he wasn’t last year. The year he was finally supposed to turn all of that preseason action into regular-season playmaking.
Elliott registered 19 tackles and a single sack in 2016. Those numbers were down from 24 and three when he was a bit player in 2015.
So how is Elliott doing this preseason?
Well, have you noticed him?
And this puts the Green Bay Packers in a precarious position.
Their starting outside linebackers are Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. How many times have those guys gotten injured? How many games have they missed?
We’re not even going to count.
Thus, there is a very real chance that Elliott or Fackrell might have to see significant playing time this year.
And that won’t really be any good for anyone.
Just listen to Matthews.
“Listen, the reality is that the pass rush this year, the majority of the impact that we anticipate has got to come from me and Nick,” Matthews said. “Those guys have now bumped up into kind of that second-tier slot. There was a four-man rotation last year with Datone and Julius. I don’t know if we’re asking anything more from them or if they need to do anything more. I think they just need to stay ready and make sure there’s not a lapse in play in that time that Nick and I aren’t on the field.”
A real ringing endorsement, huh?
The thing is, we all know it’s unlikely for Matthews and Perry to play all 16 games. We’re not saying the Packers should have necessarily re-signed Datone Jones or Julius Peppers. One was garbage from the start and the other is over the hill.
But most certainly, the Packers were counting on Fackrell to make the good old second-year leap. He hasn’t. Elliott?
He just looks like a guy.
And that’s bad for the Packers. If and when the Matthews and Perry go down, Elliott and Fackrell are next up. And so where does that leave the Packers?
Not in a good place.