Here’s Who Will Have To Step Up For Packers At Seattle
As expected, the four starters the Green Bay Packers left back in Green Bay have now been officially ruled out. Those players are receiver Randall Cobb, safety Kentrell Brice, cornerback Kevin King and linebacker Nick Perry.
This will obviously mean playing time for some players who have had varying levels of that through the course of the season.
Rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling has obviously moved into the Packers No. 2 receiver role. Geronimo Allison is on injured reserve and Cobb has played in the same number of games that he will now have missed. Valdes-Scantling has played at least 54 snaps in five of the last six weeks and has performed. On the season, he has 23 catches for 402 yards and two touchdowns.
Equanimeous St. Brown, another rookie, will need to step up as the No. 3. His usage has been up and down through the season. However, he looks like the Packers best option as the third receiver at this point. The wild card could be Trevor Davis, who will be returning from injured reserve this week.
Davis hasn’t done anything in his NFL career as a receiver, but he has the same body type as Cobb. He also has the speed Cobb used to have. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Packers game him some snaps in the slot.
To replace Brice, the Packers will need to look to Josh Jones. The 2017 second-round pick played a season-high 61 snaps in week 10. This was after getting 51 snaps in week 9 and playing just four the entire season prior to that.
The good news about Jones is we haven’t really noticed him the past two games. Jones regularly made mistakes and had mental lapses as a rookie. So while he isn’t necessarily making plays, Jones has been solid. In this case, no news is good news.
With King out, the Packers will go to Josh Jackson. The rookie played every defensive snap last week, when King was also out. Bashaud Breeland also got a large percentage of the snaps in week 10. However, it should be noted that he’s questionable for the Seattle game.
Jackson hasn’t been spectacular like Jaire Alexander has at times this season. He doesn’t have an interception and has five passes defended. He did show up with a season-high seven tackles last week, however. And in playing every defensive snap, it’s obvious the coaching staff trusts him.
The Packers will be thin at outside linebacker with Perry out. They only kept four guys at the position to begin with. Clay Matthews does come off the field from time to time. That means Kyler Fackrell and Reggie Gilbert will get plenty of time and need to show up.
Fackrell, once one of our favorite whipping boys, has actually been playing well this year. His snaps have increased almost week to week. He’s tied with defensive tackle Kenny Clark for the team lead with five sacks.
Gilbert has 2.5 sacks, but he has more tackles than Fackrell at 24-18. Both of them should see plenty of action on Sunday to pad those numbers to whatever degree they can.
If there’s a big vulnerability here, it’s the outside linebacker position. Seattle leads the league in rushing offense with 152.2 yards per game. None of the Packers outside backers have been very adept and defending the run this season. The Seahawks are doing this by committee too.
Leading rusher Chris Carson has 497 yards. Mike Davis has 346. Rashaad Penny has 254. The Packers are 22nd in the league in rushing defense. And that has been with Perry, who was once considered the team’s best run defender.