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It’s not time to panic yet, but comments here on Total Packers show a lot of apprehension that injuries might dim the soaring hopes that have come with the overdue coaching change, some exciting draft choices, and the team’s costly free agent acquisitions.

After a knee injury ended the 2018 season for running back Aaron Jones, it’s alarming that he’s already had to sit out most of the first two weeks of training camp. With the run game being the foundation of Coach La Fleur’s offense, Aaron’s injury issues could be devastating.

The Packers haven’t said much about Jones, who’s been out for over a week with hamstring “tightness.” They’ve definitely been cautious in holding him out from practice, to keep a minor problem from become major.

Aaron Jones - Packers v Falcons

Dec 9, 2018; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Then there’s his running mate, Jamaal Williams, who is also dealing with hamstring problems. After missing four practices in late July, Williams is felt to have the more serious injury. His timetable to return is “not yet clear.”

Should the Packers’ backfield mainstays from last year start missing action, it does open up opportunities for two even less experienced offensive backs. First, there is Dexter Williams, the sixth-round pick out of Notre Dame. Many, myself included, consider him a steal – he’s lightning quick at making his initial cut, and he has the speed to turn routine runs into big plays.

The other option is fourth-year pro Danny Vitale. He’s a great prospect, as he’s an adept lead blocker and receiver. If he’s the only back alongside Aaron Rodgers, however, he’s seldom been used as a rushing threat, whether in the pros or when playing for Northwestern.

Switching to the defense, Kevin King, the cornerback with so much ability, has missed over half the games in his two years with the Packers. In 2017, he wound up on injured reserve after dislocating his shoulder a number of times. After winning a starting job in 2018, he missed two early games with a groin injury, and then missed another four games with a hamstring injury, before again being placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season.

This time around, King was healthy all the way up to the Family Night scrimmage on August 2. GM Brian Gutekunst hastened to assure worried fans, saying: “It sounds like he’s going to be OK and it shouldn’t be a long-term thing.” The Packers also indicated they don’t think the current injury is related to last year’s issues. We’ll have to await more clarity on King’s status. To date, using the 33nd overall draft choice on the University of Washington product has not provided a decent pay off.

Unlike during the regular season, the Packers aren’t required to, and do not, provide a formal weekly injury report, so reports of most injuries come out in drips and dabs.

We do know that Josh Jackson, another high-round cornerback draftee (45th overall in 2018), has missed all of training camp so far with a non-football foot injury. In his rookie season, Jackson appeared in all 16 games, with 49 tackles, 10 passes defended, one fumble recovery and a special teams touchdown – so any missed games by him would be a serious loss.

Most other reported injuries have been minor: S Darnell Savage missed a few days after having wisdom teeth removed just before training camp began; TE Jace Sternberger was evaluated for a concussion after the first joint practice with the Houston Texans on Monday; center Corey Linsley missed practice on Monday with a biceps injury; DL Fadol Brown has missed some time due to a calf injury; LB Preston Smith missed team drills on Tuesday due to back tightness; LB Kendall Donnerson has been dealing with a hamstring injury, and WR Jake Kumerow is nursing a sore pinky finger.

Finally, Corey Grant, a running back acquired from the Jaguars on July 26, is still recovering from a Lisfranc (foot) injury that ended his 2018 season. Should the fifth-year pro return to full health, imagine the Packers finding themselves with a running back and kick returner with 4.24 – 4.30 dash speed, as variously clocked at a Pro Day at Auburn in 2015.

It’s not the number of injuries, or even their severity that has Packers fans concerned. It’s that they’ve beset some key cogs in the Packers machinery: Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams on offense, and Kevin King and Josh Jackson on defense. In the cases of Jones and King, both third-year pros have troubling NFL injury records: in addition to playing with injuries, Jones has entirely missed eight of 32 games, and King has only appeared in 15 of his 32 games.

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Rob Born

Due to Aaron Rodgers’ reckless ways, I’m officially launching the Campaign for GM Gutekunst to Acquire the Best Available (Veteran) Backup Quarterback – NOW.

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20 Comments

  1. Ferris August 9, 2019

    Using the 33rd pick has not provided a decent payoff. Understatement of the millennium. They should have drafted Watt and everyone on the planet not named Ted Thompson knows it. Just cut him like they did Spriggs, he is a lost cause. 15 of 32 games and trending down. $1.5M dead money….bye bye

  2. Robster August 9, 2019

    Addendum: Yesterday the Pack released speedster Corey Grant and added safety Ibraheim Campbell in his place.

    1. Howard August 10, 2019

      Then the Packers put Campbell immediately on the PUP. I could be wrong, but didn’t Campbell tear his ACL last December? If the torn ACL is true, I don’t think you come back before mid season. This looks like a move to put a guy that I believe Pettine likes on the team (PUP) for mid season return (maybe) without using a spot on the 53. Campbell did play well when he got a chance to play, but is fragile.

  3. KILLER August 9, 2019

    What? Whiny excuse making already? ALREADY?

    Wait a while, lose a few regular season games, then whine.

    These injuries all sound minor and the number of them sounds typical this time of year. How many major knee injuries that will keep them out for the whole season? None? Zero? Wait until at least three starters will be out for the full year. Then, maybe, complain a little. Or one if it is your psycho QB.

    As an example of typical: The Vikings have their two starting DTs missing practices and scrimmages, their #1 pick from last year on PUP maybe until mid year — with a major knee injury from last year that basically tore all possible ligaments, a top CB suspended for the 1st 8 games, our top run-blocking TE out indefinitely, our #1 TE not practicing and questionable for Wk 1 vs, Falcons, a back up DE out for the year with a major knee injury, our top back up OT out indefinitely, our starting RT with an arm injury, and etcetera with various others.

    So the Vikings are worse off injury wise — at least 2 out all year, at least 2 more out half a year, and with 4 starters out already. But I’m not complaining or whining I’m just pointing out the Packers have nothing to whine about. The injury issue for them is less than the Vikings and less than the majority of teams. You should be celebrating your good luck not trying to use it as an excuse.

    Just saying.

    1. PF4L August 9, 2019

      Lol…i’m sure there are a lot of queen fans whining about all their teams injuries in queen football blogs. But i wouldn’t know that because i just don’t have the desire and i’m not lonely enough to visit those sites. I visit one site, that’s all the time i’m willing to invest. It’s a Packer site….go figure right?
      ***
      I suppose i could infiltrate some queen websites and make my presence known, but then they’d probably wonder wtf is wrong with me.
      ***
      Just saying

  4. NobodysBurfect August 9, 2019

    PF4L – There are Vikings fan sights?

    Back on topic though, all you had to do was look at King before he played a snap to see where this was going. He’s built like a lamppost.

    1. PF4L August 9, 2019

      Yea…i vaguely remember one commenter in here stating King seemed too frail. But that wasn’t something the Packers didn’t know before they drafted him. They knew he was tall and skinny, they knew he had shoulder problems. But they decided to roll the dice (again) because they wanted someone long and tall.
      This team has got to start hitting on acquisitions, or everyone’s updating their resumes. If that happens, even Ted might get cut off the payroll.

    2. PF4L August 9, 2019

      That made me think back to how long it takes the Packers to fix positions, vs how long it takes the Patriots.
      We need corners sine what…2014/15? It’s now 2019 and were hoping on a 2nd year player.
      ***
      We’ve been looking for a tight end since…2013/14? Now were banking on Jimmy G and his 18 million to outperform his 2TD’s from last season.
      ***
      O line…2015/16? Ok, Packers signed Billy Turner, paying him 11 million first year. Yes you read that correctly, 11 million for the 33rd ranked guard in the NFL. the excellence of Russ Ball. We’ll see.
      ***
      Should i bring up the outside pass rush? Are we set at running back? How about safety? We all set at the corner position?
      ***
      Almost unending amirite?
      ***
      The Packers in recent history are far better at compounding positional problems annually, than they are in fixing them. Can Gute stop the bleeding?
      ***
      But they spent the big money this season, so now lets kick back and find out what it yields.
      ***
      PF4L..No BS Zone

  5. SCPKRFAN August 9, 2019

    That’s “sites” not sights

  6. Stiggy August 10, 2019

    Speaking of injuries (or headcases hiding behind injuries)….IIRC this board was divided on whether or not the Packers should have pursued Antonio Brown to line up with Rodgers window. Sometimes a GMs best moves are their non moves. Not sure if the packers were even in on Brown…but thankfully they didnt go for him.

    1. thomaslind949yahoocom August 11, 2019

      Good point, Stiggy Brown is now threatening to end his career if he can’t wear the helmet that he’s worn since he became a pro .Which is in violation of the league safety standards for the helmets they can use. He is a cancer! I’m glad he’a a Raider.

  7. thomaslind949yahoocom August 10, 2019

    Charles Woodson had the same build that king has. Go look at some pictures.

    1. PF4L August 11, 2019

      That’s interesting, they look similar?
      Here’s what isn’t similar.
      ***
      In their first 2 seasons in the league, lets compare production…..
      ***
      King = 36 solo tackles, 1 interception, 7 passes defended
      ***
      Woodson = 110 solo tackles, 2 FF, 6 interceptions (2 pick 6), 35 passes defended. Didn’t miss a game until his 5th season.
      ***
      Same build? Is that something like Jeff Janis having the same combine metrics as Julio Jones?
      ***
      Kings name shouldn’t even be brought up in the same conversation as Woodson.

    2. PF4L August 11, 2019

      After this season, i’ll compare the production of Woodson, and T Willy’s last two years in the league. As it stands, for T Willy just to match Woodson’s production, he’ll need to have 101 solo tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF and 9, yes 9 interceptions this season. Not too mention T Willys deal pays him 2 million more than Woodson’s.
      ***
      Make sure to get your copy of Russ Ball’s new book, Negotiating NFL Contracts….For Dummies.
      ***
      Am i a little too rough on our beloved Green Bay Packers? G D right i am.

    3. PF4L August 11, 2019

      T Willy….
      ***
      2017…Arizona Cardinals…1.975 million
      ***
      2018…Green Bay Packers…5.25 million
      ***
      2019…Green Bay Packers…4,750 million
      ***
      To date, best season was 2017

    4. thomaslind949yahoocom August 11, 2019

      PF4L Does that stand for Pathetic F- – – head 4 life My comment was in response to the “King being built like a lamppost” comment. His build IS very similar to Woodson’s. I didn’t say anything about his stats, you mindless buffoon!! Ever think about anger management courses?

    5. PF4L August 12, 2019

      Yes i have….and i think you should take advantage of them as soon as possible.
      ***
      Holy shit, calm down little man.

  8. Skinny August 10, 2019

    Oren Burks most likely done for the year unless he pulls a Reggie White and god heals him.

  9. TyKo Steamboat August 11, 2019

    Oren Burks out for the season?
    Well fuck me, Britt McHenry

  10. PF4L August 11, 2019

    In the top 100 problems of the Green Bay Packers, Oren Burks is listed at 97.