Friday, November 23, 2007

Packers banged up

It's that time of the NFL season when team depth starts to show, well, how deep it is. (Is that a redundancy?) Fortunately for the Packers, they have so far been able to fill every hole that has opened up. Some folks questioned the reasoning in keeping 11 defensive linemen. Not any more. Example: yesterday Colin Cole was not only activated for one of the few games this season but saw a lot of action because of the injury the prior week to Johnny Jolly. Cole wound up fracturing his forearm during the game and he is definitely out for the game against the Cowboys and perhaps longer if surgery is required. Mike Montgomery came in and was involved in several pressures and tackles. This coming week, with both Jolly (out indefinitely) and Cole definitely out, that means first round pick Justin Harrell and Daniel Muir, another rookie, will move up in the D-line scheme.

Others who came out of the game nicked up include: Charles Woodson, who apparently has a jammed toe suffered on his 34-yard punt return; KGB, who hurt his ankle; Aaron Rouse, who was starting in place of the injured Nick Collins, came out with a knee injury; Mark Tauscher's already injured ankle made him give way late in the game for Tony Moll; Donald Driver appeared to have a sore ankle after getting rolled up on while blocking on a rushing play.

Of course, some players have already been out for a while: Bubba Franks and Will Blackmon among them.

So, as we go into this showdown of 10-1 teams next Thursday night -- only the fifth time in the last 60 years that two teams with 10 wins or better have matched up in the regular season -- it might be important to keep an eye on the injury reports for both teams. If you want to keep up to date on the Packers injury status, go here. If you care to keep an eye on the Cowboys injuries, go here.

The Pack needs as many of their topline players available as possible come next Thursday. Given that veteran players like Woodson, Driver, and Tauscher will want to be in that game, count on adrenalin to help carry them onto the field if at all possible. The Pack will need to be firing on all cylinders for the entire 60 minutes of the game. If the starters can't go, the back ups have to be ready. So far this season, they have been. And they'll have to take their game to another level. This game could very well determine home field advantage throughout the playoffs. It will be the Pack's biggest challenge yet. They have the team -- and the coaching -- to get it done. Let's get ready to r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-umble!!!