Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Packers starting to get thin

No, Packer fans, we're not talking about some new diet regimen in the Pack's dining facility. We're addressing the fact the the roster of the Green Bay Packers is starting (continuing?) to take some hits.

Obviously, we're aware of the injuries which have carried over from last season: Al Harris, Atari Bigby, etc. Then the Pack loses Ryan Grant in the first game of the season for the season. Ditto for the perpetually-injured Justin Harrell. Rookie D-lineman Mike Neal has yet to really be available for a game. LB Brandon Chillar has been dinged up. Rookie safety Morgan Burnett was lost for the season in the game versus Detroit. And, of course, Johnny Jolly was suspended for the season before he even got a chance to get injured.

So analysts are now making the argument that the Packers' team that many thought would be ready to take a step toward the Super Bowl -- some even going so far as to say the Packers were the favorites to win the Super Bowl -- is not the team on the field now...and that changes the dynamics considerably.

Yes, even without Grant, the Pack still has a potent offense although they have yet to really establish any consistency over four quarters. But it's the defense that is starting to look thin.
Especially now that reports indicate that LB Nick Burnett could be lost for the season for the second time in three years. He's seeking a second opinion on an injured wrist so nothing final yet.

But with all the recent clamor among Packer fans over the fact that GM Ted Thompson hasn't gone after any running back help, i.e., Marshawn Lynch, we may lose sight of the fact that it's the defense that is looking vulnerable from a roster standpoint at the moment. (Oh, by the way, there is a report by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the Packers were in fact heavily involved in discussions with Buffalo to work a deal for Lynch. See that article for the complete details.)

So, while the Pack will be getting Harris and Bigby back in a couple weeks there's no saying exactly what that will mean. What will they be able to do and how quickly can they get up to game speed?

It's still early in the season and the Packers sit atop the NFC North with that bunch from south of the Border (that would be Chicago for the uninformed and Midwesternly-geographically-challenged). But Minnesota may -- may -- have gotten better with the acquisition today of WR Randy Moss. Either the current Packer players will need to step up if more of the starters go down...or...Thompson will need, despite his tendencies not to want to do so, to pull the trigger on a deal or deals to bolster the defense.

A quarter of the way into the season things are getting slightly more iffy than they were when the season started.

P.S. We're running a poll for the next 7 days about what you think the Packers should do in terms of their roster. You'll find it in the righthand column. Let's hear from you!