Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What now for the Packers?

Both local and national sports talk shows have been abuzz since Sunday discussing the injury woes of the Green Bay Packers. Expect that to continue for quite some time.

This morning, starting TE and emerging NFL star, Jermichael Finley -- a huge part of the Packers' offensive game plans -- is undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. He'll be out 3 to 6 weeks, not the 2 to 3 initially speculated here and elsewhere. Ouch. In more ways than one. TE Donald Lee is likely also out a couple weeks with a chest sprain. So we'll be seeing a lot more of the young tight ends, Andrew Quarless and Tom Crabtree.

Starting LB Nick Barnett will undergo surgery on his wrist tomorrow, after which they will be able to determine whether it's a season-ending situation (the second in three years for Barnett) or whether he can make it back. Some reports are indicating that it might be 8 weeks before Barnett could return. Given that leaves only about 2 regular season games and playoffs (assuming the Pack could actually make it given their current situation), the question then becomes whether or not GM Ted Thompson would hold that roster spot for Barnett. Given the hits nearly across the board with injuries of varying kinds, Thompson might be hard pressed to do so. It seems unlikely.

QB Aaron Rodgers will be held out of practice at least some of this week due to the concussion he suffered on Sunday. It's possible he could miss the game against Miami if he is not cleared by a third-party neurologist. Backup Matt Flynn will be preparing, as he must, as if he'll get the start.

S Derrick Martin is also out at least several weeks with a knee injury. Again, it might be a numbers game here with Thompson: hold the roster spot or put Martin on injured reserve to get a body? My guess is the latter.

The news on LB Clay Matthews was good, all things considered: his hamstring strain is not as serious as it's been in the past. Having said that, however, it's possible Matthews could still be held out of the Miami game so he's ready to go against the ViQueens (who, by the way, lost to the Jets last night in New York...or wherever that new stadium is...oh, and did I mention the 'Queens fate was sealed on -- what else? -- an interception in the closing minutes off a pass by Ol' #4? Say it with me: awwwwwwww...).

DE Ryan Pickett has an ankle sprain with no apparent timetable for playing. He could be ready to go this weekend.

On the good news front -- yes, there is at least one silver lining -- LB Brandon Chillar will practice this week and could also see action against the Dolphins.

Keep in mind, also, that S Atari Bigby, CB Al Harris and RB James Starks will technically be available to rejoin the team after this next game. But if in fact they will be activated and ready to make contributions of the kind needed right now, that's anyone's guess.

Guess it's that time, Packer fans...let us pray...