The calming words of Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy about the injury condition of defensive lineman B.J. Raji were what Packers fans across the world wanted to hear.
Here’s what he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last night: “I don’t have a high level of concern about B.J. Raji’s ankle right now based off the information I was given and also talking with B.J. First play of the game, that’s not a good feeling.”
McCarthy’s last sentence may be a bit of an understatement as all of Packers Nation held its collective breath last night when they saw Raji grabbing his ankle and being assisted by Packers medical staff. It was the first play of the the final preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs – a contest that first of all means nothing and second of all means nothing.
The Packers easily won the game, 24-3, but it was that first play injury which drew much of the attention and concern for Packers fans.
To watch as Raji was injured was pure torture for Packers fans who have already been reeling from the number of injuries suffered over the course of Training Camp this year.
One more injury to one of the most valuable defensive players on an already questionable defense would have been a huge blow. So, when McCarthy uttered his words after the game last night, the Nation could breathe easier.
Judging from what the coach said, it’s hoped that Raji would be ready to go nine days from now when the Packers host the San Francisco 49ers in the 2012 season opener. And judging the Packers second-, third- and fourth-string defenses, the team is going to be in high demand for Raji. Giving up 250 yards on the ground against the Chiefs was disturbing in and of itself and if it’s an indication of what’s to come this season – well, it could be a long season.
Dom Capers needs to get that fixed and do it in a hurry.
The 49ers will take no hostages as they bring in one of the most potent run attacks in the league. Raji needs to heal up in a hurry and the Packers defense needs to address its lack of a run defense immediately.