The Green Bay Packers got a much-needed victory last Sunday over their division rival, Detroit Lions 22-9.
The victory turned out to be costly one for Green Bay as they lost two starters, Brad Jones and Clay Matthews, to injuries. Jones has been ruled out for Sunday’s game after re-aggravating his hamstring against the Lions.
Jones has been dealing with a tight hamstring for the majority of the season after suffering the injury in the preseason. Matthews, on the other hand, is set to miss at least a month after he broke his thumb on Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford‘s arm while going for a sack late in the third quarter.
Injuries are something the Packers are used to dealing with and the team motto the last few years has been “next man up,” so to speak. Mike Neal and Nick Perry will be the two expected to pick up the slack in Matthews’ absence. Both players are coming off arguably their best game as a pro against the Lions last Sunday, so all may not be lost for the Packers’ improved defense.
Offensively, the Packers continued their early season struggles Sunday as they were forced to settle for five Mason Crosby field goals, and were only able to muster up one touchdown on offense. Aside from week two against the Washington Redskins, the Packers’ offense hasn’t played particularly well early in the season. They’ve suffered some injuries on the offensive side of the ball, tight end Jermichael Finley was knocked out of the Bengals game and missed the majority of that game, Eddie Lacy was concussed in the Redskins game early and missed almost the entire game, and James Starks suffered a knee injury in week three and hasn’t played since.
The Packers’ injury list has a few big names on it including: Casey Hayward, Brad Jones, Clay Matthews and James Starks, all will be missed in some capacity Sunday, however, the Packers are relatively healthy and ready to de-throne the defending Super Bowl champions.
Here are the five keys we will be focusing on Sunday when the Packers take their talents to the Crab Cake Capital of the World for a non-conference showdown with the Ravens.