B.J. Raji‘s single season “prove it” contract is now a moot point because the happy, nimble nose tackle who brought such promise for an improved run defense to the 2014 Packers, is out for the season after reports have confirmed that he has a torn bicep.
Head coach Mike McCarthy held out cautious hope last night after the game that Raji might still be available to the team this season:
“You have an initial exam. He’s pretty confident about it. That’s why you do the tests. We’ll see what the tests say.”
The tests had plenty to say and it was all bad.
Though the Packers lost three backups so far to injury, tight end Colt Lyerla, offensive lineman Don Barclay and receiver Jared Abbrederis, Raji is the first starter to go down.
Last night against the Oakland Raiders, the Packers inserted Josh Boyd and undrafted rookie Mike Pennel to replace Raji. Though veteran lineman Ryan Pickett is still available and has said he would like to come back to he Packers, it’s probably unlikely the team will reach out to him. The same goes with Johnny Jolly, but he is not a good fit for the nose tackle position.
Here’s what Tyler Dunne tweeted about those possibilities this afternoon:
— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) August 23, 2014
Most likely, the Packers will have to rely on Boyd, Pennel and possibly Letroy Guion to anchor the line. However, Guion hasn’t played a single snap of training camp because of a hamstring injury and nobody knows whether he will be kept around once he team breaks training camp or not.
Time will tell.