Green Bay Packers: Midseason Missteps – ‘Let’s Be Honest’

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The Packers have missed cornerback Sam Shields more than many think during the first half of the season. Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Key Injuries

While the team has stayed predominately healthy, especially when compared with previous seasons … there have been some key injuries that have hurt the Packers chances of bettering their record.

Sam Shields – the injury to Sam Shields has been bigger than I originally thought. The Packers do have defensive depth that they couldn’t boast in years prior.

Casey Hayward is back from a hindering hamstring injury that kept him out all of last season; Davon House has improved significantly over his 2013 performances.

The safety situation seems to be shored up with Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix sharing time with Micah Hyde and Morgan Burnett.

As soon as Shields and Tramon Williams left the game a few weeks ago, everything started to diminish in the secondary. Shields is our best cover corner – the fastest guy on the defense. Without him in the lineup, the Packers are at a distinct disadvantage against guys like Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey.

Morgan Burnett/Tramon Williams – as Shields was already out with a prolonged injury, Williams and Burnett both shared the sideline for a little while. Williams’ ankle injury never held him out of any real game (aside from the last half he missed upon injuring it), but he was hobbled a little bit.

Burnett missed the game against the Saints and his presence was missed. Both guys should return healthy and ready to go for week 10 against the Bears, in prime time.

Datone Jones – Jones has missed several weeks of game action, due to an ankle injury. Though he hasn’t been the most consistent of players, he has come on strong in the beginning of 2014. He was really hitting a groove when the injury sidelined him the last few weeks.

With the lack of pass rush being an issue, the Packers need every pair of fresh legs they can get up front on the defensive line. With a healthy Jones returning to activity after the bye week, the Packers will be back to their healthiest on the defensive line since training camp.

Time will tell if the Packers will be able to fix their mistakes and right the ship, especially on defense.

They have so many good aspects, it’s difficult to believe that just a few negatives would be enough to hold them back from contending in January and February.

However, the “few” negatives are major areas of concern (gaping holes in run defense and the inability to open holes for our own rushing attack).

With a tweak or two over the course of the extended bye week, hopefully Capers and McCarthy can light enough of a fire under the team to protect the hopes and dreams for the second half of the season.