2) How big of a blow is the injury to Sam Barrington?
Sam Barrington. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph
Korb: Pretty major in my estimation unfortunately. After stepping up to grab his starting spot later on in 2014, he has been as set as can be as one of the ILB starters; the only question was who would line up next to him. Without him, the already-flailing run defense is poised to fall off even more (somehow). There are other options below him that could be options to step up and produce, but he was better than them and it will be an undoubted step down, especially at first.
McPeak: Injuries play a huge role in today’s game. Losing a starter is a big blow as well as anyone on the depth chart. Dom Capers’ 3-4 scheme and the abundance of linebackers it calls for probably makes this a bigger deal. Barrington is not a death sentence and truthfully is probably a middle of the road player. Peppers or Matthews would be a huge blow.
Wright: It’s critical. Barrington was the Packers best run defender in the middle of the field. He was the field general, play communicator and was just coming into his role. Without him, Matthews will be pulled from OLB and the pass rush will weaken. Aside from Barrington, Nate Palmer and Jake Ryan are the only depth the Packers have at ILB, an already thin unit. It will hurt – and Marshawn Lynch is probably champing at the bit.
Rogalla: It is a blow. I remember a few years back when injuries really plagued the Packers and they won the Super Bowl. Then the next year, they were undefeated going into Kansas City and lost then did not make it back to the SB. Next man up.
George: Sam Barrington going on injured reserve isn’t a major blow to the Packers defense. I like his aggressive mindset and his support against the run, but he was a liability out there against the pass. I actually like Nate Palmer on passing downs more than Barrington, without the club cast of course. However, you never want to lose a starter at any point during the season, but I trust that Dom Capers can call enough defensive schemes to adjust. Whether that is rotating Nate Palmer and Jake Ryan each down or moving Clay Matthews inside for a majority of snaps, I think the Packers will be just fine.
Testin: Not as big as every one thinks it is. It gives the organization an opportunity to see what Jake Ryan has to offer, and see if he will be a key piece to the Packers future.
Next: Third Down