Oct 18, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiverJeff Janis
(83) looks to get around San Diego Chargers defensive backDarrell Stuckey
(25) in the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Next Man Up
You all know the injury problems that have stricken this team at times; before a reprieve last season, most of the seasons since Aaron Rodgers has been the quarterback have seen injuries take down large portions of this roster.
Already this season, we’ve seen stalwarts like Jordy Nelson taken out for the year and others for significant portions. Davante Adams has barely played since a Week 2 injury. Andrew Quarless is on IR-Return (set to come back in Week 12). Bryan Bulaga missed three weeks, putting Don Barclay (who himself has returned from an ACL tear in 2014) into the starting lineup in his stead. Along the way guys like T.J. Lang and Morgan Burnett have missed some level of time, too.
This week, we saw even more issues in that regard.
Every team talks about the “next man up” mentality. In a game with the massive attrition rate of football – where the average career barely reaches three seasons – the depth of your team is just as valuable as the talents of one singular player.
This game saw more of that being performed admirably and well.
With all the injuries to his pass-catchers, Aaron Rodgers had to spread the ball around more than usual; on his 16 completions, 9 different players caught at least one, with nobody grabbing more than 2. Players who had barely seen any snaps were getting in on the action.
Jeff Janis caught two deep passes, leading the team with 79 receiving yards. Justin Perillo caught a 21-yard pass. Jared Abbrederis came in on the kick return unit once Montgomery went down, returning a kickoff for 30 yards.
This was true on defense, too. With Raji out, guys like Datone Jones (2 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss, 1 pass defensed, 2 QB hits), Letroy Guion (4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss) and Mike Pennel (1 tackle) had to see more time on the field. With Burnett still out and Richardson gone for the year (and possibly forever), Micah Hyde (10 tackles, 1 pass defensed) had to stay in more often at safety, with Chris Banjo (3 tackles) and Damarious Randall (7 tackles, 2 pass defensed) seeing more snaps because of that.
It wasn’t always pretty – on a day where you allow 500-plus passing yards, it definitely can’t be seen as great – but they produced enough and at the right times to hold off a valiant effort from Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ crew.
Next: Pressure-Packed Plays