Someone we should want to see more of is Fackrell, however.
In the first quarter of the year, Fackrell was doing well in limited snaps. He picked up a couple sacks and forced a fumble in just 65 snaps on defense. With his strong play in limited chances and injuries hitting Clay Matthews hard (missing the past two games as well as seeing limited time in another), it seemed like a great chance to unleash more of Fackrell on the opposition.
Despite only 27 snaps going to Matthews in the past three games, Fackrell did not see any sort of usage increase; in fact, he saw a decrease, picking up just 48 snaps over the past four games.
Instead of giving the Matthews-less snaps to Fackrell, the team has decided to hand more of the snaps to Julius Peppers and Datone Jones. Granted, those players have done pretty well in the snaps given to them (each have a comparable-or-better pass rush PFF grade to Fackrell), but it does feel like having an option such as Fackrell out there more often — even if it cuts into the snaps of those other guys.
The trend as it stands doesn’t bode well for Fackrell seeing the field, and neither does the fact that Matthews should find his way back to the field sometime soon. He was close to playing against the Colts before a flare-up of his hamstring injury a couple days before caused the coaching staff to play it safe.
Once Matthews returns — combined with the Nick Perry/Jones/Peppers triumvirate holding onto whatever snaps Clay isn’t getting — there will again be little left for Fackrell snap-wise. Barring multiple injuries ahead of him, there’s nothing seemingly working in Fackrell’s favor in his hunt for playing time as this season continues on.
From the Packers’ standpoint, that’s probably a good problem to have; a deep stable of options to throw at opposing quarterbacks which can survive an injury or two.
For Fackrell, it just means we likely won’t see much of him on defense.
Special teams is another story. Fackrell leads all Green Bay players in special teams snaps (156) and he has been one of the players constantly making his way into the play-by-plays by being there to end opposing return plays with his swift showings on the coverage unit.
This is not the most glamorous area, but at least he’s getting to play, and he’s doing well while he’s out there.
He better get used to it.