What injuries can’t the Packers afford?
"Tanner writes: We saw what happened when our franchise quarterback missed significant time last year. The season was basically over before it really got started. We know we can’t lose Rodgers for extended time, but who else on this team is irreplaceable in case of serious injury?"
I like this question because it’s very similarly pessimistic to the first one. Packer fans seem to think their team is the most often injured roster in the NFL. Sometimes I think there’s a legitimate gripe to have, but most of the time every other roster is experiencing hardships too.
If a team can make it through the regular season unscathed they’re usually in the driver’s seat to make the Super Bowl. The Falcons and Panthers both come to mind as recent NFC representatives who had a very fortunate lack of injuries to their roster and made the Super Bowl largely because of it.
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I don’t think a major injury to offensive line or receiving corps would be too big of a blow. Jordy Nelson was one of the top receivers in the NFL when he tore his ACL in 2015 and the Packers still made the playoffs. Rodgers was able to make it work with James Jones and Randall Cobb.
David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga missed time last year too causing the Packers to play musical chairs on the offensive line. A running game led mostly by two rookies still was able to manage 4.5 yards per carry, good for third in the league.
The sack numbers were atrocious, but with Rodgers back in at quarterback I expect that number to go way down. He extends plays with his feet to well and can pick up pressures better than Brett Hundley could.
My answer to this question is on the interior defensive line. Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels might be the most underrated Packers in the eyes of the rest of the league. Their sack numbers won’t jump off the page, but they take up bodies and stuff the run as good as anyone.
The Packers were top-10 in yards per carry against while also seeing a top-10 number of rushing attempts against. The Packers were in an unfortunate spot trailing in a lot of games so they saw a lot of rushes. Without Clark and Daniels they probably would’ve been towards the bottom of the league in defensive rush numbers. Instead, they were towards the top. I think they can be one of the best run-stopping units in the league in 2018.
If one, or both, of Clark or Daniels goes down the run defense will be in serious trouble. That’s something I don’t think a rebuilding Packers defense can handle.