4. Ty Summers
Stat line: 9 tackles
When the Packers decided to let Blake Martinez walk, no-one really blamed them.
Sure, Martinez was a tackling machine but hardly ever did he come through with a big play. Martinez’s speed and coverage skills were adequate but not at all game-changing.
The team then signed Christian Kirksey to help provide something more than what they had. They knew he was an injury risk but he could also help in ways Martinez couldn’t.
The Packers were also very thin at the position having Oren Burks and Ty Summers as the only other players with NFL experience. But Burks has been hurt and Summers only saw time on special teams.
When Kirksey wen’t down with a shoulder injury in the second quarter of Sunday night’s win, there was cause for major concern. The team was already having a hard time stopping the Saints’ All-Pro back Alvin Kamara.
Summers came in and did a respectable job, finishing the game as the team leader in tackles while flawlessly taking over as the play-call relay for the defense. Summers may not have the natural skill set Kirksey does, but he does appear to be an upgrade athletically from Martinez.
The team may need more from Summers as it appears Kirksey’s injury is going to keep him out of at least their next game against Atlanta. But Summers and Burks, who also had a good showing (especially in pass coverage), look like they can handle the task.