Packers lose yet another defensive player to injury

Green Bay Packers, Joe Barry (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Joe Barry (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

In Matt LaFleur’s first two seasons with the Green Bay Packers, the team had relatively good luck when it came to injuries. But not this year.

On defense, the Packers have already lost their best edge rusher, Za’Darius Smith, potentially for the season. Star cornerback Jaire Alexander is also out of action and it’s unclear how long he will miss.

Kevin King has missed the past two games, while Preston Smith played through injury last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pass rush depth is already a concern for the Packers, and they have now potentially lost another outside linebacker for the year.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, backup edge rusher Chauncey Rivers suffered a non-contact knee injury at practice on Wednesday and is headed for injured reserve. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reported that Rivers tore his ACL.

This means that Rashan Gary, Preston Smith, and Jonathan Garvin are the only healthy pass rushers on the roster currently.

Rivers has been a backup on defense this season. He’s played in all four games, making two tackles. Rivers played on around a third of the defensive snaps against the Steelers, according to Pro Football Reference.

Rushing the passer has been an issue for Green Bay’s defense this season. Through four games, the defense has a pass rush win rate of 40 percent, ranking just 23rd in the NFL, according to ESPN.

The Packers will likely need to bring in another pass rusher.

It’s been a rough season for the Packers when it comes to injuries, and we’re only a month in. Along with the list of defensive injuries the team is dealing with, they’ve also been without two key offensive players. All-Pro tackle David Bakhtiari is out for at least the opening six games of the season, while Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins is still dealing with an ankle injury that has kept him out the past two weeks.