The Green Bay Packers are full of injuries before they have even played a preseason game. The most notable player that will be missing from Thursday’s game against the San Diego Chargers will be wide receiver Greg Jennings.
Jennings suffered a concussion in training camp, as did right tackle Marshall Newhouse, and bother players will miss the game. Both players should be ready to go for the regular season, but it is unclear how much the concussions will linger throughout the rest of the preseason. The amount of injuries this early is staggering and does have general manager Ted Thompson concerned.
”If you have a pretty good balanced start at training camp when you have all 90 of your guys ready to go and then start picking them off, it usually accelerates when a position loses someone,” Thompson said. ”Then it puts more burden on those who are left, and then one more of those go down and it kind of works like that. Alarming is probably not the right word, but it’s concerning because you don’t want to tax your guys that are healthy too much.”
Other players who will be out due to injury are, cornerback Sam Shields, running back Brandon Saine, tight end Ryan Taylor, wide receiver Tori Gurley, running back Du’ane Bennett, offensive lineman Ray Dominguez, fullback Jon Hoese, tight end Eric Lair and offensive lineman Mike McCabe.
Along with the 11 injured players, veteran player Charles Woodson is likely not to play either. Coach Mike McCarthy likes to give his veteran players rest during training camp, but the move did seem odd considering Woodson will be playing a new position. However, with Woodson’s experience he has said that he is able to get all the safety schemes down just from camp.
”I’ve played, really, a ton of safety here since I’ve been here, so I don’t think they foresee it being any problem, and I don’t see it being a problem,” Woodson said.
With the absence of so many players, this game will be a great opportunity for the young players to showcase there talents with even more playing time. Left tackle Herb Taylor has been filling in for Newhouse with the first team offense and will have his opportunity to start against the Chargers. However, coach McCarthy is now more hesitant to player Aaron Rodgers in Thursday’s game with an unproven backup covering his blindside. Expect Rodgers to play one series before he is pulled and backup Graham Harrell will take over.
Packer fans are eagerly awaiting this preseason game to get the disappointment of last year finally out of the way, but don’t expect to get a good look at how well the offense or defense will be this season since there will be a lot of players resting. The key position to watch will be the defensive line where there will be a lot of young players and rookies trying to prove they can help bring back the championship form to this defense from 2010.
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