The Green Bay Packers seem to always have the injury bug contagiously running through their team. The Packers have already placed four players (offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga and running back DuJuan Harris are among the four) on the season-ending IR, and the Packers have another 13 games left in 2013.
In 2010, despite winning Super Bowl XLV, the Packers placed 15 players on the IR. 2011 wasn’t so bad, except that the Packers lost ball-hawking safety Nick Collins to a career-ending neck injury. In 2012, another great handful of players such as Bulaga, outside linebacker Nick Perry and linebacker Desmond Bishop were placed on the IR as well.
For the Packers though in 2013, it could be a lot worse than it has been. Green Bay has been fortunate enough to have an efficient replacement, rookie David Bakhtiari, at left tackle. The Packers are also lucky to have so much depth at the running back position, as Green Bay is averaging 128 rushing yards per game (ninth in NFL).
In their Week 3 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Packers were without safety Morgan Burnett (hamstring), running back Eddie Lacy (concussion) and fullback John Kuhn (hamstring). During the same game, the Packers lost running back James Starks (knee), tight end Jermichael Finley (concussion) and All-Pro Clay Matthews (hamstring) to injuries.
Good news for the Packers though? Burnett, Lacy, Kuhn, Finley and Matthews are all expected to play this weekend. Starks is still out, but rookie running back Johnathan Franklin (foot) and special teams ace Jarrett Bush (hamstring) are both expected to return as well.
The Packers have had a rough start to the season, but there is no need to worry. Under head coach Mike McCarthy, the Packers are 6-1 coming out of the bye week. In the NFL, it’s dangerous to play a team coming off of a loss or a bye. It’s even more frightening to play a team coming off of both.
The Detroit Lions will not be a cakewalk by any means for the Packers on Sunday, but health is finally starting to get back on the Packers’ side. Green Bay better hope health stays on their side for the next three months as well.