Green Bay Packers second-year cornerback Casey Hayward, who led the team and NFL in interceptions as a rookie last season (six), has not yet seen the field for the team this year as he deals with a nagging hamstring injury. His absence on the field is clearly being shown early on.
The Packers’ defense seems to be finally coming together and they are playing much more as a team. They are getting more pressure on quarterbacks and not missing many tackles in the open field, and that must be very encouraging for head coach Mike McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dom Capers.
Along with the pressure, the defense has created five total turnovers and scored a touchdown. However, without Hayward, the secondary still has some question marks.
Hayward’s replacements so far this season have consisted of Davon House, Jarrett Bush and rookie Micah Hyde. All three have done a decent job, but it was clear last week that teams are going to pick on House or Bush. They can expect a lot of balls thrown their way while Hayward is gone. Cornerbacks Sam Shields and Tramon Williams have proven themselves and teams will not attack them while House and Bush are on the other side.
Once Hayward returns (there is still no timetable), the Packers’ secondary will be extremely tough. Having Shields, Williams and Hayward will make it difficult on opposing teams to throw, and the secondary will create many more turnovers.
I have complete faith that Hayward and the training staff will push hard to get him back to 100 percent and fans will see him on the field shortly doing what he does best — creating havoc!