Let’s have a rundown of the injuries the Green Bay Packers have been dealt thus far into the 2013 season:
Receivers Randall Cobb and James Jones, tight end Jermichael Finley, outside linebackers Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, as well as cornerback Casey Hayward and James Starks, who recently returned to game action this week. Defensive tackle Jerel Worthy also has yet to return off of an ACL injury he suffered late in 2012.
But through it all, the Packers continue to win despite key injuries on both sides of the football, and it’s all thanks to quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The 2011 MVP has kept the offense afloat with only one of his top-four receiving threats in do-it-all man Jordy Nelson, while also integrating young undrafted receivers in second year man Jarrett Boykin and rookie Myles White in place of Cobb and Jones.
The revitalized Packers’ running game, spearheaded by rookie Eddie Lacy, has only added an extra dimension to the offense, with Starks and fellow rookie Jonathan Franklin. But at the head of it all, everything comes down to the 2011 MVP.
With Rodgers at the helm of a four-game winning streak, the Packers are fifth in the NFL in passing yards per game and fourth in rushing yards per game on offense, even with three of the top pass catchers missing time. The Packers have taken the lead in their division, and are playing some of the best football in the NFC, and should be considered one of the top four teams in the conference next to Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints.
From here on out, the Packers have a very favorable schedule. Should they win the majority of those games, the Packers have a shot to be relatively healthy, as Cobb will have returned from designated Injured Reserve, Matthews and Perry will be back on defense, and Jones will also be back in the mix at receiver. The Packers have to like where they are at 5-2 despite missing some of their best and most dangerous weapons on offense and defense.
This has been a young resilient team that the NFL has had the opportunity to showcase. The last time the Packers were bitten with injuries like this was back in 2010. We all know how 2010 ended up for the Packers.
If there’s one thing Rodgers, head coach Mike McCarthy and the Packers have shown the league, it’s to never sleep on the Packers.