Close Article Return to stream X
NFL

B.J. Raji Injury Only A Minor Setback For Green Bay Packers’ Defense

+Read full article
B.J. Raji Green Bay Packers

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

In Friday night’s victory over the Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji suffered a torn bicep; he is expected to miss the entire season due to this injury.

Raji was coming off a very sloppy campaign in 2013, but had been given a one year “prove-it” contract earlier in the offseason. While he was a valuable member of the Packers’ defense for a couple of years, his absence this year will not be a significant challenge for Dom Capers and his defensive unit.

While he is known for having good size and speed considering that size, his athleticism has rarely resulted in a good amount of tackles, sacks or even disruption. Raji’s best statistical season was the Packers’ 2010 Super Bowl winning campaign, during which he earned 39 total tackles and 6.5 sacks. The following year, his numbers dipped, but his overall disruptive play was better, earning him his only Pro Bowl selection. Unfortunately, his play in 2012 and 2013 was very sub par — 17 total tackles in 2013 is a number that is simply too low for any starting defensive lineman in the NFL.

Their young, defensive linemen have been playing well thus far in the preseason. Josh Boyd is showing sparks of greatness, Khyri Thornton is stepping up and getting in the way of offensive linemen, and Datone Jones is showing significant improvement over last year. All three of these young players could be productive starting at nose tackle as well. Of course, there is still Letroy Guion, who was acquired from the Minnesota Vikings earlier in the offseason. Ultimately, there is nothing to indicate that Raji’s 2014 play would be an improvement over his previous couple of seasons.

While many fans were hopeful that his 2014 season would see a return to his former play, Raji’s injury will not have a devastating impact on the defense’ potential for success. Despite the coaches’ optimism, there are players who can step up in Raji’s absence, and there was no actual reason to expect an improvement in his play during the upcoming season.

Chris Langton is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. He also contributes to the MMA page.  Follow him on Twitter @Langtron57, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

Your Favorites
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NFL Videos

Cardinals' Palmer Hits Fitzgerald For Huge Gain

Following a shocking hail Mary touchdown at the end of regulation by the Green Bay Packers, the Arizona Cardinals immediately went down the field in overtime with this huge completion from Carson Palmer to Larry Fitzgerald. This game has been unbelievable.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NFL Videos

Watch Fitzgerald Send Cardinals To NFC Title Game

I pronounce this the greatest game I've ever witnessed. There aren't enough words to describe the ebbs and flows that occurred during the fourth quarter of this NFC Divisional Playoff. Both teams should be proud of the way they played, but the Cardinals will be the ones moving on after this Larry Fitzgerald touchdown.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NFL Videos

Watch Packers Complete Hail Mary As Time Expires

You have got to be kidding me! The Green Bay Packers sent the game to overtime with this insane Hail Mary completion. What are Patrick Peterson and Justin Bethel doing so deep in the end zone. This game has been absolutely insane.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NFL Videos

Watch Cardinals' Palmer Throw Ugly Interception

For someone who played like a MVP all season long, Carson Palmer has looked anything but tonight against the Green Bay Packers. If he doesn't redeem himself in the fourth quarter, the No. 2 seed Arizona Cardinals will be sitting at home watching the playoffs with the rest of us next week.

Comment 0 Comments
 
 
Close Article Return to stream X
NFL Videos

Packers' Lacy Needs Oxygen After This Run

Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy doesn't look like he's missed any meals recently, if you catch my drift. Despite the extra weight he's carrying around these days, Lacy was able to bust out into the open field for this huge 61-yard run.

Comment 0 Comments