Thirteen men on injured reserve. Five of them starters.
Against the Detroit Lions, three men out. Two questionable. Eight probable.
How much is that? Twenty-six of the 53 Packers players who began the season are injured to some degree. One-fourth of our starters have been out at least a few games.
One word describes this: Ouch. The Packers are considered to be one of the most talented teams in terms of depth, but even with this advantage, we're down to bare bones. Playing just about eight guys that are rookies or were signed within the season this past game.
Oh, and Aaron Rodgers just suffered a concussion.
The point is, the Packers are suffering from bad luck, there's no other way to look at it.
If it were only Packer fans voting for the Pro Bowl and everyone was healthy, we'd probably be seeing Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Nick Barnett, Clay Matthews, Nick Collins, Greg Jennings, Ryan Grant and Aaron Rodgers going to Hawaii. With half these guys banged up on and off throughout this season, or being on injured reserve, the Packers are at a serious loss with all these potential Pro-Bowlers this year.
Why the Season is Not Ted Thompson's or Mike McCarthy's Fault
Ted Thompson has done almost all he could for this team. Everyone says that he's at fault because he didn't bring in enough people to fill our roster with quality people from free agency, while the same people are praising him for filling our roster with quality people from the NFL draft.
It's his job to try to run the organization well; to not overpay for players that aren't worth big money. He wants to know his players well before he gives them major contracts, that's why he gives big contracts to his own players.
On the other hand, many people have blamed McCarthy for his inconsistent play calling and bone-headed personnel moves...Doesn't every coach have these types of moments? Granted, yes, he makes them more often than the NFL's best in Bill Belichick of the Patriots, or Mike Smith of the Falcons.
But there's not really any other coach out there you can say has been doing a better job than Mike McCarthy. Packers fans are calling for his head again after the loss to the Lions, what's new? But really, who do you expect Ted Thompson to bring in as our head coach next year? Bill Cowher? He'd never do it. Jon Gruden? Nada. Brian Billick? Probably not.
I'm sure you're wondering when I was getting to why he shouldn't be blamed. Half his roster is injured, he's making young players play the best football they can. Next!
Why the Season is Not the Players' Fault
It's not Ryan Grant's fault that Nick Barnett got injured, and vice versa. Injuries just happen, no matter what. Aaron Rodgers plays the best football he can, and while some of us fans blame him for getting a little too relaxed before games against teams like the Lions, you can't tell me he sits there whole games and lets himself lose. He fights back with passion.
Of his offensive line, two of them in Tauscher and Clifton have been inconsistent all season, due to injuries and age, which is understandable. There were no real options in free agency or in the draft to automatically make our O-line better than it's performing now. The wide receivers have been performing much better than they have the last two years, even without the huge threat of Finley for part of the season.
On the defensive side of the ball, Charles Woodson is just aging. How could you replace the NFL Defensive MVP anyways? Who would you replace him with? Clay Matthews, who has 12.5 sacks on the season has been injured on and off, and has been playing with heart all season long; possibly the most electrifying player on our team.
Tramon Williams has been better than he has since his career began. Sam Shields is playing leaps and bounds better than most undrafted free agents do. Nick Collins has been high-risk, high-reward, as he has been all year.
The other safety spot has been changed many times up until Charlie Peprah was pushed into the starting position shortly after resigning with the Packers; he's been more solid than he has since his career started.
Desmond Bishop, and before Nick Barnett, have played almost the same, maybe some of the better MLB play we've seen the last few years, and the D-line has had so many injuries with Pickett, Jenkins, Neal and Wilson. Don't forget about Johnny Jolly, a really underrated player getting suspended before the season even began.
It Just HAS To Be Someone's Fault!
If it's anyone's fault for the Packers' play this year, it's everyone within the organization. But in this case, it's much easier to blame no one, because if it were Aaron Rodgers', Mike McCarthy's, or someone else's fault, the Packers would be having to rebuild partially if not fully.
The only problem the Packers need to fix is their attitude. Play to win each and every week—every player has to contribute. Even if we finish out this season poorly, we still have a plethora of great football players on our team to look forward to coming back next season.
Keep in mind all, the season is NOT over yet, there's still three more games. And while most people don't believe in Flynn to lead us to much more than a few more losses, just have faith the Packers can win and show support. We need to unite as Packers fans, not argue with each other every chance we get.
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