You've heard the old saying, "one step forward, two back?" The Green Bay Packers have their own version: two players back, three more get hurt.
All week the Packers prepared for the Philadelphia Eagles with Seneca Wallace under center, and the narrative was that a week's worth of practice would work wonders as he tried his best to replace Aaron Rodgers, who is out indefinitely with a broken collarbone. But the Wallace plan went out the window less than 10 minutes in when he went down with a groin injury in what would become a 27-13 loss to the Eagles.
Of course he did. What else did you expect this season? And of course, his replacement — Scott Tolzien — was on the practice squad at the start of the week and was battling for the No. 2 job with Wallace ... in the training camp of the San Francisco 49ers.
All things equal, Tolzien played remarkably well, and who knows? Maybe he's better than Wallace until Rodgers comes back. Tolzien made an ill-advised throw that was intercepted inside the 5-yard line in a momentum-shifting play, and he missed a few opportunities in the loss.
But would the Packers have won with Rodgers? Not with that defense. Even with the return of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, the Packers had few answers for Nick Foles and Riley Cooper, who are not yet eligible for the Hall of Fame. The coverage was poor, the tackling was bad (especially on LeSean McCoy's runs) and there were turnovers to be had — including Tramon Williams, who missed a pair of interception chances — that were not converted.
The offensive line started crumbling, too. Evan Dietrich-Smith and Don Barclay left the game with injuries, and it forced the Packers to shuffle up front and pray that no one else got hurt.
It has felt that way all season. If one guy returns from injury, another two leave. The depth has absolutely been sapped from this roster, and even flawed teams such as the Eagles now can come in and win by multiple touchdowns.
Now, Tolzien has the chore of leading this banged-up team going forward, and it starts with a resurgent New York Giants team.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 10, 2013
Can he make a difference? Not unless the Packers can find other solutions at the other positions that also have been shredded by injury.
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