The Green Bay Packers won their battle with the Houston Texans on October 14, 2012. The Packers beat them 42-24. Unfortunately, they lost three players to knee injuries and one player to a shin injury. How will that affect them in the long term?
The Packers have officially announced that inside linebacker D.J. Smith will miss the rest of the 2012-13 NFL season. Smith suffered a knee injury when he was hit by Texans left tackle Duane Brown. While the Packers haven't disclosed the exact type of injury, the rumor is that it's a torn ACL. Regardless, he won't play again in 2012.
The Packers already lost one of their starting linebackers when Desmond Bishop suffered a serious hamstring injury in the preseason. Smith was replacing him. The Packers now have three linebackers who can compete for the starting position next to A.J. Hawk. These players are Robert Francois, Brad Jones and Jamari Lattimore.
How much does Smith's absence affect the defense? What I liked about Smith was that he had a nose for the football. However, he isn't irreplaceable. Lattimore and Jones shouldn't fare any worse in pass coverage. Hawk has played surprisingly well this year.
Jones played well against the Texans. In his fourth season, Jones basically lost his starting job because he couldn't stay healthy. Ironically, he has a chance to reclaim his job because of injuries to other players. At age 26, this is probably his last chance to prove his worth in the NFL. That's just another motivating factor. The worst case scenario is that he's a serviceable veteran.
The Packers had three other notable injuries. Brandon Saine was placed on injured reserve because of a knee injury. They signed Johnny White off waivers from the Buffalo Bills. Nick Perry suffered a knee injury that shouldn't end his season. Sam Shields suffered a shin injury. That shouldn't result in a long-term injury.
The Packers should get some players back in the next couple of weeks. Derek Sherrod, Frank Zombo and Andrew Quarless are eligible to return from the physically unable to perform list (PUP). Zombo and Quarless are reportedly about ready to practice. Sherrod needs more time. The Packers have been fortunate in that they haven't had any injuries to their offensive linemen.
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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