Don't expect Charles Woodson to make a permanent transition to safety. In fact, Woodson might need to return to outside cornerback.
Paul Imig of Fox Sports Wisconsin has reported that Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams has only regained 50-percent of his strength in his right shoulder. Williams was diagnosed with a shoulder bruise following the NFL Kickoff Game against the New Orleans Saints on September 8, 2011. Williams played through the injury as he only missed the Week 2 game against the Carolina Panthers on September 18.
Tests on Williams' shoulders were conducted in early June. It's discouraging to hear that five months of offseason recovery has only gotten his shoulder to 50-percent of its normal state. There's a possibility that nerve damage was sustained in that shoulder. When doctors tested the nerves in his right shoulder, Williams claimed that "The nerve might have been firing at maybe 15 percent." Williams could be limited in training camp.
The 29-year-old Williams is a bump-and-run cornerback. This injury affects him more than other defensive backs because of his physical playing style. Williams was essentially playing with one arm last season. That's no good for someone who's supposed to be the shutdown cornerback. Combined with the Nick Collins' injury, lack of pass rush and limited depth in the defensive backfield? You have the makings for a historically inept pass-defense.
The Packers' first six opponents of the 2012-13 NFL season include the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans. The Packers should survive this part of their schedule if they decided to place Williams on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list. Williams would miss the first six games if that occurs. That would give him until mid-October to rest his shoulder, approximately four months.
The Packers' cornerback depth chart includes (but isn't limited to) Sam Shields, Davon House, Casey Hayward and Williams. Jarrett Bush and Woodson are whom I'd consider as tweener defensive backs. Would Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers be ready to use House or Hayward on the outside receivers? If not, then the idea of Woodson permanently moving to safety could change to him moving to outside cornerback.
This situation should be monitored closely. The Packers need an effective shutdown cornerback in a division that features Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall. The Packers need some first-or-second-year defensive backs to step up in 2012.
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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