COMMENTARY | The Green Bay Packers have had one of the worst seasons in recent history as far as the injury bug goes. It seems as if the Packers can't go one week without piling up another key injury. There are major question marks beginning to surround the Packers as their roster continues to get pushed closer and closer to the breaking point.
Clay Matthews is gone for at least a month due to a broken thumb, while his replacement Nick Perry broke his foot this past week against the Baltimore Ravens and will miss a chunk of time. Eddie Lacy went down and missed a couple weeks of action due to a concussion suffered against the Redskins and his replacement, James Starks, got injured the next week. Lacy is back now and playing at full speed, but he's just another player who has been bothered with injury.
This past week the Packers suffered what will likely be the biggest injury of them all to this point. Rising star wide receiver Randall Cobb was hit low and wound up fracturing his fibula, and will miss six to eight weeks. The Packers were already thin at wide receiver due to a knee injury sustained by teammate James Jones. Green Bay did take steps to help fill the void that Cobb will leave by signing wide receiver Myles White from their practice squad. White may be a rookie, but he did receive praise from Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' coaching staff during the preseason. You can expect to see him leave everything he has out on the field each and every play he sees action in.
While Cobb is definitely out for the foreseeable future, it sounds as if James Jones could have a chance to play in the Packers' Week 8 match-up against the Cleveland Browns. That is one of the best things that the Packers have heard as far as injuries go this year. They certainly cannot continue to lengthen their injury report at the rate they have been if they want to have a shot at competing for a Super Bowl appearance.
Clay Matthews and Nick Perry are huge blows for an already struggling Packers defense. Without either of them, their pass-rush will certainly take a hit. Mike Neal will be asked to step up and play a larger role, but you just can't replace the production that both Matthews and Perry bring to the table. The entire Packers defense will have to pull together and find a way to get by during the next few weeks that these two key pieces will miss.
Another area that has been riddled with injuries is the offensive line. Many Packers fans are upset with the line and rightfully so, but you can't discount the impact that the injuries have had on Aaron Rodgers' protection. Injuries have hit Green Bay in the past, but there isn't a season in recent memory that stands out as bad as the year that we are witnessing right now. This Packers team has their backs pushed up against the wall, and now we get to see how they will respond.
Overall, this Packers team has done an admirable job of playing through the difficulties that the injury bug has caused them. Their team is about as close to collapse as you can get with the amount of injuries they've sustained, but the players still feel very confident about their chances to compete as the season moves forward. A.J. Hawk stepped up in a big way this past Sunday against the Ravens by recording three sacks and ten total tackles. They will need players both on offense and defense to realize the situation that the team is in, and play to a level that they have never played at before.
Evan Massey lives in Indianapolis and has followed the Green Bay Packers for the past 16 years. He has written for many sports websites including Hoops-Nation.com, Pro Football Spot, and Naptown's Finest. Follow Evan on Twitter at @massey_evan.
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