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Seneca Wallace Will Reshape Green Bay Packers Offense in Wake of Aaron Rodgers Injury

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COMMENTARY | With Aaron Rodgers out for at least the next few games, the Green Bay Packers are going to have to rely on Seneca Wallace.

I don't think any Packers fan was prepared to hear that this season.

Still, the Packers are going to have to move on and find a way to adjust without Rodgers, with this easily being the biggest test to their "next man up" philosophy under Mike McCarthy.

At 33 years old, Wallace was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL draft after playing at Iowa State. After playing in Seattle through the 2009 season, Wallace then went to the Cleveland Browns before winding up in Green Bay this season.

The career numbers aren't very appealing for Wallace. He's completed 59.1 percent of his passes for 4,922 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions with a passer rating of 80.6. As a starter, he's gone just 5-16, which is one of the worst active records in the NFL next to players like Brady Quinn and Blaine Gabbert.

Wallace is also a completely different player physically when compared with Rodgers. While Rodgers is 6'2'' and 225 pounds, Wallace is just 5'11'' and 205 pounds, making it harder for him to see over the line.

Offensively, the Packers are going to have to adjust with Wallace under center, and that will start with the running game.

Green Bay actually has one of the best running games in the NFL right now, which should hopefully take a lot of pressure off of Wallace in his first start since the 2011 season. The Packers are averaging 148.6 rushing yards per game, the second-most in the NFL behind only the San Francisco 49ers. However, they also rank 11th in the league with 236 rushing attempts, and you can expect them to run the ball more frequently with Rodgers gone.

That will likely mean a bigger workload for Eddie Lacy, who is making an early run for the Rookie of the Year award. He's run for 596 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 4.4 yards per carry, and actually leads the NFL in rushing since Week 5.

An increased overall workload will also likely mean more carries for James Starks, who recently came back from a knee injury. In the past two games since returning, he's run for 97 yards and two touchdowns on just 13 carries. He's shown some serious big-play potential, but the question will be if he can continue to make big plays as he gets more carries.

In the passing game, the Packers aren't going to be nearly as productive. Even if Wallace plays out of his mind for the next few games, it likely wouldn't be close to the same level as Rodgers could play.

While the Packers won't completely change their offense, there will be some adjustments. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted McCarthy about his plans with Wallace under center, with him saying, "It's important to stay in tune with his skill set, but also utilize other players. We're not going to reinvent the wheel here. But we're confident in our time together, and Seneca's participation to this point, that we'll continue to run the majority of our offense."

It will be important for the Packers to find ways to simplify the offense and utilize Wallace's athleticism. By no means does that mean to call designed runs for zone reads, but it does mean that the Packers should find ways for Wallace to roll out outside of the tackles and extend plays to give receivers more time to get open.

Last week against the Chicago Bears, Wallace just went 11-for-19 with 114 yards and an interception, but there's hope that he will be able to make more plays after practicing with the first-team offense for a full week.

We saw something like this in 2010, when Matt Flynn was forced into a game against the Detroit Lions after Rodgers was injured. Flynn went 15-for-26 with 177 yards and an interception, as the Packers lost 7-3. After a week with the starting offense, Flynn came out against the New England Patriots and threw for 251 yards, three touchdowns and just one interception, nearly taking down one of the best teams in the league.

The Packers are hoping that the same can happen with Wallace, and while they are going to have to make some adjustments offensively, Green Bay is hoping that it will translate into some wins while Rodgers is gone.


Tyler Brooke is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, focusing on the Packers, Colts, and the NFL in general. His work has been featured on ESPN.com, CNN.com, SI.com, and a number of other sites. Follow Tyler on Twitter @TylerDBrooke

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