The Green Bay Packers final injury report this week isn’t nearly as long as it was last week. However, there are still some key players listed as questionable. Here is what you need to know.
Musgrave suffered the ankle injury on the hit from Denver safety Kareem Jackson that resulted in a personal foul penalty. It’s important to note that Musgrave did not practice during Wednesday or Thursday and was limited on Friday.
“I think he’s super mature for a rookie,” said Matt LaFleur following Friday’s practice. “He’s one tough sucker now. I don’t think too many guys would be able to come back that quickly from what happened to him. That shows his toughness. His grit. He desire to want to be out there to help the team win. He’s a guy that we are going to keep trying to get the ball to. We’ve got to find ways to do that. To have him, if he’s available on Sunday would be a big plus for us.”
Musgrave has had 12 targets over the last two games but his average depth of target is just 2.5 yards from the line of scrimmage. To truly maximize what Musgrave can offer this offense, he needs to be thrown to over the middle and on more intermediate routes.
If the Packers are without him, presumably, Tucker Kraft will get the start in his place. Kraft’s role the last two weeks has grown, although he’s primarily been used as a blocker. However, he does offer YAC abilities if targeted in the flats and in space. Truthfully, the targets that Musgrave has seen the last two weeks from a skill-set standpoint would be better suited for Kraft.
Also returning to practice on Friday was Alexander, who missed Thursday with a back injury that has pestered him for several weeks now.
“He was limited today,” said LaFleur. “We will see where he’s at. You just never quite know.”
If the Packers are without Alexander, they will find themselves quite shorthanded at cornerback with Eric Stokes being moved to IR earlier in the week. That would mean that we would either see Carrington Valentine, who was picked on by the Denver offense last week, or Corey Ballentine, who played the majority of the snaps across from Rasul Douglas against Detroit.
Even without Justin Jefferson who is on IR, this is a Minnesota passing game that is building momentum. Kirk Cousins is coming off a very efficient performance against a a good San Francisco defense, completing 35-of-45 pass attempts at 8.4 yards per pass attempt. Cousins has built a strong rapport with rookie receiver Jordan Addison, who has showcased his big play potential, while tight end TJ Hockenson has the second-most receiving yards this season within his position group.
Josh Myers injured his ankle against Denver and exited for a few plays. That same injury is what had him on the injury report this week. Although he is listed as questionable, he was a full participant on Friday, which indicates that he is trending towards playing. A key contributor to Green Bay’s offensive woes has been the sub-par play of the offensive line unit. Minnesota’s defense will test the Packers in the trenches with how often they blitz the quarterback, ranking first in the NFL by a wide margin in blitz rate this season and doing so with a variety of players.
Lastly, back to the defensive side of the ball, De’Vondre Campbell practiced all three days this week in a limited capacity. Of Hockenson’s 57 targets this season, 38 have come over hte middle, according to PFF, with 25 of those. 38 coming within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. The Green Bay linebackers are going to have to play a key role in trying to slow him down.
“He’s fighting to play for sure,” LaFleur said. “Again, he’s another one of those guys that we are going to mark that determination on Sunday.”
Aaron Jones does not have an injury designation this week after he did not practice on Wednesday, and was limited on Thursday and Friday. However, just because he does not have a designation, does not mean he will see a full snap count either.
“He’s been doing a little bit more I’d say,” added LaFleur. “But we are still going to be smart with him. I don’t think he’s 100 percent by any stretch.”
With facing a very blitz heavy Vikings defense, having Jones to rely on in the passing game will be important for Jordan Love, who is likely going to have to utilize the quick game somewhat often to get the ball out of his hands—not to mention that having a run game to lean on is one way to neutralize a blitz.
Elgton Jenkins, Yosh Nijman, Devonte Wyatt, Preston Smith, and Christian Watson were all on the injury report this week as well but will be good to go for Sunday’s game as they do not have any injury designations.
Packers injury report
Questionable: CB Jaire Alexander, TE Luke Musgrave, C Josh Myers, LB De’Vondre Campbell
Vikings Injury Report
Out: LB Brian Asamoah