Packers fear significant injury for veteran OLB Whitney Mercilus

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The Green Bay Packers might have avoided significant injuries for running back Aaron Jones and outside linebacker Rashan Gary, but there’s less optimism about veteran outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus, who left Sunday’s game with a biceps injury.

“Yeah, that’s a tough one,” coach Matt LaFleur said Monday. “I feel bad for him…Just the stability he brings to that room. This guy is a pro’s pro. He’s been doing it at a very high level for a long time. It’s just one of those unfortunate things that happened.”

LaFleur wasn’t able to provide a timeline for the injury but said he was “assuming” it was probably season-ending.

Signed by the Packers on Oct. 21, Mercilus stepped into a rotational pass-rusher role and delivered 10 pressures and a sack over four games in Green Bay. He had a chance at a second sack of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on the play in which he suffered the biceps injury.

With injuries to Mercilus, Gary and Za’Darius Smith, the Packers will need to add to the outside linebacker group.

“I know (Brian Gutekunst) and our entire scouting department is looking at every potential option. We have some guys on our practice squad. We’ll see where we need to go,” LaFleur said.

The Packers released outside linebacker La’Darius Hamilton after activating Aaron Rodgers and Isaac Yiadom from the COVID-19 reserve list on Saturday. Tipa Galeai is available on the practice squad.

On Za’Darius Smith, LaFleur said the team is holding out hope that he can return this season, but nothing is guaranteed at this point. He hasn’t played since Week 1 after having back surgery.

LaFleur also said the Packers caught a break with Jones, who has a knee injury. He doesn’t think the injury will be a long-term issue. The Packers are still evaluating Gary’s elbow injury.

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