Packers continue to be punished by the “injury god”
By Brian E Murphy, PackersInsider.com senior editor
~When the Packers placed starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga on IR earlier this week, it meant that the Packers last three first round draft picks had all been IR’d for the season.
In 2010, GM Ted Thompson drafted Bulaga in the first round to become a bookend anchor for the Aaron Rodgers era.
The next year, 2011, Thompson added another offensive tackle in Derek Sherrod from Mississippi State. Of course Sherrod had his leg broken in two places last December in the nightmare loss at Kansas City.
He hasn’t been back since. Now Bulaga joins him in the sideline.
This season, Ted Thompson added OLB Nick Perry to the team with is first round pick, which like the others was a solid pick and a guy who could instantly upgrade the team and make it better.
Well last week Perry was put on IR, his season over.
Add to that list of most-recent first round picks, you have former top-ten pick Cedric Benson, who has been out since week five.
Charles Woodson, another former first round pick and an indispensable one, broke his collar bone in week six and hasn’t been back since.
Second round picks Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, the teams starting wide receivers, also have missed games with injuries. Jennings has hardly played at all this season.
In addition to them, former second round pick Nick Collins career was ended last season on a fluke play in which he was just sitting down essentially and had a guy try to leap over him, bumping Collins’ helmet with the runners’ butt.
In the meantime, there are many head-hunting safeties out there, and cornerbacks (see Seattle and San Francisco) who lead with their heads into heads, shoulders, and they haven’t gotten injuries to their necks like Collins did doing nothing dangerous or illegal.
Don’t forget while the inside linebacker tandems in San Fran (Patrick Willis, Novarro Bowman) and Chicago (Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs) continue to hum along in good health, the Packers have had starting
ILB Desmond Bishop get lost for the season before it began, in preseason game one at San Diego, and then his replacement at ILB D.J. Smith was lost for the season back in week six from a late hit by the Texans left tackle.
Now even All-Pro OLB Clay Matthews has gone down, leaving the last game with a hamstring as he missed a sack on Cardinals quarterback John Skelton. Matthews hasn’t been back since, and is expected to miss at least the Lions game this Sunday, and perhaps longer. Knowing the Packers luck, this will turn into a long-lasting, even possibly season-ending one like so many are.
At least with the hamstring, they aren’t career-enders like Collins’ fluke injury was.
I failed to mention starting cornerback Sam Shields, who hurt his knee a few weeks ago and still isn’t back. He took Woodson’s place at starting CB when Woodson moved to start at safety in place of Collins. So there are three “starters” in the backfield gone, along with the two ILB’s and the rookie OLB in Perry, with the other starting OLB Matthews now nursing the hamstring as well.
The only positive note to all these injuries (Matthews, Woodson, Bishop, Perry, Smith, Collins, Bulaga, Benson, Jennings, Nelson), is that was the theme of 2010, and we all know how that turned out in the end.
Even if this path does have the same end as that 2010 path did, it’s still a shame that these great players and fine men won’t be along and able to be out there during the journey.