Well, Friday’s injury report was a good news/bad news scenario. The good news is that Aaron Rodgers, Datone Jones, Sam Shields, and Morgan Burnett are all listed as PROBABLE, which means “there is a 75% chance” that they will play. In official coach-speak, that means they’re gonna go.
On the bad side of things, Kevin Dorsey is listed as OUT with a foot injury. This hurts our depth at wide receiver but should not be of major concern. But there are two names on the injury report that Packers fans do not yet have any answers about. And in a game where the Packers would love to minimize the amount of running Aaron Rodgers has to do, these are the last two names they want to be obscured with uncertainty.
Josh Sitton and TJ Lang have both been listed as QUESTIONABLE for Sunday’s night game against the Bears. Significant? I think so…for two reasons:
- If both of our starting guards are out, we obviously have to turn to Taylor and Gerhart as backups. While I always try to see the bright side of such things (ie. those guys get some valuable playing time), this is the Bears game and losing a Division battle at Lambeau is the last thing this Packers team needs right now. Having two second string guards would force the Packers to drastically change the game-plan if they want to be successful and keep Aaron from getting really hurt. Unfortunately, we have seen that the Packers are also a stubborn “we do what we do” kind of team and they may try to run the game-plan as it is which, in my opinion, would be a disaster.
- But there is another, more subtle reason that I would like to see Sitton and Lang both healthy enough to play. While J.C. Tretter seems to be back to health, Corey Linsley is still listed as the starting center and while I think Linsley has done a good job for the most part, we all know that he greatly relies on veteran guards, not just for their play, but also for their on-the-fly situational knowledge. On the other hand, if the Packers were to start Tretter, we would have a guy who hasnt’ played all season going out for the first time without solid guard support. The center situation is a lose/lose if neither Lang or Sitton can go.
Of course, there is the possibility that we get one of these guys on the field while the other has to sit. If that happens, I would expect Josh Sitton to go with an injury to his toe. TJ, on the other hand, I really think might be in danger of missing extended playing time if his ankle isn’t given time to heal.
All in all, it is important to remember that the long-term health of our two starting guards is the priority. As hard as it may be, the Packers may be forced to risk a loss against the Bears to ensure that the team is in the best possible shape at the end of the season and going into a possible playoff scenario. The health of the players will be the ultimate deciding factor so until Sunday afternoon, Packernation will be left with two big “QUESTIONABLE” marks.