Losing Desmond Bishop: Takeover at ILB

D.J. Smith, the Packers' new starting ILBWe probably won’t find out about the severity of Desmond Bishop’s hamstring injury until Wednesday. Regardless, it’s pretty obvious we’ll be doing without him for a while. How does that impact the Packers’ defensive unit?

Ramifications of a DJ Smith Takeover at Linebacker

Bishop’s six years experience gives him an edge over D.J. Smith for the starting position, but statistically speaking, D.J. won’t create a dropoff in production.

Despite Bishop getting the nod as the starter throughout much of 2011, it was really a “linebacking by committee” type of situation. Smith played in all 16 games last season and started three of them (NY Giants, Oakland, Kansas City). Against the eventual Super Bowl champs (man it hurts to say that), D.J. has 8 solo tackles, and he intercepted a Carson Palmer pass against the Raiders.

Don’t Hit the Panic Button Yet

It isn’t time to get worried about the season yet. Smith will probably do a fine job. Really, on defense, our bigger issues are in the passing game anyhow. Smith will likely takeover where Bishop left off and our preseason focus will be on pressuring the QB and figuring out our CB dilemna.

About J.R. Augustine

J.R. Augustine grew up in Black River Falls, WI and is currently living in Tennessee. He was born a Packer fan and survived the infamous 70s and 80s. He has immensely enjoyed the Packers' recent success and is looking forward to years of success to come.

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