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Injury Update: Packers Center J.C. Tretter to Miss Several Weeks

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Injury Update: Packers Center J.C. Tretter to Miss Several Weeks

As you've probably heard, the Green Bay Packers are going through another rough patch in the injury department following their most recent game against the Oakland Raiders last week.

We originally noted Raji's injury in the aftermath of the last Friday's game, although the veteran defensive lineman has since been ruled out for the season with a torn biceps.

Although the Packers haven't officially placed Raji on injured reserve yet, it appears to be only a matter of time when McCarthy mentioned on Sunday that Raji would not be a candidate for short-term injured reserve, which would allow a player to practice after Week 6 of the season and play after Week 8.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Packers have not signed either of their former defensive linemen that are currently free agents, Ryan Pickett or Johnny Jolly in response to the Raji injury, although it's not of the question that they will eventually do so.

For the time being, the Packers will be relying on players that are currently under contract, starting with second-year defensive lineman Josh Boyd.

Boyd is the most experienced and healthy player capable of playing nose tackle, although at a listed weight of 310 lbs., he doesn't have the girth of Raji, who's listed at 337 lbs. and likely weighs even more.

Despite being an undrafted rookie, the Packers will also be looking at Mike Pennel to replace Raji. The product out of Colorado State-Pueblo appears to be a lock for the Packers' 53-man roster in light of the recent news that Raji will be lost for the season.

The Packers will also be looking for Letroy Guion to chip in at defensive tackle if he can recover from a hamstring injury sometime soon.

Guion has been on the team's Non-Football Injury (NFI) list since the eve of training camp and has yet to even take part in a practice. If Guion doesn't get cleared this week, he could be destined for the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to begin the season.

McCarthy also revealed on Sunday that center J.C. Tretter would miss several weeks with a knee injury suffered against the Raiders.

Several media outlets have reported Tretter has suffered no ligament damage, although Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com has characterized the injury as a "fracture." It has also been described as a "bone bruise" by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Packers appear to be monitoring the injury, still unsure of how long Tretter will be sidelined, although they don't anticipate he'll be lost for the season.

Although McCarthy ruled out Raji for short-term injured reserve, he wouldn't do the same for Tretter.

If Tretter will only miss a few weeks, it might be better just to carry him on the 53-man roster as a gameday inactive for the first couple matchups of the season. By placing Tretter on short-term injured reserve, he would miss the first eight weeks of the season at a minimum.

Regardless of how the Packers approach Tretter's injury, he looks to be replaced in the starting lineup by fifth round draft choice Corey Linsley.

The concern with Linsley will be if a rookie will be able to handle the big stage of the NFL by Week 1 of the regular season, but the Packers may have no other choice.

Whereas the coaching staff might have wanted to withhold Aaron Rodgers from the preseason finale to avoid injury to their most-important player, they may have no choice but for him to get some work with Linsley in advance of the regular-season opener at Seattle in the NFL Kickoff game.

Finally, linebacker Brad Jones joins the ranks of the Packers' injured players with a quadriceps injury that will prevent him from appearing in Thursday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs at minimum.

There's hope that Jones will be able to return in time for the start of the regular season, although the Packers will probably rely upon Jamari Lattimore in the starting lineup for as long as Jones is out.

Lattimore replaced Jones for a handful of games last season, although second-year linebacker Sam Barrington could be in the mix too.

The recent rash of injuries doesn't sound good, but their impact may be less than meets the eye.

As long as players like Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers stay healthy, the Packers will continue to be in nearly as good of shape as they were prior to the injuries of the past week.

Yes, depth will be affected, but it's nothing the Packers haven't overcome before.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (15) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Both the Raji and Tretter injuries really hurt.

Raji's hurts because he was finally put in the position in which he was the best at and where he could succeed the most. He has been out of position the last few years and finally gets back into his natural position.

Tretter's injury hurts because he has played really well, and really made what was supposed to be a training camp battle basically non existent.

Out of the 2 injuries Tretter's injury might affect the team the most especially early on, because in less then 2 weeks the Packers play in the loudest stadium and against arguably the best defense from last year. Also the Center position is the only other one that touches the ball on every play.
And now they have to do it with a rookie center who has gotten barely any reps if any at all with Rodgers.
The only real positive is that Linsley comes in and has Sitton and Lang next to him and Rodgers at QB.

All this being said, I think we will be 'ok' with Linsley at Center. He has played well with the backups. Hopefully he can play well with the starters.
Defensively we play a lot of sub packages so how often will we actually have a true NT on the field, probably 25-30% of the time. I think we'll be ok there.

I do wonder if they will look to bring in a veteran or a NT that will be cut.

Evan's picture

"I do wonder if they will look to bring in a veteran or a NT that will be cut."

I very, very, very much doubt it. If they were going to bring in a vet, I imagine it would be Pickett.

I think they're just going to roll on with Pennel, Boyd and Guion.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I do doubt they will bring anyone in also. I do wonder if they will be 'looking' more though. If a player they like gets cut if they would go after him.

I think they are done with Pickett. If they had interest in bringing him back, I think they would have already.

I do think they end up just going with Boyd, Pennel and Guion.

I have been impressed with Pennel, but I want to see him play against the 1's more. I really like Boyd and I think he will be the starting NT.

Evan's picture

And just like that Guion is in pads and practicing.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Sounded like he was well rested and fired up. Hopefully between him and Boyd they can fill in the reps.

Stroh's picture

They seem to be going much more w/ penetrating DL as opposed to the behemoths they used w/ Pickett, Raji and Jolly. That fits Daniels and Datone's strengths as well. It could be that McCarthy wants more of a one gap DL, as other teams are starting to use a lot. They may have realized that the huge DL were just not going to cut it vs mobile QB's. All the DL and even including Peppers and Neal who'll see snaps at DL spots are all penetrators, not 2 gappers.

As I mentioned a couple days ago, Boyd played NT in college (next to Fletcher Cox) and he fits the penetrating DL at NT even if he is slightly smaller. He got near 330 in the offseason, I wonder what his weight is really at. He's listed at 310 again, but could easily be heavier. We should hear in the first couple weeks of the season if they are going one gap.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Yeah, i agree with you Stroh. I think the 1 gap defense fits their personnel better then the 2 gap.

I have noticed in the last 2 games that Datone was really firing off the ball and was in the backfield a lot. That right there tells me they are playing a lot more 1 gap.

It just feels like to me that this year more then in any year previously that Capers has adjusted what the defense is doing to their personnel vs making his personnel fit his defense.
They moved Raji back to his natural position (NT). He is doing more 1 gap vs 2 gap defenses. He is allowing players (Peppers) to play with their hand on the ground.

I am looking forward to seeing the defense this year.

Evan's picture

I didn't notice it against the Rams, but Datone did seem to have a nice game against the Raiders. I noticed him getting good penetration on a regular basis.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Yeah, i went back and watched it before the Raiders game and I noticed he was in the backfield a quite a bit.

I really think he is going to really surprise some people this year.

cuphound's picture

I really wish Ted would have coughed up the change needed to keep Evan Dietrich Smith in Green Bay. I'm not thrilled to be fielding a rookie at center.

zeke's picture

Tampa overpaid, in my opinion. EDS was solid, but I think he was someone you would always be looking to replace.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

EDS signed a 4 yr., $14.25 million contract, or 12th highest per year average. But only 24% was guaranteed, and ALL of the guaranteed money is in year one (his first year base salary and Roster Bonus). Tampa can cut EDS at the end of this season with zero dead money. EDS's salary for the next (2015) becomes guaranteed if he is not cut prior to March 3, 2015. It is possible that EDS would not have signed such a contract with GB since he knew GB really liked Tretter. In Tampa, he was a clear upgrade.

In any event, it looks like TT has done fine with Tretter and Linsley. Of course, if EDS was beaten out by Tretter, EDS would be our interior swing back-up at C and G, sort of the role that Barclay was going to have.

zeke's picture

True, although I don't think you want to give that contract to your interior backup, which is apparently all TT figured EDS would end up being. It's too bad they didn't make Tretter promise not to get injured.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I saw a stat here recently from PFF. I don't remember exactly the numbers but EDS was the 90+ rated Center in football this preseason, where Tretter was ranked 8th and Linsley was the 10th best rated Center.
The numbers were very close to that, but may not be exact.

I thought it was interesting. I know its preseason and a lot goes on, but when your top 2 centers are rated higher, and a lot higher then EDS, they did the right thing in not resigning him.

zeke's picture

I don't know what PFF factors in, but I wonder how much the play of the rest of the line has on individual ratings. Tampa's OL is awful, which is likely why they gave EDS the contract they did. By all accounts Tretter was playing very well, but I'd guess that playing in between Sitton and Lang doesn't hurt. Regardless, it does appear that TT did the right thing in letting EDS walk.

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