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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