Za'Darius Smith headed to injured reserve

The veteran outside linebacker will miss at least the next three weeks. 

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur announced during his press conference earlier this afternoon that outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith will be placed on injured reserve, meaning he will miss at least the next three weeks. 

“Why not try to get him as healthy as possible so we can have him more readily available ... hopefully,” LaFleur said, indicating that the team would rather try to let Z's back fully heal rather than play cat and mouse with the nagging injury. 

Smith practiced only once during training camp. After that one practice, in which he did only individual drills, Smith missed the next three weeks.

He returned last week and played in 18 snaps on Sunday against the Saints. 

Smith will be on the shelf for at least three weeks, after which, he becomes eligible to return to practice. Once he returns to practice, the team has 21 days to place him back on the active roster or he reverts to season-ending injured reserve. 

The Packers have already reportedly made the corresponding move for the open roster spot:

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Comments (32)

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t-wrecks's picture

September 17, 2021 at 12:58 pm

Time for Gary to prove the doubters wrong…hopefully

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Packers1985's picture

September 17, 2021 at 01:18 pm

Yes if he doesn't prove much then we'll be in some good trouble the next 2 weeks and also Gute will have some answering to do

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egbertsouse's picture

September 17, 2021 at 01:17 pm

I guess we’ll see if Gary is worth the 12th pick. No more “draft and develop” nonsense, just buckle it up and play and let everybody see what you got.

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nygary's picture

September 17, 2021 at 01:21 pm

Its so hard to understand how gute kept lowry on this team. Seven million for him is such a joke. How can we have a good defense with this d-line. Oh well losing Smith will only hurt.

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PackerAaron's picture

September 17, 2021 at 02:08 pm

Lowry is on the second year of a three-year deal that was scheduled to pay him $4.1m this season but $3.1m of that was converted to a signing bonus. That freed up $2.48m in cap space. He's essentially costing them 1m this season. That's hardly nuts.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

September 17, 2021 at 04:24 pm

There are guys you shouldn't play even if they pay you. So yes, it is nuts

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nygary's picture

September 17, 2021 at 04:33 pm

He is an empty helmet. He is a waste at any price. His ceiling is as high as it goes for him and he still sucks. Aaron I like you better when your drinking on Sunday's. Lowry hurts the Packers defense. His tackles are almost always a several yards past the line of scrimmage.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 17, 2021 at 05:33 pm

Yet he was better than Montravious Adams or Christian Ringo, both of whom are on the Saints roster.

We scored 3 points. You could replace Lowry with Aaron Donald and that wouldn’t change.

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nygary's picture

September 18, 2021 at 08:14 am

When your defense can't get off the field Mr. Leatherhead. I heard a rumor that it's hard for your offence to score.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 18, 2021 at 03:38 pm

I heard a rumor that both teams had 11 possessions.

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Thegravedigger's picture

September 17, 2021 at 09:30 pm

id take my chances on a street guy. since lowry is a vet he seems to get the benefit of the doubt and the playing time. shoulda cut bait. he costs 1 mil yes, but hes still starting. why? because hes a solid player? no. hes just grandfathered in to that spot. the tie will go to him becauses hes been on the team, but maybe its time to try somebody else. having a slender skinny defensive tackle in the 3 4 is pretty nuts to me. he cant hold his ground. its been years of this shit man. you know it, i know it. hes a weak link and he has been for a couple of years. what happened to upgrading along the margins? hes fine as the 5th guy, right now he plays as much as kenny clark. how do they go 3 years with him just bein pathetic there and just continue to run it back?

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Since'61's picture

September 17, 2021 at 10:25 pm

Management has no sense of urgency to win. Why do we keep Lowry, Lancaster, King, and Burks on defense and expect the defense to improve? Because the stadium is sold out forever and the team makes the playoffs so management is safe because that is considered a successful season and has been since the SB win in 2010.

Retaining poor players like Lowry, Lancaster, King and Burks is just an extension of the lack of accountability that management has so the beat goes on and on and on. Sold out stadium, make playoffs, repeat. Wash, rinse, repeat. Lose in playoffs, blame Rodgers, repeat. And so it goes for at least this season. And then???

Non-profit organization are image and revenue first, winning the championship is a nice to have not a must have like image and revenue. The Packers have the image and the revenue that allows management to keep their jobs. The coaches like Pettine, Barry and MLF are the fall guys. Players figure this works for me, I'm being paid either way.

It will get better against the Lions. Thanks, Since '61

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Dragon5's picture

September 18, 2021 at 07:00 am

I and several others here have voiced similar sentiments, but if we look at megalomaniac Goodell's leadership to drive revenue, is not profit & image a resounding 1a & 1b too? Mgmt keeps ineffective players not just to balance the salary cap equation, but more importantly, doing so avoids public disclosure of their mistakes where each mistake chips away at their seat of power; politicians are well known to NEVER admit their mistakes (publicly).

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nygary's picture

September 18, 2021 at 08:01 am

61 Your so right. It sucks but it's so true.

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Thegravedigger's picture

September 18, 2021 at 08:27 pm

lancaster is a fine rotation guy. lowry just doesnt fit. king is about 70 percent of the other teams game plan. " well, we got jaire over there. and kevin king playing 10 yards off the ball over here. i think i have an idea...." any coordinator with a clipboard.

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 18, 2021 at 09:36 pm

Once again, Truth bee told, keep it rollin' '61

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Tundraboy's picture

September 17, 2021 at 11:27 pm

We are not so deep to waste a roster spot on proven meh.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 19, 2021 at 04:11 am

Lowry's cap number is $3.812M.
GB will pay Lowry $4.17M cash* in 2021.

* Assumes he earns his $400K game active bonus.

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Hematite's picture

September 17, 2021 at 02:19 pm

I doubt that Z Smith will ever play another down for the Green Bay Packers.

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Packers0808's picture

September 17, 2021 at 10:02 pm

Why because he is injured? He will play as soon as healthy to do so.

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Hematite's picture

September 18, 2021 at 08:04 am

It's not the injury to his back, that may or may not exist, it's what is in his head, or not, that I think may be the reason.

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packer132's picture

September 17, 2021 at 08:41 pm

It's hard to say, though back injuries can be worse than other injuries. I think he plays mid year but don't think he is a Packer next year.

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Lphill's picture

September 17, 2021 at 03:45 pm

Why did he play with a bad back and limited practice ?

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Vforrest's picture

September 17, 2021 at 07:27 pm

Will three weeks matter? If this has been nagging him before and through training camp…what will three weeks get him?

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PhantomII's picture

September 17, 2021 at 08:57 pm

3 weeks plus 3 more weeks.

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PhantomII's picture

September 17, 2021 at 09:04 pm

I like pulling someone off a good defense practice squad. This is exactly what I would do at any position I needed an upgrade. Pick a DL off a team with an already great DL. DL is a shown priority with that team and the practice squad guy is waiting for his opportunity. Bucs have 2 great ILB, might as well keep that in mind. 49ERS were bragging about people wanting trades for their DL. Pluck them off their practice squad also. You just need to accept they would play better than Lowery or Lancaster. Keep turning the pot until it takes root with quality starters. Whatever it takes.

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nygary's picture

September 18, 2021 at 08:09 am

I was hoping they would address the d line in the offseason until gute said he liked that group. What games does he watch to think that.

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PhantomII's picture

September 18, 2021 at 01:38 pm

He likes the low price of that group....... besides way overpaid Clark.

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 18, 2021 at 09:43 pm

Scrub Talk '21

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packer132's picture

September 18, 2021 at 08:45 am

Packers just plucked a LB off Tampa's practice squad (Hamilton). I thought the same about them grabbing a free agent DL after training camp and cuts, but it did not happen. I know Green Bay has scouts looking for players year round, and there has to be a couple of big linemen that would help this defense.

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PhantomII's picture

September 18, 2021 at 01:39 pm

Does not leave you with much faith in the people making personnel decisions, does it.

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jurp's picture

September 18, 2021 at 08:21 am

Two words: Sean Jones. Like Z, an off-season back injury.

Jones retired due to the injury. Had we had a healthy Jones in SB 32, I'm positive that we would've won it (Gabe Wilkins got dinged and sat out the second half because his contract was up and he wanted to get paid. Holmgren screwed up and did not have a true DE to replace him).

Back injuries are highly debilitating and likely to last a long, long time. If continually aggravated, they can be a lifelong disability. Z should retire if there's any chance he'll become disabled.

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