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July

Will Lingering Injuries Hang Around the 2013 Packers?

Tramon Williams on the ground with an injured shoulder is something Packers fans do not want to see in 2013.

Injuries suck. Injuries suck worse when they occur to players who suit up for the Green Bay Packers.

What makes injuries even more sucky is that the serious ones linger into the following season, or lead to once-good players getting released (hello, Desmond Bishop).

The Packers have had a bunch of players go down with serious injuries since 2010. Many of those players are gone, many are still around and are still feeling the effects of those injuries today.

Which Packers could be battling lingering injuries in 2013? Unfortunately, too many:

Tramon Williams

After a Super-Bowl run where Williams elevated himself to near the top of the list in the “Who’s the best CB in the NFL?” debate, he jammed his shoulder early in 2011 and hasn’t been the same since. He hasn’t been bad, just not as good as we thought he’d be after the Super Bowl win. Williams talked openly about the nerve damage in his shoulder bothering him in 2011 and it’s unclear if it still dogged him in 2012. Nerve damage doesn’t sound like much fun, or an injury that automatically heals itself. The fact that Williams recently turned 30 probably doesn’t help his shoulder much, either.

Davon House
Speaking of shoulders, Davon House also had problems with his. After playing much of last season in a shoulder harness, House had surgery in the offseason and now says he feels better than ever. Unfortunately that’s what every player coming back from an injury says. You never know what’s going to happen when surgery is involved, though.

Alex Green
It’s not easy returning from a torn ACL. It takes most players two seasons to get back to where they were pre-injury. Every now and then, a guy will go Adrian Peterson and come back even stronger than he was before. Alex Green was not as good as Adrian Peterson before he hurt his knee in 2011 and he defintiely wasn’t Adrian Peterson his first season back in 2012. Will the knee still bother him in 2013? If it does, he might not make the team. It’ll probably come down to how comfortable the Packers are with James Starks’ always-nagging injuries and how they feel about Green’s knee.

Andrew Quarless
Speaking of bad knees, Quarless completely wrecked his in 2011. It was so bad that he missed all of last season. The Packers need a tight end who can block and help their new running backs. Can Quarless and his rebuilt knee be that tight end?

James Starks
Name a part of the human anatomy and it’s probably bothering Starks. His entire body is a nagging injury.

Nick Perry
I haven’t heard anything that indicates Perry’s wrist injury that cut short his 2012 season could linger into 2013, but who knows for sure. I kind of liked what I saw from Perry when he was healthy. He looked lost at times and didn’t have much diversity in his pass-rushing moves, but he was a rookie playing a new position. What did you expect? He’s got the raw talent to be a stout complement to Clay Matthews. Hopefully the injury doesn’t hold him back.

Derek Sherrod
Sherrod’s leg snapped in half. That’s more than just a nagging injury, that’s a quality of life concern. Nobody seems to have any idea if Sherrod will ever return and be a contributing player. If he doesn’t, hopefully his leg is fully healed and he’s able to at least live a normal, pain free,  life.

Eddie Lacy
The rookie from Alabama fell to the Packers late in the second round of the draft because of his injury history. One of those injuries required toe fusion surgery — toe fusion surgery! — that just sounded ridiculously painful and not good. At least Lacy played through most of his injuries. Will that mean anything in the NFL, where the level of play is multiplied and even minor injuries can seriously impact a player’s performance?  I’d rather not find out and keep Lacy injury-free.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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11 Responses to “Will Lingering Injuries Hang Around the 2013 Packers?”

  1. Jerry says:

    I realize that injuries are a part of the game but for goodness sake the Packers are snake bitten when it comes to injuries.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

  2. Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

    If you listen to Vikings and Bears honks, they’ll tell you that our trainers and strength and conditioning staff are just not as good as theirs.

    Complete BS.

    You don’t get a job in the NFL at all if you’re not qualified. Mark Lovat won the top honor for Strength and Conditioning coaches (voted by peers) just 2 years ago. Pepper Burress won the highest peer voted honor in his field in 2011 too. Plus he has over 30 years experience in the NFL training room.

    It’s called bad luck. It’ll turn around. I don’t root for injuries, but do you notice when the Packers are decimated with injuries, they’re still competitive? When the Bears/Vikes are bitten by the injury bug, they’re terrible?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2

    • Jason Perone Jason Perone says:

      Couldn’t say it better, myself. I’m sure that “thumbs down” vote was the ghost of Scott1956

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

      • Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

        Ha. I figured it was a Vikings troll. Probably same difference.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

    • Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

      Here’s the thing, though… we have to make sure to delineate between the Strength and Conditioning personnel and the medical personnel. One side is working to prevent injuries, the other is working to heal them.

      Add into that the decision of the coach to play these guys based on the information from the medical staff and who they have left on the depth chart, and it can be a real mess to try to figure out.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

      • Dobber says:

        Too true. There’s a difference between contact injuries (broken legs, concussions, torn ACLs) and pulled hammies/obliques, etc.

        In all honesty, it’s really the contact injuries that have bitten the Packers more than not.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Stroh says:

        Its really not a real mess for the Packers. They have a clearly defined delineation of responsibilities. Your right the S and C side is for keeping players in peak football shape and try to prevent injuries. The medical side has complete control of the decision of a player being allowed on the field, and they are quite conservative. The Medical staff and honestly only the head physician (IIRC Dr McKenzie) makes the decision of when a player is allowed on the field. It then falls on the athletic trainers (headed by Pepper Burress) to do as much as possible to secure the injury to prevent further damage, taping, harness, splits, etc.

        Only after these things are accomplished does the player get cleared for play and the decision fall on McCarthy whether or not the player is useful enough to be active for a game.

        Burress and Dr McKenzie (if he is still the lead physician) may consult about a players being release to play, but ultimately it falls on the Physician to make the final decision. Then the Athletic training staff to prepare the player, before McCarthy decides in whether or not the player is useful enough to see the field on game day.

        Its really not as much of a mess as it may seem on the outside. The lines of responsibility are pretty well defined and adhered to.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  3. Razer says:

    Sometimes its just the way the chips fall. I see no reason to believe that we are any better or worse trained than other teams. Nick Perry breaks a bone in his wrist or Davon House lands awkwardly on his shoulder. This is the game of football.

    What I do find interesting is just how vulnerable a team is in any one position. If we loose a top cornerback or a top receiver, we get right into our developmental ranks. We are fortunate to have a good pool of talent. Unfortunately, most of that talent is one to two years experience at best.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • Oppy says:

      I think we’re FORTUNATE most of that talent has only one to two years experience at best- it lends itself to long-term success.

      I guess it’s a glass half-empty or half-full situation.

      If a injury occurs and we have to lean on a depth player from the roster, and the choice is between a veteran who has played his whole career and is only good enough to be a back up, or a second year player who is still developing and on the upswing, I’d rather have the improving player getting snaps.. He may end up being a starting-caliber player for years to come, whereas the back-up vet is probably as good as he’ll ever be and likely only going to deteriorate.

      Invest in the future!

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  4. JRMD says:

    Ok guys. I appreciate the “bad luck” perspective but this league is about results. I don’t care how many credentials these staff members have if they can’t keep out starting units on the field. It’s hard for me to write off 3 consecutive seasons of epidemic injuries as just “bad luck”. Heck when we won the Superbowl, it was with many 2nd string players. Football is a violent game and injuries are inevitable. I just find it odd that teams like the 49′ers rarely if ever have more than 1or 2 injured starters. Just “good luck”? I’m not buying that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. GBPDAN says:

    The packers will not have any significant injuries this year. The packers will not have any significant injuries this year. ..the Packers will not have any significant injuries this year. …..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1