6

August

Jordy Nelson Out For The Preseason After Knee Procedure

Jordy Nelson

WR Jordy Nelson is done for training camp and the preseason after knee surgery to reportedly correct a nerve issue

In a stunning development after the conclusion of this morning’s training camp practice, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy announced that wide receiver Jordy Nelson is out for the remainder of training camp and the preseason after a procedure was done on his knee.

According to ESPN.com, the procedure was to correct a nerve issue with his knee that flared up during training camp.  The ESPN report says that Nelson could have made it through the season with pain and by taking medication, but he opted for the surgery that would correct the problem.

McCarthy said he was “hopeful” Nelson would be ready for the regular season opener against the San Francisco 49ers but that is not  certain at this pont.  With Randall Cobb leaving today’s practice with what McCarthy called a bicep injury, the Green Bay wide receiver corps is suddenly getting thin.  Cobb’s injury does not seem severe, but the loss of Nelson leaves James Jones as the only receiver from the team’s top three to remain healthy.

This is good news for Jarrett Boykin as well as Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey to make noise on the practice field.  Johnson and Dorsey have missed practice with injuries but with Nelson confirmed out, this may still give them one last shot at making an impression.  Don’t rule out Myles White either.

After emerging from the first week of camp relatively healthy, the injury bug struck the Packers hard this week with the news about Nelson as well as the reported ACL tear suffered by left tackle Bryan Bulaga.  For a team that was decimated by injuries last season, Green Bay can’t be too thrilled with the injury news coming out of training camp this week.

 

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Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke

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4

August

Packers News: Report: Bryan Bulaga Suffers Knee Injury

Here we go again. Bryan Bulaga may miss 2013 with an apparent knee injury

The Green Bay Packers may have already suffered their first major injury of 2013 and they have yet to play a preseason game.

Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is reporting via Twitter that left tackle Bryan Bulaga suffered a knee injury during Saturday’s Family Night scrimmage and that the injury could be severe.  According to McGinn, the team is “hoping for the best but fearing the worst.”  If the worst case scenario comes to fruition, Bulaga will be on injured reserve for a second straight season.

It’s unclear which knee Bulaga injured, but if it’s the same leg as his hip injury from last season then there could be some long-term repercussions for Bulaga.  As the Packers’ best offensive lineman on a newly revamped line, this injury could prove devastating for Green Bay.

As for what the Packers will do in Bulaga’s absence, there are some options but none of them are really good scenarios. Marshall Newhouse could move to the left tackle position he held last year and let David Bakhtiari and Don Barclay battle it out for the right tackle job.  They could also try Bakhtiari at left tackle and keep Barclay on the right.   With Barclay entering his second year and Bakhtiari a rookie, neither of these situations are ideal.

Part of the Packers’ reasoning for shuffling the offensive line this offseason was to shore up protection of Aaron Rodgers’ blind side. That meant moving Bulaga to left tackle, which is where he played in college.  Unfortunately, it looks like he may have to wait to play that position at the professional level.

For now, it will be a waiting game until official word on Bulaga comes down. Coach Mike McCarthy made no mention of this after Saturday’s scrimmage so everyone is truly in the dark for the time being.

If the report is true then the Packers may be in for another battle with the injury bug in 2013.  After injuries decimated the roster last season, this is not the news Packers fans have been waiting for.

Buckle up, Packer Nation. It may be yet another bumpy ride for the Green and Gold.

28

July

Surviving Sunday: News, Notes and Analysis from Packers Training Camp

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Now that Packers training camp is underway, Surviving Sunday is shifting gears a bit.

Gone is the lengthy opening column where I wax poetic about a topic that may or may not relate to the Packers. Also gone are the non-Packers links to non-sports items and other nonsense.

Starting now, Surviving Sunday will be 100 percent focused on the Packers and all the happenings from the previous week’s training camp practices and exhibition games. With training camp in full gear, the Packers are getting serious about the 2013 NFL season. It’s time for Surviving Sunday to get serious, too.

Aches and pains
Before the first practice even started, there were several Packers standing on the sidelines, injured. Perhaps the Packers need to fire their medical staff and just hire a bunch of people who work at a Fed Ex store and specialize in using bubble wrap to protect delicate items.

Here is the list of the walking wounded: DL/OLB Mike Neal (abdomen), CB Casey Hayward (hamstring), RB DuJuan Harris (knee), T Derek Sherrod (leg), DL Jerel Worthy (knee), OL J.C. Tretter (ankle), S Sean Richardson (neck), CB Davon House (illness) and LB Jamari Lattimore (illness).

Neal and Hayward hurt themselves training on their own and were surprise injuries (although, I’m not sure how surprising it should be any more when Neal turns up injured). It sounds like Hayward and Harris should both be out a week or two, but who knows.

Depending how long Harris is out, it could open up the door for Alex Green or James Starks to A) stay on the team and/or B) impress in camp and move up the depth chart.

If those injuries weren’t enough, rookie WRs Charles Johnson, Kevin Dorsey and Sederrik Cunningham also went down on the first days of practice. Someone needs to make a sacrifice to the football Gods so they show a little mercy on our favorite team. (Update: Sounds like Johnson will be fine.)

Drama and gossip
Aaron Rodgers’ first news conference of camp sounded more like a group of high school kids catching up on the latest gossip than a football media session. Rodgers addressed the Ryan Braun/PED situation — saying “it doesn’t feel great being lied to” — and basically dismissed the recent barbs Greg Jennings sent his way from across the border in Minnesota.

4

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.

11

January

Packers News: Cobb, Nelson, Starks probable, Justin Smith ready

Jordy Nelson is probable for Saturday against the 49ers.

Jordy Nelson is probable for Saturday against the 49ers.

The Green Bay Packers have been bitten by the injury bug perhaps more than any NFL team this season. But headed into their divisional round matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers are getting healthier.

Running back James Starks (knee) is set to return to the field for the Packers. Starks hasn’t played since Dec. 2 when he carried the ball 15 times for 66 yards and a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings.

Prior to his injury, Starks had taken over as the team’s feature back. He had carried the ball at least 15 times in three of the team’s previous four games.

But since being forced to sit out, DuJuan Harris has taken over as the starting running back. In the past two weeks, Harris has carried the ball 31 times for 117 yards and a touchdown. He’s only caught seven passes for 70 yards.

Exactly what the Packers plan to do at running back is unknown, but one would expect Harris to get the bulk of the work against the 49ers.

Wide receivers Jordy Nelson (ankle) and Randall Cobb (flu) both practiced in full on Friday. Like Starks, both players are listed as probable and are scheduled to play in San Francisco, giving the Packers their full repertoire of core wide receivers for the second-consecutive week. Greg Jennings and James Jones are also healthy and ready to go.

Fellow wide receiver Jarrett Boykin will not play this week. Boykin suffered an ankle injury in week 17 against the Vikings.

The flu has been making its way around the Packers’ locker room recently. Tramon Williams was sent home with flu-like symptoms in the week leading up to last week’s game, and several players have caught the illness since, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“I know this sickness thing is going around. I think I didn’t get the real bad stuff, that some of the guys have that had to go home, not that I would have been able to go home anyway if I wasn’t feeling; if I was feeling horrendous. … I’m hoping with a couple of good nights of sleep I will be 100 percent.”

On his weekly radio show, Rodgers told Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee he’s not worried about the illness.

2

January

Packers News: Worthy out for season, Woodson set to return

Packers DL Jerel Worthy

Packers DL Jerel Worthy

Packers defensive end Jerel Worthy suffered a significant knee injury against the Minnesota Vikings and will not play in the postseason.

Worthy left the locker room Sunday wearing a full leg brace and relying on crutches. The extent of his injury has not yet been released.

The Packers selected Worthy with the No. 51 overall pick in last April’s draft and played in 14 games as a rookie. Worthy tied for sixth on the team with 2.5 sacks in the regular season.

Without Worthy in the mix, the Packers will rely on their normal starting three-man line consisting of B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and C.J. Wilson. Mike Neal and rookie Mike Daniels will be the team’s top reserves moving forward. Neal has proved to be effective as a pass rusher, racking up 4.5 sacks this season, while Daniels has been a pleasant surprise as well.

Jordan Miller, a recent call-up from the practice squad rounds out the Packers’ six defensive linemen on the current roster.

Although Worthy will not play again this season, veteran defensive back Charles Woodson appears set to return against the Vikings this week in the playoffs. Woodson was medically cleared to return Jan. 1 after suffering a broken collarbone Oct. 21 against the St. Louis Rams.

Prior to getting injured, Woodson played strong safety in the Packers’ base 3-4 defense and bumped inside to slot cornerback in the team’s nickel formation. But since Woodson has been out, rookie Casey Hayward has risen to the occasion and could be this year’s NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Now, with Woodson set to return, it’s unlikely the Packers would take Hayward off the field. This could mean Woodson’s role would primarily be the second safety alongside Morgan Burnett, replacing rookie Jerron McMillian and M.D. Jennings.

Although Woodson isn’t the same, dynamic playmaker he once was, getting him back on the field will certainly be a nice boost for the defense.

Randall Cobb also returned to practice on Tuesday and says he will be “100 percent” for Saturday night’s playoff game against Minnesota. Barring any setbacks, the Packers will have Cobb, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Jermichael Finley on the field together for the first time since week one.

20

December

Packers News: James Starks hopes to return for playoffs

Packers RB James Starks

Packers RB James Starks

When James Starks was hit in the knee by Vikings cornerback Josh Robinson late in the Packers’ Dec. 2 win at Lambeau Field, the thought was that his season would be over.

After all, the third-year running back has suffered multiple injuries dating back to his collegiate days at Buffalo. He exploded onto the scene late in the 2010 season and became the Packers’ lead back during their run to Super Bowl XLV.

His injury against the Vikings was thought to be a huge blow to a running game that had been struggling throughout the majority of the season.

But now, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, it appears the Packers are aiming to bring Starks back for the playoffs.

“It’s a lot better,” Starks said. “Just how I was bent, when you look at it, it looked a lot worse. So I just thank God for being able to possibly come back and do well. So no real, serious bad injuries.”

With Starks out of the lineup the past couple weeks, the Packers have employed a three-man rotation at running back with Alex Green, DuJuan Harris and Ryan Grant. In two games without Starks, Green has carried the ball a team-high 26 times, Harris 12 and Grant nine.

Starks had taken over as the team’s primary ball carrier Nov. 11 against the Arizona Cardinals.

The running game has been steadily improving over the course of the season. The return of Starks to the backfield rotation would figure to boost the offense even more. Head coach Mike McCarthy said there was always hope Starks would return.

“Starks’ situation is to hopefully get him back for the playoffs. That was a decision that was made a few weeks ago.”

By no means is it a guarantee that Starks will return for the postseason, but today’s news is certainly a good sign for the Packers.

The Packers could be short-handed in the backfield on Sunday, as Green may be forced to sit out after suffering a concussion against the Bears. If Green is out, the Packers will rely on Harris, Grant and fullback John Kuhn to shoulder the load in the ground game.

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.