It’s been a quiet week in Packerland as our team is resting and relaxing on their bye week. They return Monday to prepare for what should be an epic showdown against undefeated Denver in the Mile High City.
But before that happens, we need to look at the bye and see what is going on in Green Bay and among wherever the players are dispersed to. We had a retirement from Jermichael Finley as well as some recovery from injury from guys like BJ Raji and Davante Adams.
But the biggest story is the rumor of the Packers looking to trade for a receiver or tight end. Granted this is SPECULATION ONLY, as neither Ted Thompson nor Mike McCarthy have commented on this scenario in any way. Rumors of Vernon Davis and Steve Smith have started to make their rounds among the media community, and the fits of each player has been discussed to death. These developments lead to this week’s edition of 3…2…1…
For those reading for the first time, each week I will highlight 3 key players, 2 bold predictions, and 1 key stat. This week is a little different, but I will use the same formula. So let’s look at the bye week.
3 KEY PLAYERS
- BJ Raji
- Raji is needed desperately, that cannot be denied. He was playing at an All-Pro level over the first quarter of the season, but his departure in Week 5 with a groin injury has definitely had a huge impact on the defense. Letroy Guion is a good player but he is more of an end at this point. Raji’s disruptive ability is needed badly against a poor Denver offensive line. If he can collapse the pocket up the middle, Peyton Manning will have a very long day.
- Nick Perry
- Much like Raji, Perry’s absence has been felt in a huge way. After breaking out in the first four weeks to the tune of 3.5 sacks. But after he left with a shoulder injury the pass rush slowed down considerably. If he can return this week, his ability to turn the corner with Julius Peppers can free guys like Clay Matthews to dominate as well as get sacks of their own. Combined the three linebackers have 13.5 sacks between them.
- Davante Adams
- I think we all know why Adams is here. The Packers offense has struggled without that deep threat to keep defenses honest. Jeff Janis showed flashes of potential against San Diego, but it is Adams who will open things up once he returns. He has been playing it safe after re-injuring his ankle earlier in the year, and he may be good to go this week. The team will need him.
2 BOLD PREDICTIONS
- All of the players who were injured and not on IR will be full participants by Friday.
- Eddie Lacy, Davante Adams, James Jones, TJ Lang, BJ Raji, Nick Perry, Morgan Burnett. These guys are banged up and needed this week badly. But taking this time to heal and rehab in Green Bay will help these guys all tremendously. Throw in the fact that they can get the complete attention of the trainers without minor injuries thrown in will help. I think all of them will be practicing by Thursday and full participants Friday. I also expect them all to suit up on Sunday.
- The Packers will not make any trades for a skill position player.
- This one was easy for me. Thompson does not make trades in season for players, especially aging players like Davis and Smith who would be on the market. The Packers don’t do rentals, simple as that. And with guys like Adams getting healthy, the Packers have six receivers, and all will contribute. We saw Jared Abbrederis returning kicks and Janis emerge as a big play threat to a degree. The team is fine at the skill positions.
1 KEY STAT
- This one is kind of a cheat, but the Packers are a family, from 1919 until today. The men who played for this wonderful team have a bond that is rarely seen. That is partly why it was a state of emergency when Bart Starr’s health issues started to surface. Right now I want to acknowledge a member of the Packer family who has decided to call it a career, Jermichael Finley. Much like his brother Nick Collins, he waited a while to call it, but now that he has I can definitively say that we will all miss you on the field and are proud to call you a Packer for life. Finley sometimes rubbed people the wrong way with his antics on the field, but he was an exceptional player and a good role model as his career went along. Don’t forget that he was 20 when he was drafted, just a kid. I wish him the very best as he moves forward in his life as a father and a husband and hope to see him back at Lambeau very soon. Thanks for the memories and good luck Fin.
Mike Wendlandt is originally from Iola, Wisconsin and graduated from Drake University in 2015 with a degree in History. With a significant journalism background both in writing and broadcasting, Mike can be heard as the play-by-play voice of Central Wisconsin High School sports on WDUX FM 92.7 and on Twitter @MikeWendlandt.
Mike Wendlandt is a writer covering the Green Bay Packers for PackersTalk.com.