The Green Bay Packers have the perfect opportunity to get healthy.
The Packers looked utterly disjointed when they were thoroughly demolished by the Detroit Lions on Thursday Night Football. Though Christian Watson and Aaron Jones returned, the offense mustered just 230 yards, only 27 of which came on the ground.
Watson and Jones likely weren’t fully healthy for this game. This was about as important as a Week 4 matchup can get, as it’s already becoming clear it will likely be the Packers and Lions battling for the NFC North title throughout the season. Jones’ 5 carries for 18 yards and Watson’s 2 catches for 25 yards suggests the pair may have still been battling through pain to play in such a crucial divisional game.
David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Jaire Alexander and De’Vondre Campbell didn’t play against the Lions. It showed, especially on the offensive line. Detroit had 22 pressures on Jordan Love and it crippled the offense.
After an entire offseason of little to no action, Bakhtiari played exceptionally in Week 1 and hasn’t played since. The knee issue he’s dealt with since late 2020 completely altered his career. He’s now out indefinitely. This is likely Bakhtiari’s last season with the team and possibly the end of his great career.
Zach Tom and Rashan Gary are other key starters that played against the Lions but have frequented the injury report this season.
Thankfully, the Packers are beneficiaries of an odd October schedule. Green Bay enjoys a 10-day mini-bye week before traveling to Las Vegas on Oct. 9 to play the 1-3 Raiders that may be without their starting quarterback.
They then get another 12 days off for their Week 6 bye before heading to Denver to play the 1-3 Broncos. Denver allowed 70 points and over 700 yards of offense to the Miami Dolphins a week ago, then followed that up by mounting a second-half comeback and narrowly defeating the winless Chicago Bears in Week 4.
The schedule then returns to normal as the Packers play the following Sunday at home against the 1-3 Minnesota Vikings.
Overall, that’s 28 total days of rest from last Thursday until their Oct. 29 matchup with the Vikings. Two very winnable games (although on the road) in 28 days is exactly what Green Bay needs right now. The favorable matchups against Las Vegas and Denver also open the possibility of resting players that might otherwise try and play through injury.
It’s reasonable to think the Packers could be 4-2 with a healthier roster as they enter their game against the Vikings. Though Minnesota will be a test regardless of their record, facing them at Lambeau is favorable for Green Bay. A 5-2 record entering November is very realistic for this Packers team.
Despite getting trounced by Detroit, the Packers should be very much alive in the playoff race with a healthier roster in less than a month.——————