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Packers Injury Update: Who Has A Chance To Play Sunday

This will be a memorable game against the Cowboys as former head coach Mike McCarthy returns to Lambeau Field to face off against his old team, the Green Bay Packers. This will be an emotional game for Aaron Rodgers and McCarthy.

The Green Bay Packers were hit hard with injuries during and after the NFC North showdown at Ford Field. Injuries and inconsistent gameplay have led the former NFC North champs into turmoil. In what seemed like a slow start, the media and fans quickly turned on the Packers and called them out. When your fifth-round and seventh-round rookie receivers are leading the charge on the field, you know it’s going to be rough before it’s glorious. However, the Packers have a chance to write all wrongs with a statement win as a home underdog on Sunday.

Packers Offensive Injuries: Wide Receivers

It seems like the Packers’ offense stubs a toe every week and loses a key playmaker. Last game against the Lions, Romeo Doubs was injured. Doubs was carted off the field, and further tests revealed a high-ankle sprain. These typical injuries require four to six weeks to recover, so don’t expect to see Doubs back anytime soon. He may land on the injured reserve but has yet to be placed there. Christian Watson was also knocked out of the game. He was in and out of concussion protocol and dealing with a chest injury. Watson has been upgraded to a full participant and will play on Sunday.

Top receiver Allen Lazard found himself on the injury report as he continues to deal with his shoulder injury. He has been a limited participant so that he can heal, but his game-day status is not in doubt. Expect Lazard to suit up and be Rodgers’ top target against the Cowboys. I’m surprised Sammy Watkins is still on the team after two critical misses on routes last week, but the Packers can’t afford to lose a veteran with all of these injuries. He’s been limited with a knee injury, but similar to Lazard; he’s just getting some rest in to be ready for the game.

Packers Offensive Injuries: Offensive Line, Quarterback, Running Backs

Injuries have been tough on the offensive line this year, and it has rattled the rest of the offense as the pressure gets through the pocket quicker. Left tackle David Bakhtiari and right guard Elgton Jenkins came into the season banged up, and every week they struggle to stay on the field with those injuries. Speaking of those two, both players did not practice on Wednesday but were limited participants in Thursday’s practice. This is no surprise, as they’ve been doing this every week. Barring any setbacks, look for these two to start. Left guard Jon Runyan is in a similar boat with a knee injury and continues to be a limited participant in practice.

Arguably the two best players on the Packers’ offense, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and running back Aaron Jones, landed on the injury report. Rodgers has been dealing with a thumb injury on his throwing hand. That has to hurt when throwing the ball 30-plus times a game. There’s nothing to monitor on him as he is just giving his hand extra rest leading up to the game. The team doesn’t want to aggravate it further.

Aaron Jones was a surprise. During the game, he left and jogged into the tunnel. Then, later in the game, he returned to the sideline by jogging from the tunnel without his helmet. The team held him out as he twisted his ankle and was unsure how serious it would be. So guess who was out on the field at the first practice of the week, Aaron Jones. He’s been a limited participant as he grooms his ankle injury, but it sounds like it was just an ankle twist. If he’s 100 percent, he should be an RB2 against a tough Dallas line, but with his jump cuts, he could be in store for a huge game.

Packers Defensive Injuries: Secondary

The Packers’ secondary continues to be one of the nation’s best against the pass. They currently rank second and help level out the atrocious rush defense. Unfortunately, several key cornerbacks on the roster popped up on the injury report. Some were expected, but one was not.

Cornerback Eric Stokes was another player that was carted off Ford Field with an injury. He suffered an ankle and knee injury, and after two days of practice, he hasn’t participated at all. This injury seems to be semi-serious. He is a long shot to play with these injuries and how he left the field Sunday. The team should err on the side of caution and rule him out of the game. Shemar Jean-Charles, primarily a special teams player, is back to a limited participant in practice. He may need one more absence before returning to the field.

The surprise addition, Rasul Douglas, was an interesting addition. Douglas continues to be an elite defender against the pass, but he’s nursing a calf strain. He should be good to go on Sunday. With Eric Stokes in danger of missing Sunday’s game, Rasul Douglas and Jaire Alexander will need to be active and continue their dominance through the air.

Packers Defensive Injuries: Linebacker

The most significant hit to the defense happened on Sunday. Sack leader Rashan Gary was injured. It was later revealed that Gary had torn his ACL and would be out for the season. He’s been an elite edge rusher this year and will be greatly missed. He was added to the season-ending injured reserve on Wednesday. Rookie linebacker Devonte Wyatt should be his replacement in the future, a highly touted draft pick. Another hit is De’Vondre Campbell; he missed last week’s game with a knee injury and continues to miss practice. With back-to-back DNPs to start the week, Campbell is line to miss his second straight game. Isaiah McDuffie filled in nicely for him last week and should continue to.

Krys Barnes was penalized for unnecessary roughness against running back D’Andre Swift; unfortunately, Barnes took the worst hit. Barnes was helped off the field and into the medical tent. He was soon ruled out with a concussion. As of today, he remains in the concussion protocol and should be ruled out for Sunday’s game. Preston Smith, a key linebacker, continues to battle a neck injury he suffered a few weeks ago. Neck injuries are brutal and can linger awhile. He’s been able to practice both days this week as a limited participant. Watch his status closely going into the weekend; he could be a game-time decision.

Who Should Play, Who Might Not

The one player that I didn’t mention but shouldn’t have an issue playing is kicker Mason Crosby. The team tried out a few kickers this week just in case, but with two limited participant practices, he should continue his rebound year on special teams.

Going through the offense, the following players should play on Sunday: T David Bakhtiari, G Elgton Jenkins, G Jon Runyan, TE Marcedes Lewis (vet rest), RB Aaron Jones, QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Allen Lazard, WR Christian Watson, WR Sammy Watkins.

Projected offensive inactives: WR Romeo Doubs, WR Randall Cobb (IR)

The following players on defense should play on Sunday: CB Rasul Douglas, LB Preston Smith

Projected defensive inactives: LB Krys Barnes, LB De’Vondre Campbell, LB Rashan Gary (IR), CB Shemar Jean-Charles, CB Eric Stokes

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