The 2010 Green Bay Packers overcame a rash of injuries to win the Super Bowl last year. When you take a closer look at their injuries, you begin to have a greater appreciation for their title run. On the offensive side of the ball, Aaron Rodgers lost his big red zone threat in tight end Jermichael Finley, starting running back Ryan Grant, and Tackle Mark Tauscher. On defense, they lost a starting safety in Morgan Burnett, a rookie from Georgia Tech. They would also go on to lose linebackers Brandon Chillar and Nick Barnett. Yet, this team still managed to defeat Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, and Pittsburgh on their way to the Lombardi Trophy.
With a title under their belt and a healthy group of players, this year’s Packers team have set their sights on repeating. However, its only the second week of the 2011 NFL Season and the injuries have already started to plague Green Bay.
It’s never a good thing to lose a starter, especially when that starter is a Pro Bowler. When the Packers traveled to Charlotte to visit Cam Newton and Co. on Sunday, they lost Pro Bowl Safefty Nick Collins to a neck injury that resulted in him being carted off the field. Packer fans had to know that the injury was serious when word came out that Collins would spend the night in Charlotte, NC as a precautionary measure.
After further evaluation, it was determined that Collins would miss the rest of the 2011 season for the Packers. Though this is a big loss for the Packers, they can at least rest easy knowing that Charlie Peprah will take his spot in the secondary. The 5th year safety from Alabama was a big part in helping the depleted Packers make and win the Super Bowl last season. When the Packers squared off against the Steelers in February for the championship, he led all players in the game with 10 tackles.
Early last season, Peprah was thrust into the lineup when rookie safety Morgan Burnett got injured and was forced to miss the whole season. He made the best of that opportunity and this year, the “backup” safety gets another shot to show what he’s about. With Collins out for the year, he will play alongside Burnett — the guy he replaced last year. Hopefully, he can spark a change for the better in that Packers secondary — they’ve given up 400 plus yards passing in their first two games. That’s got to change.
If the Packers have to deal with bunches of injuries this year and the end result is similar to last year’s Packers, i’m sure there will be no complaints in Green Bay.