The Green Bay Packers are very, very deep at wide receiver. So if nothing else is taken from this article, take that.
Greg Jennings is still out with a concussion, and head coach Mike McCarthy says while they hope his return will be in days, he really doesn't know. I've been asked to remind us all that an athlete who played at all during preseason or training camp cannot be put on the PUP list. So Jennings either stays active (though not playing) or is on the Injured Reserve.
I don't expect it to come to that, but the question remains: How serious is this? How worried should Packers fans be?
I would place it at about DEFCON level 3, or "Yellow."
In case you aren't sure just what the heck that means, either not having been old enough to live the 80s, watching the movie Wargames or reading The Watchmen, here is a handy-dandy jpeg clipped from Wikipedia to help out.
I'd say I had it at DEFCON 4 since Jennings was concussed—a heightened level of awareness. Concussions happen and we are patient waiting for them to clear.
It's been a week now, and there is still some doubt as to when we will see him on the field. So I have raised it up a notch to (as Wikipedia puts it) "increase in force readiness above that required for normal readiness."
That is to say, I am concerned, though not completely panicked.
Here is why, although you should be concerned, you should have your DEFCON set no higher than mine.
First of all, Jennings does not have a history of concussions. Sure, most players have had them and maybe didn't even know it, but I'm talking serious concussions. Like Jahvid Best level ones (Best has me at DEFCON 1, by the way).
Jennings hasn't had them, so even if it is a bad concussion, it's not one that should become a long-term problem.
I have the level of concern that I do because there seems to be some doubt as to his level of readiness. However, it is entirely possible they are being super-cautious. It's not as if Jennings needs preseason games, and it's very useful to have the lower-rung guys like Diondre Borel and Tori Gurley get some extra reps.
Also, if Jennings did miss time, he is replaced by Jordy Nelson, Randell Cobb, James Jones and Donald Driver. While the final name is well past his prime, he can still be effective.
Jones is inconsistent but can make big plays. Cobb is a bit unproven but is very dangerous with the ball in his hands. And, well, we saw what Nelson can do in 2011, and with the work he is putting in now, I have become a believer he will repeat.
So losing Jennings, while a problem, is not a big one given the talent they have catching the ball—and I didn't even touch on Jermichael Finley at tight end.
So that makes this almost a light DEFCON 3. Like a pale "Yellow," not a bright one.
Now, any concussion bears some worry. If he is still having lingering effects a week later, that is something to at least be more concerned with.
Given the way the league has moved, you also have to be worried that it is more than simple caution. That maybe there are some bigger, lingering issues at work.
So yes, be concerned for Jennings. We all want him healthy (OK, the rest of the NFC North might not) and hope he recovers.
Worst comes to worst, the Packers have the depth to withstand even a long absence by him.
I don't expect it to come to DEFCON 5. So don't look for a desk to hide under or build any shelters in your backyard.
It wouldn't hurt to hoard some food, though. At worst, you'll be well stocked for the kick off of the season.
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