Although he played nearly every snap in a win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday and showed no signs of an injury, the Green Bay Packers' Charles Woodson reportedly suffered a broken collarbone and is expected to miss some serious time.
Fox's Jay Glazer passed along the news:
Big loss for packers. Charles Woodson broken collarbone out 6 weeks— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 22, 2012
When the injury occurred is a mystery, but that is of little importance right now. The far more pressing issue is Green Bay replacing the former Defensive Player of the Year in a pass defense that has been making strides towards competency this season.
The Packers are 17th in passing yards allowed per game, which is a big improvement after they spent last year either at or near the bottom of those rankings. They are also 11th in yards allowed per pass.
Unfortunately for Green Bay, that aerial defense just got a little more vulnerable.
At 36 years of age, Woodson is not as dominant as he once was, but his instinctive presence and knack for creating turnovers will be sorely missed. The defensive back has 38 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble in what has been yet another impressive season.
Woodson's veteran leadership and playmaking ability are all things the Packers will not be able to replace with any one player in the secondary. They will have to make up for his absence by turning up the pass rush, and with each man in the secondary working to fill the void through constant communication.
The good news here for Green Bay is that its bye week is still ahead. So, if Woodson is out six weeks, he would miss just five games, potentially putting him back on the field for Week 14. Or in other words, he would be back just in time to get back into top game shape for the playoffs.
Now, all the Packers have to do is put themselves in a position to get there.