Green Bay Packers: How Each Injured Player From 2010 Will Bounce Back
The Green Bay Packers not only became the NFL Champions back in February, but they made it look easy. What other team has ever sidelined so many starters and still brought home the Lombardi Trophy?
They don’t call it Titletown for nothing; these bruised and sometimes broken boys are serious business. With the preseason wrapping up and the old ace bandages coming off, we have a good grasp of how the 2010 injuries are going to effect this year’s regular season.
Ryan Grant Running Back for More with Green Bay
We can expect to see RB Ryan Grant not only at this year’s season opener against the New Orleans’s Saints, but continuing as the starting running back for the Pack. After last year’s opener closed his season with a serious ankle injury, coach Mike McCarthy is ready to put him back into the mix after slowly reintroducing him during preseason—a far cry from what he is used to after his previous streak of 51 consecutive games played.
According to Grant, it wasn't nearly as bad as the media made it out to be; if it wasn't for injured reserve rules, he would have been back sooner.
With his rushing and receiving average increasing with each passing year since joining up with the Bay Boys, we can expect Grant to be a big contributor in the upcoming season despite trade rumors.
Jermichael Finley Ready for Regular Season
Tight end Jermichael Finley had the team’s highest per-catch average in 2010 before going out with a knee injury in Week 5 against the Washington Redskins. The year prior, it was also his knee that had sidelined him for a few games.
Fortunately for him and his teammates, his knee seems to be holding out just fine. His ankle, on the other hand, ended up keeping him out of this year’s final preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
If Finley can hold himself together physically, this young talent still has a lot to offer the Packers with what we've seen so far. The skill is there, so let’s just hope during Week 1 and beyond we see the strength remain as well.
Brad Jones Draws Attention for 2010 Sacks, More Anticipated for 2011
LOLB Brad Jones made four sacks as a rookie with the Pack in 2009—something that has only been done by five others since 1982. Not bad for a beginner and something we want repeated.
It was exactly those types of power plays that we were hoping for more of in 2010 before a shoulder injury took him out for the season after just six games. Though he’s coming in behind starter Clay Matthews, we can be sure that Ted Thompson is going to be interested in the numbers Jones may be able to put up this year after recovering.
The strength of Green Bay’s depth chart is just one more reason we can be assured that this year will be another very likely appearance at the Super Bowl.
Donald Driver with Packers for 2011 Despite Trader Rumors
The 2010 season was the first since 2003 that WR Donald Driver missed a game due to injury. He was also taken out of the biggest game of his life with a high ankle sprain during last year's world championship.
With a contract extension signed in August of last year, don’t expect Driver to be anywhere but on the starting line for the Green Bay Packers. Driver’s preseason performance has given us nothing but optimism for the season ahead and, perhaps, a second shot at playing in a NFL championship game.
Charles Woodson Rises Above Collar Bone Injury for 2011
Seven-time Pro Bowler CB Charles Woodson's optimism cracked when he broke his collar bone in last season’s Super Bowl—something no coach wants to hear about their 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
As for this year, though, Woodson will be starting again and hopes to return more intercepted touchdowns to up his league ranking from No. 3 to No. 1 this season. As a seasoned veteran, we can expect Woodson to know how to work around any potential stumbling blocks that come his way.
Morgan Burnett Ready to Shine for Green Bay
Safety Morgan Burnett showed us just enough during his rookie debut to let us know that he has a huge future in Green Bay. Despite a torn ACL in Week 4 of last year, Burnett is slotted in the coveted starting position, right in front of his talented starting replacement from last year, Charlie Peprah.
Burnett is coming in at 11 months post-surgery and is expected to be playing up to his potential, according to Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers. As only the second Packer to begin his rookie year as a starter since 1988, we fully comprehend the potential that Coach McCarthy and Ted Thompson expect to flourish in Burnett.
World Champions Ready for the 2011 Season
Despite last year's injuries, there is nothing to make us fear that the Packers will be held back in any way due to old bruises and bumps. In fact, all you have to do is look back to realize that injuries have never held them back from giving their all and fighting on regardless.
This is one team that is not afraid to throw new talent onto the front lines. With the depth of their talent and with seasoned veterans there to support them, this seems to merely be bringing new stars to the forefront anyways.
As they sit now, world champions in optimal health, we know the upcoming season will be noteworthy.