Another starter goes down for the PackersWisconsin Sports
-- The Green Bay Packers have lost another starter for the season due to injuries. Coach Mike McCarthy said yesterday that inside linebacker D.J. Smith and reserve running back Brandon Saine both tore ACL ligaments in their right knees in Sunday’s win at Houston.
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers have lost another starter for the season due to injuries. Coach Mike McCarthy said yesterday that inside linebacker D.J. Smith and reserve running back Brandon Saine both tore ACL ligaments in their right knees in Sunday’s win at Houston.
Both are second-year pros. Smith had replaced Desmond Bishop, who’s out for the year with a hamstring injury. Saine was a key player on special teams. Saine was immediately put on injured reserve, and the Packers filled the roster spot by claiming former Buffalo running back Johnny White off waivers. Position coach Shawn Slocum says White has special teams’ experience, and he’ll get acclimated to the Packer system as soon as possible.
Green Bay did not immediately put Smith on injured reserve, and did not make a roster move. Outside linebacker Brad Jones is expected to have a shot at replacing Smith, along with Robert Francois and Jamari Lattimore. Meanwhile, rookie linebacker Nick Perry and corner Sam Shields will be further evaluated tomorrow – but they could sit out Sunday’s game at Saint Louis after being hurt against the Texans. Perry injured a knee, and Shields hurt a shin.
Meanwhile, linebacker Frank Zombo will return to practice tomorrow. He missed the first six weeks of the season with a hamstring injury, and was on the physically unable-to-perform list. The Packers will have three weeks to decide whether to add him to their 53-man roster.
James Starks is officially up-and-running for the Green Bay Packers. The third-year running back played in his first game of the season last night, after a lingering turf-toe injury. He had five carries for 11 yards in the Pack’s win at Houston, while second-year pro Alex Green got the start at tailback and had 65 yards on 22 carries. Green was declared the starter late last week, while Cedric Benson is out until late in the season with a sprained left foot. Coach Mike McCarthy has said he’ll start the hottest of his running backs until Benson can return. For now, that appears to be either Green or Starks.
Green Bay Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy says it remains to be seen whether last night’s big win at Houston was the spark that will turn their season around. McCarthy says it depends on how the Packers respond next Sunday at Saint Louis – and whether his team can put back-to-back wins together for the first time this season. The 42-24 victory evened Green Bay’s record at 3-and-3 – and it was the Pack’s first truly dominant win of the year. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers told NBC right after the game that the players were tired of answering questions about “What happened to the Packers.” And when Michelle Tafoya asked what the Packers told their critics last night, Rodgers simply uttered, “Shhhhhhh.” At least one of the network pregame shows indicated that Packer receivers don’t like Rodgers – especially after he publicly scolded James Jones on the field in Week 2. But the reigning league MVP had nothing but praise for his receivers last night. Jones has the team lead in touchdown catches with seven. And Jordy Nelson had his first game with more than one score since last year’s regular season finale against Detroit. His three TD’s were a season-high – and among other things, he proved he didn’t need the injured Greg Jennings on the field in order to be effective.