The Packers had a number of reserves step up in the team's eighteen point win over the previously undefeated Texans last weekend, signaling some possible silver-lining to their current injury situation. Four starters are out for the team's Sunday game against the Rams, including nose tackle B.J. Raji, who was also sidelined for the game in Houston. Despite the loss of Raji, the line held Texans runningback Arian Foster to just under two-yards per carry. Should the big-man be absent for an extended period, Erik Waldon and Davon House will be his likely replacements, both of whom have proved themselves worthy of the roll in the past few weeks. Head coach Mike McCarthy told media that House has been having his best practices recently, calling his Thursday performance on the practice field his best to date. McCarthy also said that he is very excited about the future prospects of the four year veteran Waldon with the team, especially since the twenty-seven year old had the chance to go through the full spring-training program this year in Green Bay, something he missed out on due to injury in 2011.
Outside linebacker Nick Perry has also been ruled out for the game in St. Louis, going down with a knee injury against the Texans. For the player who doesn't replace Raji, that man will likely step into Perry's role. That job is perhaps a heftier one, playing opposite of Clay Matthews. McCarthy's problems don't stop with the defensive line, however. Vacancies at the cornerback, running back, and wide receiver spots also exist. Though, luckily, worthy replacements do exist.
Four-star receiver Greg Jennings is out with a groin injury, a hit the Packers less-than-productive offense over the first five games could have done without. However, fellow starters Jordy Nelson and youngster Randall Cobb have made up the slack. The twenty-two year old Cobb already overshadows Jennings accomplishments this season, managing twenty-nine catches for nearly 350 yards. Jennings absence also opens doors for the aging Donald Driver, who may now see some extra playing time in what will likely be the final season in the NFL, and rookie Jarrett Boykin.
Cornerback Sam Shields went down along with Jennings last weekend, after a bizarre fall led to a shin and ankle injury. Rookie Casey Hayward stepped in displaying perfect form for the remainder of the ball game, even pulling in a pair of late-game interceptions. That brought his season total to an impressive three.
Cedric Benson Out With Foot Injury
Running back Cedric Benson did not begin the season with the form he had shown with the Bengals the past four years. His foot injury in week five was therefore not the dagger-in-the-back for the team's ground game it could have been. Benson will be out until at least week fourteen, according to McCarthy, who announced the appointment of Alex Green to the every-down running back spot. Green ran for sixty-seven yards on just over twenty carries against the Texans. And, while he averaged just three yards per carry on the day, his performance, says running backs coach Alex Van Pelt, was good enough to make him the obvious choice.