GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — A slew of injuries to key players could leave the Green Bay Packers scrambling this week. And perhaps the week after that, too.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday the team’s medical staff was still “trying to get their hands around” the avalanche of injuries that occurred during the team’s 34-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night, although none of the injuries appear to be season-ending.
Already forced to play without starting offensive tackles David Bakhtiari (hamstring) and Bryan Bulaga (ankle), the Packers lost standout defensive tackle Mike Daniels to a hamstring injury on the Falcons’ first offensive possession. Then wide receiver Jordy Nelson, Aaron Rodgers’ top offensive weapon, sustained a quadriceps injury on the Packers’ first possession. Neither player returned to the game.
After that, the Packers lost wide receiver Randall Cobb (shoulder), safety Kentrell Brice (groin) and cornerback Davon House (quadriceps). Veteran right guard Jahri Evans suffered a groin injury but finished the game without missing a snap.
Asked whether any of the injuries were season-ending, McCarthy replied, “I don’t think I’ll be reporting any season-ending injuries, no.”
That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Packers have to play two games in a 12-day span, facing the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday and then hosting the Chicago Bears in a Thursday night game on Sept. 28.
That could make it difficult for any of the injured players to get back and be able to play in both games.
“There was a point there when I looked at the bench and there are 10 guys on the bench (with injuries),” McCarthy said in his press briefing Monday night. “We have a system with the trainers where they have a yellow card and they walk by me and they just write the number, and it seemed like it went on all night with guys going down, going back up.
“Hopefully that’s our one game for this year. It was definitely a challenge, but I thought our guys did a heck of a job fighting through it.”
Presumably, the Packers won’t have most of those players ready for practice on Wednesday.
“It’s going to affect the way we practice Wednesday,” McCarthy said. “I think that’s loud and clear.”
Without Bulaga and Bakhtiari, the Packers started second-year tackle Kyle Murphy on the left side, one week after he’d made his first career NFL start on the right side. Justin McCray, who had never played a regular-season…