After the surprise mention of Janoris Jenkins and Wayne Hunter on the injury report Wednesday, both players, who did not practice earlier in the week, were bumped up to more favorable statuses on Friday. Jenkins fully participated in practice on Thursday and was officially listed as probable on the St. Louis Rams report today. Wayne Hunter has been listed as questionable for the fourth straight week, this time due to back problems instead of the knee issues. Hunter had been playing extremely well until last week against the Miami Dolphins. Hunter and right tackle, Barry Richardson, allowed 3 sacks on Sam Bradford last Sunday, two of which came from Miami’s rookie defensive end.
Aside from Hunter, the St. Louis Rams injury list was rather small, filled with names that anyone following the Rams would expect to be on there. However, the laundry list of injuries did not shrink much for the Green Bay Packers.
There had to be a sigh of relief in Wisconsin when Aaron Rodgers fully participated in practice on Thursday. On the other hand, the defense had no good news yesterday, and even worse news this morning. According to the Sacromento Bee, the Green Bay defense will be without WR Greg Jennings, DT B.J. Raji, CB Sam Shields, and LB Nick Perry on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.
For a defense that is ranked in the lower tier on the defensive side of the ball (20th in passing yards allowed, 21st in passing touchdowns, 18th in rushing yards, 15th in rushing touchdowns, 17th in total points) the loss of key players at each level will completely change their approach and effectiveness in the game. Without Raji holding down the middle of the field last week, Clay Matthews was held without a sack, even in the huge win by the Pack. They will be without 3 of their top 10 tacklers, including D.J. Smith, who was just placed in IR for the rest of the season. That means four players responsible for 20.2% of the teams total tackles, including special teams and offensive player tackles, will not be on the field against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.