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St. Louis Rams Injury Update: Wayne Hunter Questionable, Janoris Jenkins Probable

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.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/SoftliSTL/status/259076302819192832"]

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.

Topics: Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Rams

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  • Tyler

    The loss of those players you mentioned won’t change the way the Packers play at all. Perry is part of a platoon at LOLB and his replacement (Erik Walden) has outplayed him so far this year. Sam Sheilds has been decent so far, but his replacement (Casey Hayward) appears to be a much better player. The Pack limited Arian Foster to 29 yards last week without BJ Raji. DJ Smith will be missed, but he himself is a replacement for Desmond Bishop and hasn’t really made too much of an impact this year.

    • DoNotUnderestimate

      You don’t think that players that attribute over 30% of the defenses tackles and 20% of the overall tackle won’t influence the style of defense that you play? The St. Louis Rams offense matches up perfectly against a 3-4 base defense, especially if those teams cannot get pressure on the Bradford in his three-step drops. Schaub is the king of play action and 5- and 7-step drop passes. Those both take an extremely long time to develop and play right into the hands to the Green Bay style of defense.

      You need more than two corners to play the game of football, and that is where the loss of Sam Shields will hurt the most. The Rams do not have a #1 receiver, they play with slot guys all over the field, that can find the hole in coverage and move the chains on short catches. Walden may have outplayed him as an all-around linebacker, but Perry is clearly the better pass rusher, which you will need without Raji in the middle.

      I do not know how you can honestly say that Smith “hasn’t really made too much of an impact.” He is the third leading tackler on the team, second leading player in terms of sacks, leads the team in tackles for a toss, and has the most pass deflections of any linebacker on the team. As much as everyone loveeeeeees Clay Matthews, has leads has led the NFL among linebackers in missed tackles over the last three seasons, and is horrible in pass coverage. He is a pass rusher only, and needs players like Raji, Smith, and a full bounty of secondary players to do his job…