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Key Injuries That Kept The Packers Out Of The 2018 NFL Playoffs

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Key Injuries That Kept The Packers Out Of The 2018 NFL Playoffs

After missing the NFL Playoffs for the first time since 2008, many Packers fans are left wondering what happened. Undoubtedly many factors played into Green Bay missing the dance, but injuries were a big reason the team missed the playoffs. It is easy to see the effect that the Aaron Rodgers injury had on the team. In the games before Rodgers’ injury, the team’s record was 4-1. The team finished the season 3-8, with an overall record of 7-9. Prior to his injury, Green Bay was scoring 27.4 points per game according to Team Rankings. By season’s end that average dropped to just 20. However, Green Bay also experienced key injuries at various positions throughout the year. With the teams’ season already over, we will look at which injuries had the most significant effect on the team.

Ty Montgomery

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Following an impressive preseason and a 2016 campaign that saw Ty Montgomery average 5.9 yards-per-carry, his 2017 season was burdened by injury. In the fourth week of the season, Montgomery would break ribs in a game against Chicago. He would recover enough to play a few games, but the injury limited his usage. After the injury, he did not touch the ball more than eleven times in a game. By Week 11, Montgomery was on injured reserve following wrist surgery. While he did only average 3.8 yards per rush this season, Montgomery was a workhorse when healthy. In the first three games of the season, Montgomery had 59 touches, 253 total yards, and three touchdowns.

Aaron Jones

Staying with the running back theme leads us to Aaron Jones next. Green Bay struck gold with the young rookie. Jones earned the highest Pro Football Focus grade among backs on his team at 82.7. Though he started just four games, Jones rushed for 5.5 yards-per-carry when available. Jones had two games with more than 15 carries and posted over 120 yards in both instances. However, Jones did not impress as a receiving back. He had just nine receptions for 22 yards on the season. Unfortunately, an MCL injury suffered early in the season would limit Jones’ play. On the other end, Jones was able to come up with a clutch 20-yard rushing touchdown in Week 13 against the Bucs. The touchdown sealed the game in overtime and was Jones’ only touch of the day.

Bryan Bulaga

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The right tackle for the Packers struggled with injuries throughout the year. He played in just five games on the season before suffering a torn ACL in Week 9 against the Lions. While his availability has been an issue, Bryan Bulaga is regarded as one of the best tackles in football. Though it must be mentioned that statistically speaking, Pro Football Focus graded Bulaga at a 68.9. That is his worst season grade since his rookie year. As the Packers look to build a Super Bowl roster in 2018, they will need Bulaga to get back into form.

Davante Adams

Davante Adams shot up as the Packers number one wide receiver this year. His numbers don’t lie. Adams led the Packers with 74 receptions, 885 yards, and 12 touchdowns. His 83.5 Pro Football Focus rating led the team as well. Even more impressive, Adams did this without Aaron Rodgers for half the season. Not to mention that Adams missed a pair of games due to a concussion.  While the first concussion Adams was able to bounce back from, the second ended his season. More significantly, the second injury took him out of a game that ultimately ended the Packers playoff hopes. When looking at Adams, his potential is evident. While one of the bright spots on the 2017 season, he was also one of the critical injuries on the team.

Morgan Burnett

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Morgan Burnett was one of the most versatile players on the defensive side of the ball for the Packers. He plugged into the “Nitro” position on the team, shifting from linebacker to safety as the play dictated. Perhaps most impressive, Burnett covered wide receivers out of the slot and shifty tight ends. Pro Football Focus saw his success, ranking Burnett as the team’s top cover man. However, his 77.3 ranking from Pro Football Focus places Burnett as the 47th best safety in the league. Though in good health, Burnett has shown himself to be one of the better safeties in the league.

Other Notable Key Injuries

The Packers lost a slew of players in the 2017 season. On that list was last year’s sack leader, Nick Perry, who had multiple injuries. Ultimately, it was an ankle injury that ended up sidelining him for the season. The team also lost rookie cornerback Kevin King to a shoulder injury. Prior to the injury, King worked his way up the depth chart to become the number one cover corner. Lastly, they lost Martellus Bennett. Bennett was the biggest signing for the Packers last offseason. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury led to conflict, and eventually Green Bay waived Bennett in the middle of the season.

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