As if the Green Bay Packers needed more injury news, it was announced Monday that Charles Woodson has a broken collarbone and will be out six weeks. This means that the Packers will be without their defensive leader until late in the season, when they are, hopefully, making a playoff push.
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy believes that Woodson broke his collarbone on a play with only 2:44 left in the game, a play where he dove for a Sam Bradford pass and came up holding his shoulder. The disappointing news came Monday that Woodson would be out, and now the Packers must move on without him.
The Packers will need to fill Woodson’s spot immediately and the likely candidate is rookie Casey Hayward, who took over Sam Shields spot last week and recorded his third interception in only four games. This is assuming that Shields is healthy and ready to play come game time. McCarthy has said that the team will wait till Friday to make a decision on Shields, so that is up in the air.
The Packers can do a decent job of covering for Woodson’s talent level, Casey Hayward has shown he can hang with the defense and has been playing well, but the Packers will struggle to replace Woodson’s intangibles.
Woodson was the leader of this defensive and his leadership will be greatly missed. Woodson also has a knack for getting to the ball, that is something not all defensive players have. You would almost always see Woodson there at the end of the play just because he seemed to know where the ball would be or where he had to be to make a play.
Woodson had started in 100 out of 103 games since 2006 for the Packers. During that time he has had nine interceptions returned for touchdowns.
Even though he has lost a couple steps as his career went on, Woodson proves time and time again that he is one of the best defensive players in the league. His leadership will be greatly missed on this team.
This also just adds to a growing list of injuries on the Packers defense. BJ Raji has missed the last two games, Sam Shields missed last game and is still uncertain for this week, and linebacker, Nick Perry missed last week.
While its tough to take all these injuries, especially to key players like Charles Woodson, remember this. Last year the Packers remained mostly healthy and they were bounced in their first game of the playoffs. In 2010-2011 they suffered injuries all season long and ended up winning the Superbowl. Maybe history is repeating itself.