Legendary senior writer, Packers lead blogger & NFC North columnist jclombardi presents Packers news about offense and injuries update.
As fans know, WR Randall Cobb is going to be out for eight weeks because of a broken fibula being put on injured reserve with designation to return. WR James Jones has a strained PCL with a long shot to play against the coming Sunday game against the Browns. Thus, the Packers promoted WR Myles White and TE Jake Stoneburner from the practice squad. Also, the Packers signed WR Tyrone Walker to their practice squad. With TE Finley becoming a necessary WR option, TE Stoneburner allows McCarthy to have his normal four tight ends group with two having large roles on special teams.
These are good solid moves with players who know the West Coast Packers offense. The Packers now have three healthy receivers (Jordy Nelson, Jarrett Boykin and White) and five tight ends (Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless, Ryan Taylor [injured], Brandon Bostick and Jake Stoneburner).
As we suggested long ago, borrowing from the NE Patriots play book, the Packers are going (by default), to use more of the two-tight set in offensive game plan. Now, TE Finley will play the moving wide receiver slot with either TE Quarless or TE Bostick playing close to the line for blocking. Specifically, RB Lacy or RB Franklin along with TE Finley add strong play calling options for HC McCarthy, a strong proponent of multiple-tight end formations.
How important is it for the Packers offense? According to PFF:
A deeper statistical analysis of the game also suggests Rodgers benefited from the improved run game and two-tight end set in the second half. According to ProFootballFocus.com, Rodgers used play action on about one-third of his passes (32.4 percent) and had a 141.3 rating on those throws. Without play action, his rating was 59.1
Thus, fans, don't panic. Our offense will adjust and move forward with a new look West Coast offense led by WR Nelson, TE Finley, and RB Lacy. The Packers will be fine with the big factor is how well WR Boykin plays in the coming games replacing WR Cobb. WR Boykin needs to get his timing on with QB Rodgers:
A big key to keeping the offense rolling will be whether Boykin plays more consistently than he did in the victory over Baltimore on Sunday. In his defense, he had played just 10 snaps from scrimmage going into the game, but he still dropped two passes and looked to be out of sync with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He eventually showed what the Packers saw in him when he turned a wide receiver screen into a 43-yard gain, but with lots of the attention expected to be paid to Nelson and Finley, he may have to show up more than once or twice Sunday.
INJURIES UPDATE (FOLLOWING MCCARTHY'S PC):
1. TE Ryan Taylor...knee surgery...out at least two weeks.
2. OLB Mike Neal...bruised shoulder....see Friday if ready for Sunday Browns game..
3. WR James Jones...Friday will determined if he can play Sunday...doubtful.
4. ILB Brad Jones...not available yet.
5. CB Casey Hayward...limited practice...appears read to go maybe.
6. OT Derek Sherrod..in pads tomorrow...he needs to practice in pads before he can play...gradual return to game play.
7. WR Randall Cobb...six to eight weeks per IR/Designated for Return timetable.
8. OLB Nick Perry...appears at least two weeks.