Given the nature of football, one can’t expect a full season to be played without a few casualties along the way. With that said, the Green Bay Packers have managed to get through the playoffs with most of their team in tact. While they did suffer a few key injuries during the regular season, those who participated in the first few rounds of the playoffs will generally be available for Mike McCarthy on Super Bowl Sunday.
Perhaps the biggest area of concern for the Packers is the addition of veteran wide receiver Donald Driver to the injury report. He was limited in practice with a quad injury, but both he and his coach insist that he will be ready, with McCarthy being quoted as saying he “would be shocked if Donald Driver didn’t play Sunday”. Even if Driver does play though, one has to wonder how much of an impact he will be able to have if he is suffering from a sore quad. Driver has already seen his role reduce throughout the season as younger receivers like Jordy Nelson and James Jones have emerged as viable targets, but the Packers need to rely on Driver’s experience on Sunday, so having him close to full strength is important.
Another issue for the Packers is the left outside linebacker position. Starter Erik Walden has an ankle issue, and he did not practice on Thursday. His status for Sunday, according to McCarthy, is “up in the air”. His backup is Frank Zombo, who will get the start if Walden can’t go, despite suffering from a knee injury. Zombo says he was able to practice all week without pain, so will be ready to go if called upon on Sunday.
Even though they haven’t had to deal with too many injury issues during the playoffs, Green Bay had more than their share during the regular season, and have placed 15 members on the injured reserve, including five starters. The fact that they were able to make it to the Super Bowl despite all of these lost man-games is a testament to their roster depth.
The following players are all officially listed as probably on the injury report, but should be ready to go barring any unexpected setbacks: A.J. Hawk (knee), Desmond Bishop (ankle), Jason Spitz (calf), Chad Clifton (neck), Greg Jennings (knee).