Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

12 Sep 2005

Javon Walker Injures Knee

Does Brett Favre have any thoughts on Walker's contract situation now?

UPDATE: As is mentioned in the comments and is now in the linked article, Walker is done for the year. Now Favre can back up his pre-season statements that they did not need Javon to win.

Posted by: Ned Macey on 12 Sep 2005

32 comments, Last at 14 Sep 2005, 4:13pm by MRH

Comments

1
by Daniel Warehall (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 11:58am

That is exactly what I was thinking...

2
by Gatts (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 12:12pm

Can we write off GB now?

3
by Michael (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 12:15pm

I'm sure the Packers are happy they didn't give him a huge contract extension now.

Robert Ferguson could earn himself a big payday if he can step in and do a decent job replacing Walker. However, I'm not sure how likely that is to happen.

4
by Bruce Dickinson (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 12:25pm

Speaking of the beloved injuries. I heard that after playing against the Bears, Jon Jansen will now be wearing casts on both hands for awhile. that should be fun.

5
by Wicked (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 12:28pm

RE #2 - Not quite. If you think GB is that one dimentional you apparently don't pay much attention to football.

6
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 12:29pm

Yah. Anyone who saw the Packers play yesterday knows that they don't have any dimensions at all.

(rimshot)

7
by Arkaein (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 12:51pm

You can't write anyone off in the NFC North. I was terribly disappointed by the Packers performance, but the Lions didn't exactly look like world beaters themselves as the Packers mainly blew the game with penalties and a botched field goal hold, and the Vikings and Bears hardly covered themselves in glory either. Plus, if the Pack can clean up the penalties the defense actually looked pretty decent.

Plus, the Pack host Cleveland next week, a great chance to get to 1-1. If the Pack couldn't be written off after a 1-4 start last year, 0-1 is definitely too early to panic.

8
by Daniel Warehall (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 1:06pm

I think the real issue is will a 6-10 team win the NFC North or West this year? Wouldn't that be great?

We could end the debate about the least deserving playoff team of all time!

9
by TomC (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 1:15pm

re #7: the Packers mainly blew the game with penalties and a botched field goal hold

Hmm, that's not how I saw the game. Admittedly, I was half-drunk and angry/preoccupied after the Bears game, but to me it looked like Green Bay wouldn't ever score a TD, ever.

10
by Wicked (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 1:29pm

Hmm, that’s not how I saw the game. Admittedly, I was half-drunk and angry/preoccupied after the Bears game, but to me it looked like Green Bay wouldn’t ever score a TD, ever.

Stop drinking.

11
by MKEPack (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 1:38pm

Re: #8

Watching the North represent themselves yesterday makes me think the whole division could go 3-13 and send the tiebreak winner to the playoffs as a 4 seed...

Of course, they'd all have to go 3-3 in the division and lose all of their other games... but that doesn't look 100% ridiculous after week 1.

In all seriousness, the Packers yesterday reminded me a lot of last year's Arizona game. Early in the season, everyone looks lethargic, and in the second half I kept thinking "is THIS going to be the drive where they actually score?"

Of course, they snapped out of it a few weeks later and got hot down the stretch - so I have hope that if the defense is actually going to play over their heads this year it could still be better than last year.

12
by MCS (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 2:06pm

I don't know anything about the Mercury News Wire, but here's more speculation that Walker is out for the season.

Click my name for the link.

13
by bobstar (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 2:07pm

So, how will Walker's season-ending injury effect future contract situations? I imagine ol' Jevon must be feeling pretty blue and bitter right now. At the time my thought was that it was well and good for Favre to spew his management-side thoughts, he's set up for life. Now what? I think every player has to use whatever leverage they can to ensure maximum pay, no matter how unpopular it may make them in the media.

14
by MCS (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 2:08pm

Sorry, the link requires some sort of registration. It wasn't needed when I first got to the site.

Here's the article:

Javon Walker out for season

PACKERS RECEIVER TEARS ACL; FALCONS LOOK TO CLOSE GAP

Mercury News Wire Services

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Javon Walker will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Sunday against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

The Packers will determine the full extent of the injury today through diagnostic tests. However, team physician Patrick McKenzie told Green Bay Coach Mike Sherman that it was a torn ACL, which will require reconstructive surgery and anywhere from a six- to 12-month rehabilitation.

``Guys have to step up and replace a very high quality player,'' Sherman said. ``I doubt he'll be back any time in the near future.''

Walker was hurt when he caught a 55-yard pass in the third quarter -- negated by a pass-interference call on him -- and was tackled by safety Terrence Holt.

Walker was out of the locker room by the time the players filed in, so most were unaware of the catastrophic nature of the injury.

``Whoa,'' cornerback Al Harris said when the news was delivered. ``That'll be big.''

15
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 2:20pm

Birk's injury has not gotten enough attention when discussing the NFC North. The Vikings' o-line play yesterday was just awful. They were sub-mediocre in pass protection, and the run blocking was beyong hideous, particularly when you factor that Tampa was just daring the Vikings to try to run the ball, with their safeties way back from the line of scrimmage. Now, I do think Tampa's defense is quite good, but when you also toss in how bad the Vikings' running backs and receivers played (at least one, and perhaps two, of Culpepper's interceptions were caused by receivers, as was one of his fumbles), and it is amazing that they were 12 yards away from winning the game with less than two minutes left.

If the Vikings o-line doesn't improve markedly, they won't win eight games, and as crazy as it sounds, the Bears might win the division with a rookie QB, given they have the best defense in the division.

16
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 2:26pm

Favre should have kept his mouth shut. One player should never involve himself in another player's contract matters. On the other hand, if players are unhappy with their degree of injury risk, then they should demand larger signing bonuses, and go find another way to make large sums of money if those demands are not met.

17
by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 2:28pm

In a totally unrelated injury Kris Jenkins has also torn his ACL and he too is done for the season.

Drag for the PAnthers.

18
by TomC (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 2:46pm

re #15: as crazy as it sounds, the Bears might win the division with a rookie QB, given they have the best defense in the division.

I think you're right, WA, but if you just go by yesterday's games, you might have to give that title to the Lions, given that they held a offensive team that was recently pretty good to fewer yards, points, and 3rd down conversions than the Bears gave up to the supposedly putrid Skins.

19
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 2:54pm

as the Packers mainly blew the game with penalties and a botched field goal hold

I think that's the definition of "playing badly."

But I don't really see how a botched field goal hold helps you win a game that you lost by 14 points.

They lost the game due to the fact that they had one drive in the second half that gained more than 10 yards - the last one. This was almost entirely due to penalties and turnovers.

20
by dman (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 3:00pm

RE: #18
Not to mention that they actually.... you know... won.

21
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 3:29pm

Yeah, TomC., but I still think the Bears have the best defense in the division. This isn't the first time the Packers' offense has stunk in Detroit, and I think the Forces of Favre may be in serious decline, for the same reason that the Vikings offense was in trouble yesterday; a serious deficiency in the interior offensive line.

The Vkings defense yesterday was o.k., I guess; the last touchdown was not indicative of anything much at all. Without great improvement of the offensive line, however, I suspect defensive coordinators scheming for the Vikings will attempt what the Bucs did so well, which was droppping coverage deep and challenging the Vikings to run the ball. Now, most defenses don't have personnel to employ that scheme as well as Tampa; they converge and tackle really well on passes thrown underneath, and disguise blitzes extremely well on those occasions when they don't simply rush four.

However, if you can't force anybody out of that scheme by rushing the ball, and you don't have Randy Moss, it puts too much pressure on the quarterback to be perfect. However, I thought Culpepper actually played much better than his stats indicated. With the exception of his being stripped of the ball in the first half, when he just lingered too long trying to find a receiver, the other turnovers were not mostly his fault.

Receivers have to read bltizes, and react accordingly, and a passing- situation running back like Moe Williams simply must catch the ball he tipped up in the air at the end of the game. Toss in two longish td passes called back, one due to a phantom interference call, and another due to a pointless block in the back by Nate Burleson, and Culpepper played much better than some might imagine.

Based on yesterday's play however, the Bears and the Lions are the contenders. I don't think the Packers have a prayer now with Walker being sidelined, and we'll see what adjustments the Vikings can make.

22
by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 3:48pm

The Vkings defense yesterday was o.k., I guess; the last touchdown was not indicative of anything much at all.

I didn't think it looked good at all. There were tons of gaps in their coverage all the time. The few interceptions kindof throw that opinion. Reminds me of the Colts defense last year.

However, I thought Culpepper actually played much better than his stats indicated.

I agree - the only problem is that the problem I saw was his receivers, which is a problem. How many times did Culpepper hit receivers right in the numbers?

23
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 4:09pm

Well, when a defense gives up seventeen points until the last-minute run by Williams, I can't say that it was terrible. They were better in the second half, and I don't recall any recent Vikings defense having as many three-and-outs. That said, the lack of a consistent pass rush from the edge will be harmful if it continues. They would have been much better off with Demarcus Ware with their initial first round pick, and the best WR available with their next first round pick. Erasumus James wasn't even activated, and Troy Williamson may only have had one ball thrown his way, although he did draw a penalty.

I don't think Culpepper was quite as accurate as he normally is, due to the pressure, but he definitely threw balls that should have been caught (Moe Williams' game-deciding tip being the most obvious), and two other turnovers seemed to be due to receivers not reading blitzes, which will happen sometimes with a defense that disguises as well as Tampa's. The key to attacking the Bucs' defense is to force them out of their scheme via the run, however, and given the poor play of the Vikings interior line, that never even came close to happening.

24
by Athelas (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 4:53pm

Detroit--alone in 1st place.
San Francisco--alone in 1st place.

What fun!

25
by Drew Rosenhaus (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 4:56pm

So am I still a greedy asshole, or do you retards finally realize that life in the NFL isn't just playfully rolling in giant piles of money?

26
by buddha (not verified) :: Mon, 09/12/2005 - 7:21pm

This is the third year in a row the Lions have started 1-0. And the second straight year they've done it against a division opponent.

Means nada.

27
by thefumble (not verified) :: Tue, 09/13/2005 - 8:49am

Drew, do you realize now why the Packers didn't cave in to his contract demands? Calling people 'retards' simply discredits yourself. The minimum player salary is probably 10-15 times what the average person in society makes, if that's not 'playfully rolling around in giant piles of money', I'm not really sure what is.

28
by Wicked (not verified) :: Tue, 09/13/2005 - 10:00am

Hey Drew, I hear Kris Jenkins is looking for a new agent....oh wait....

29
by Richie (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 3:34pm

I thought there would be more discussion about Walker's contract demands in this thread. I wonder if Green Bay is going to find some way to take care of him financially. Or if this is just "too bad."

I think Walker's salary ($350k ?) is below the median ($650k) for his team. That's not right.

But then, including signing bonuses, Walker has pulled in over $6 million, so if he has half a brain about money management (I don't, myself), that should be enough to last him the rest of his life. He's made $4 million in signing bonuses. I guess that's why they get those big bonuses.

I've been torn on this whole issue of whether or not a team should pay a "deserving" holdout like Javon Walker or Terrell Owens.

30
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 3:53pm

Richie (#29 )--
I’ve been torn on this whole issue of whether or not a team should pay a “deserving� holdout like Javon Walker or Terrell Owens.
You're not the only one. The teams themselves are of multiple minds on the one. Case in point: the Patriots sent various valued players packing over the past couple seasons, but wrote a pretty large check to Richard Seymour to persuade him to end his holdout.

And it's tough to say which way is right. Ideally, you want to pay players who have produced and will produce again, and hold the line on players who may have produced, but whose future production is suspect. Given the examples you cite, GM Starshatterer would have written a nice little bonus check for Walker, and told Owens to go do some sneaker ads.

And after Week 1, that would have been exactly backward as far as the team's interests are concerned.

31
by MRH (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 4:03pm

So am I still a greedy asshole

Yes.

or do you retards finally realize that life in the NFL isn’t just playfully rolling in giant piles of money?

If it isn't, they can stop doing it and use their paid-for college educations to get jobs and playfully roll around in the money earned by someone not playing a game. It's usually not a giant pile though. If that's not too retarded an option...

32
by MRH (not verified) :: Wed, 09/14/2005 - 4:13pm

If Rosenhaus had gone to management and said - look, let's sign a long-term deal now that will protect my client's future income against injury and he'll take less than the market will bear in return, and you don't lose a FA, the Pack might well have agreed. And Walker (not the Pack) would be much better off today, a la Tedy Bruschi. But it wasn't about what was the least risky for Walker in the long-run, it was about getting the biggest pile of money possible to play in.