Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Oct 2010

Nick Barnett Done For Year

Adam Schefter reports that Packers middle linebacker Nick Barnett will miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury reportedly similar to the one that ended Brian Urlacher's campaign last year.

With safety Morgan Burnett having suffered a torn ACL last week, the Packers are now down two defensive starters in a matter of days.

NOTE: Some sources, including Greg Bedard, are suggesting that the injury isn't as severe as Schefter suggests in his story.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 06 Oct 2010

21 comments, Last at 10 Oct 2010, 12:45pm by zlionsfan

Comments

1
by justanothersteve :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 10:51pm

The Packers have already had a huge hole up the middle of their defense. They don't have the depth to cover either injury (Atari Bigby is on the PUP list and top LB backup Brandon Chillar is also hurt.) Plus, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal is reporting the other starting safety, Nick Collins may also miss this week's game. I don't care what the Bears have done until now, I think this injury with the Vikings trade for Moss makes Minnesota the favorites to win the NFC North. The Zombie King has been reanimated.

5
by ammek :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 5:31am

It's not been a good week for the Pack.

From a statsy standpoint, these latest developments raise issues about how to evaluate injuries. AGL is a great starting point, but most fans are aware of its limitations — namely, the drop-off via injury from P. Manning to C. Painter would be treated as equal to that from C. Henne to C. Pennington.

In the Packers' case, Nick BArnett is a far, far more important contributor than Morgan BUrnett, a rookie third-round safety who has been starting by default. However, BArnett's likely replacement, Desmond Bishop, is a straight swap who should be competent. BUrnett is likely to be replaced by a combination of the Okie formation (a fifth linebacker in place of a the strong safety: Chillar when he gets healthy), the frighteningly terrible Charlie Peprah, and defensive player of the year Charles Woodson, who will moonlight at safety as he did when Bigby got hurt in 2008.

In other words, the injury to the better player will cause some drop-off in talent. The injury to the lesser player will cause a wholesale re-arrangement of the defense. How can their impact be compared?

Either way, these injuries are in some way fortunate for the Packers, since it's on the d-line where they have the least depth and a total lack of options should one of the three starters go down.

8
by Arkaein :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 9:25am

I think the big key is getting through the next couple of weeks.

After that Bigby and Harris could be available, and GB could possibly have a slightly better defensive backfield than they started the season with.

The LB position doesn't have an standout players after Clay Matthews, but it does have a fair amount of depth, especially up the middle as you pointer out with Bishop and Chillar.

These next few games will be tough though, with Chillar and Collins likely missing time. Thank goodness Washington and Miami don't really have the WR depth to stretch the secondary too much. Cooley could present some big matchup problems though.

9
by ammek :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 10:26am

I agree with all of that. Though there's something a bit frightening about an upgrade that consists of a 36-year-old cornerback and Atari frickin Bigby.

That said, if the team has to lose five starters, I'd rather they were Barnett, Burnett, Grant and Chillar (not so keen on losing Collins), rather than any or all of Rodgers-Finley-Jenkins-Matthews-Woodson.

Also, has anyone noticed what a good season Tramon Williams is having? Admiral Armbar no more!

11
by Arkaein :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 11:15am

I have noticed. He's had a very quiet year, declining in both penalties and, unfortunately, picks. However it's tough to complain when as far as I've been able to tell he hasn't been responsible for giving up a single big play all year.

Now if he and Collins can just start catching balls that hit them in the hands (for those who haven't seen it, they've probably dropped a combined 6 or 7 INTs already this season, seriously), the D will look quite a bit better.

18
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Fri, 10/08/2010 - 10:09am

Admiral Armbar no more!

It's a trap! Our cornerbacks can't repel penalties of that magnitude!

20
by zlionsfan :: Sun, 10/10/2010 - 12:43pm

So that rules out any chance of him working at Mississippi when his pro career is over.

12
by Bobman :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 12:07pm

That explains why I saw Curtis Painter at a fancy watering hole last week, plying AGL with lots of expensive drinks and appetizers. "Another champagne cocktail, AGL? Think nothing of it. Bartender, make this one with Roederer Cristal, not that swill you used when I came here with DYAR last month...."

14
by frievalt :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 1:05pm

I wouldn't be so quick to label Bishop a competent player. If he guesses right he makes a big play but the guy clearly can't read and react like Barnett (who is pretty stellar in this regard).

I'm actually way less worried about Bigby/Martin/Peprah.

2
by Q (not verified) :: Wed, 10/06/2010 - 11:06pm

Talk abot terrible luck. GB is going to be missing more than 1/2 of its starting Defense against Washington. That is now the 3rd Season ending injury in 4 Weeks. GB has to be hoping it can survive until the bye week when it can get back 2 starters and a rookie rb from the PUP list

3
by unclemoe :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 2:03am

I seem to remember a certain publication pointing out that the Packers had an injury-prone defense.

4
by johnny walker (not verified) :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 3:15am

Good thing they kept 4 TE and 3 FB. Eh, maybe I'm just being bitter, that's a pretty reactionary thing to say. Still, TT took some serious gambles on his depth chart this year and they're blowing up in his face. If nothing else it would've been nice to have Spencer Havner around to provide some depth on both sides of the ball. Donald Lee's already getting phased out, and though he's a better TE than Havner he can't line up at LB.

Between the turnovers (-1 differential), offensive inconsistency and injuries things are not looking good for my Packers this year.

6
by andrew :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 7:19am

I thought this was a typo from the Burnett injury...

It may be bad for the Packers... but it is awesome for people with Rogers on their fantasy team, as he'll be more likely to be in shootouts, have to keep scoring, etc..

7
by Theo :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 8:06am

by that logic, it's also worse for him, since other teams will be running more against a weakened front 7, meaning less clock stoppage and less drives for Rogers.

10
by CoachDave :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 10:59am

Maybe the Colts and the Packers can merge and actually field a defense this year.

The Polts?

The Cockers? Hey now....

13
by Bobman :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 12:09pm

I'm not looking at a map, but where does that put home games? Soldier Field?

15
by Will Allen :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 1:11pm

Think of the gritty ambience of playing a game in the parking lot of an abandoned factory in Gary, IN!

16
by ammek :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 1:38pm

… half-covered by a corrugated iron roof.

17
by Andrew Potter :: Thu, 10/07/2010 - 1:52pm

Meh, it'd be just like an InterToto Cup match in Eastern Europe then.

19
by just some guy (not verified) :: Fri, 10/08/2010 - 5:03pm

So the Colts' stadium.

21
by zlionsfan :: Sun, 10/10/2010 - 12:45pm

um, no. There is nothing anywhere in Indianapolis that resembles that part of Gary.

Also, Lucas Oil Stadium is pretty nice. The RCA Dome, on the other hand ...