The Curious Case of Top Pick Perry

The first-round pick saw limited action against Chicago, apparently for an injury that was kept under wraps in the days leading up to last week's game.

What's going on with Nick Perry?

In the Week 1 loss to San Francisco, he played every defensive snap at left outside linebacker.

In the Week 2 win over Chicago, he was part of a three-player timeshare at the position. Perry started and played 20 plays, veteran Erik Walden took over in the second series and played 36 snaps and Dezman Moses played seven of his 19 snaps in the rotation.

On Friday, the day after the Bears game, defensive coordinator Dom Capers said Perry injured his wrist the week before against San Francisco. Sure enough, at practice on Tuesday and again on Thursday, Perry was wearing a brace or some sort of protective device on his left wrist.

"When you've got a short week like that, you aren't going to have a lot of physical work on the practice field," Capers said when asked about Perry. "He had the protector on all week. We just felt like, let's see how it goes, and if he's having problems extending and punching with that wrist, Erik Walden's back and we want to get Erik in there and play Erik, anyway."

That leads to this question: Why wasn't Perry on the Packers' injury report?

Or, was Perry's injury deemed minor enough that he didn't need to be on the report? And is the injury a smoke screen to smooth over a partial demotion of a first-round pick?

In the San Francisco game, Frank Gore had two big runs around Perry, including the clinching 23-yard touchdown. Based on ProFootballFocus.com's film analysis of the San Francisco game, Perry graded out as the Packers' worst defender. Perry, and the defense as a whole, played a much better game against the Bears. He was the Packers' third-best defender against Chicago, according to PFF, though only four of his 20 snaps were against the run while 17 of Walden's 36 snaps came on running plays.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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