Packers Dodge Bullet With Cornerback Injuries

Injuries to starting cornerbacks Sam Shields and Tramon Williams and linebacker Jamari Lattimore are not expected to mean long-term absences. (Brad Barr/USA TODAY)

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said injured defensive starters Sam Shields, Tramon Williams and Jamari Lattimore avoided serious injuries during Sunday’s win at Miami.

Lattimore dropped out in the second quarter with a neck injury and was replaced by Brad Jones at inside linebacker. The timing of Shields’ injury was strange, as he crumpled to the turf just before the first snap of the second defensive series of the third quarter with a knee injury. Williams injured an ankle a couple plays later when he got caught up in Jones’ tackle near the sideline.

McCarthy said he had not spoken to Dr. Pat McKenzie. McCarthy, however, did talk to general manager Ted Thompson, who had met with McKenzie.

“None of them were long term, but how fast is still to be determined,” McCarthy said.

The Packers are fortunate to have excellent depth at cornerback, with Davon House and Casey Hayward. The big impact would be to the sub packages. After the injuries on Sunday, Jarrett Bush served as the nickel corner. The Packers could go that route against Carolina this week, or starting safety Micah Hyde could move into the nickel role. Hyde played well at the nickel spot for several games last season. “We’re going to have to take a look at that and we’ll have to adjust,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “I think we have pretty good depth in the defensive backfield. We’re going to have to evaluate once we find out what those guys’ status is going to be. Obviously during the course of the game when you lose your two starting corners, you’ve got to make some adjustments. We did and we fought our way through the tough part of the game to come back.”

If the Packers go with Hyde, that would move first-round pick HaHa Clinton-Dix into a full-time performer at safety. Clinton-Dix had his best game of his brief career against the Dolphins with seven tackles, including several solid open-field stops.

“He was decisive. He played fast,” Capers said. “He had some good hits and he got people down. I think what you’re seeing is a more confident player as he gains experience. Every week you see him make progress. Yesterday was his best game to this point in time.”

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.


Packer Report Top Stories