A test of depth

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 17, 2010 – 10:57 am

The Packers have injuries all over the roster, but if there’s one position where their depth will be tested the most today, it’s on the defensive line.

With DEs Ryan Pickett (ankle) and Mike Neal (shoulder) inactive today, that’s two of the team’s top four defensive linemen on the shelf. It not only elevates rookie seventh-round draft choice C.J. Wilson into the starting lineup, but it also means there’s a good chance Jarius Wynn and Michael Montgomery, neither of whom was on the roster for Week 1, will be playing a fair share of snaps.

Against a different opponent, the Packers might just play their nickel defense all day and only have two linemen on the field at the same time. But against the Dolphins, who feature running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, with Brown running out of the “Wildcat” on occasion, the Packers may have to play more base defense today than any other game this season, and that means three defensive linemen on the field. And you can bet with how beat up the Packers are on the defensive line that Miami’s game plan will include plenty of running to test how stout the Packers will be up front.

The Packers haven’t allowed an opposing running back to rush for 100 yards since Week 3 of last season, but that streak will certainly be put to the test today. It will be interesting to see if defensive coordinator Dom Capers comes up with any wrinkles to the scheme, like he did at times last year. But with the number of injuries, it would seem Capers’ options are limited. We’ll soon find out.

Posted in Packers.com Blog
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