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Something In The Green Bay Water?

October 28, 2010

The Green Bay Packers sent their fifth starter to season-ending injured reserve on Wednesday. Second year outside linebacker Brad Jones was shut down for the season after suffering a shoulder injury in Sunday’s win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Jones re-injured the shoulder he originally hurt in the preseason, and initially the team was looking at whether or not the linebacker could postpone shoulder surgery until the offseason. However, the Packers were awarded former New York Jets’ nose tackle Howard Green off of waivers, so the team was forced to make a corresponding roster move. Ultimately, they decided to shut down Jones for the year.

Jones is the tenth Packers player to be placed on injured reserve this season and the fifth starter. And we are only in week 8. At first glance, the Packers appear to have some unfortunate luck on the injury front. But after looking at the inordinate amount of injuries to this team, I am beginning to wonder if there really is something in the Green Bay water that is making the players more susceptible to injury?

I wish I were writing this post in jest, but at some point, you have to ask yourself if the Packers strength and conditioning program needs an overhaul. Back in 2005, the team finished with a record of 4-12 partially due to an injury-depleted roster. Entering the 2006 season, head coach Mike McCarthy made the switch from machine weights to free weights in order to avoid injuries in practice and in games. There were fewer injuries the next season, but it’s difficult — if not impossible — to determine whether or not the new weight room had anything to do with the health of the players.

I know next to nothing about strength and conditioning, but I do know that Packers players are dropping like flies. I do not have an easy answer, but I think the team should conduct a thorough examination of other teams around the league that seemingly avoid injury. No matter what the cost of this extensive study, it cannot be more costly than losing your starting players to injury on a weekly basis.

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