Sunday’s victory over the Houston Texans could have been a lot different for the Green Bay Packers. When the last injury report came out, the Packers were forced to come to grips that they would be missing key personnel. But as they say, next man up. The Green Bay Packers replacements played a big part in their 35-20 victory.
Green Bay Packers Replacements Come Up Big in Victory Over Houston Texans
The Packers were missing two starters on offense and two starters on defense on Sunday. Left tackle David Bakhtiari (chest) and running back Aaron Jones (calf) were both missing on the Packers offense. While on defense, the Packers were missing cornerback Kevin King and safety Darnell Savage Jr., both sitting out with quadriceps injuries.
The injuries forced the Packers replacements into the spotlight. While their play wasn’t perfect, the Packers replacements did more than hold their own. Here is a breakdown of the Green Bay Packers replacements who stepped up their game on Sunday afternoon.
In Billy Turner’s NFL career, he had started just once at left tackle. But he didn’t look like a player that had started just one game at left tackle. Out of all the Packers replacements, we found Turner to be the most impressive.
Last season, Turner was the starting right guard throughout the season. This season, he has been the primary starting right tackle. When holding down that position, he has done a solid job. So moving him to the left side might have weakened the offensive line overall. Fortunately for the Packers, that wasn’t the case.
Turner played exceptionally on Sunday. He was strong in the run game and contributed to the Packers not allowing a sack against the Texans.
Turner wasn’t the only Packers replacement on the offensive line. With Turner flipping over to the left side, Ricky Wagner stepped in as the starting right tackle. As he did against the Minnesota Vikings in the opener, Wagner held down the right side. He was coming off a horrible performance from last Sunday when he was thrust into replacing Bakhtiari. Wagner showed he isn’t athletic enough to play on the left side, but as he displayed against the Texans, he feels more at home on the right side.
Aaron Jones is the backbone of the Packers offense. When Jones and the running game are established, it not only makes the run game lethal but it opens up Aaron Rodgers and the passing game. When he was declared out with a calf injury on Sunday, many Packers fans’ hearts dropped.
Fortunately for the Packers, they have a rock-solid backup in Jamaal Williams. Williams doesn’t have the home run ability Jones has, but he showed on Sunday he is a very capable NFL running back.
Williams rushed for 77 yards on 19 carries and had one touchdown run. He also contributed in the passing game, catching four passes for 37 yards. He also was solid, as he usually is, in pass protection.
The Packers offense is hoping that Jones will have a quick recovery. If not, Williams showed on Sunday he is more than capable of stepping in.
While Turner was the most impressive of the Packers replacements, Raven Greene was the most surprising.
Greene was steady when he was on the field. He left in the third quarter because of an injury, but before he left, he gave a solid performance. While he isn’t as athletic or as fast as Savage, the player he was replacing, we found him to be more steady.
Savage has done a horrible job tackling this season. That wasn’t an issue for Greene, who had eight total tackles, five of them solo ones. Greene did surprise some with his coverage, which wasn’t flashy, but solid.
Josh Jackson might not be a fit for the preferred coverage, man to man, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine likes to run. Still, on Sunday, he did an admirable job replacing King as one of the starting boundary cornerback positions.
While Deshaun Watson threw for over 300 yards, none of his starting wide receivers went over 100 yards receiving. Jackson’s play wasn’t exceptional, but he held his own. He also chipped in four tackles (one for a loss).
King struggles with injuries, which might be the biggest reason the Packers don’t re-sign him this coming off-season. Jackson should prepare to play again next week. If the Packers can get Jackson to play like he did this week for the next game, it will be a plus.