The Packers got a dynamite outing from their defensive line minus
On Friday, Raji was ruled out for Sunday’s game in St. Louis due to an ankle injury that hasn’t sufficiently healed yet. Raji continued his rehab and practiced on a limited basis the last two days, but he will miss his second straight game.
“B.J. Raji is not ready,” Mike McCarthy said. “He was examined this morning after yesterday’s work, and the medical staff felt he would not be ready by Sunday.”
Heading to Houston to face running back Arian Foster last week, there was concern the Packers could struggle up front without Raji, but the opposite turned out to be true.
Foster, the league’s second-leading rusher coming into the game, was held to just 29 yards on 17 carries. The Texans’ lateral stretch play, the staple of their ground game, went nowhere. On top of that, defensive linemen
“I thought our defensive line set the tempo for our whole defense, particularly against a scheme that was different in Houston,” McCarthy said. “The challenge will be totally different his week in St. Louis, but I thought our defensive line was outstanding in Houston and we’re going to need that type of performance again this week.”
On the ground, the Rams will come at the Packers not only with a mix of schemes but a mix of backs. Steven Jackson and rookie Daryl Richardson will handle outside zone runs as well as inside power plays on which they try to get “downhill” quickly.
The performance against Foster bodes well for the Packers up front, but that doesn’t make this week any easier. Jackson and Richardson have combined for more than 100 rushing yards in three games this season.
“It helps with the confidence, but you always want a player like B.J.,” said
“But people (in the front office) did a good job of bringing in some young boys that can play.
The Packers’ depth on defense will be tested at all levels on Sunday. Outside linebacker
There’s been no official announcement made regarding Smith’s replacement, but fourth-year pro
Perry’s injury means a starting job and more snaps for
McCarthy pointed to the fact that Walden finally got to go through a full offseason program for the first time this past spring as beneficial to the five-year veteran. He was acquired by the Packers at midseason in 2010 and then went through the lockout the following offseason.
“He’s very comfortable in our scheme,” McCarthy said. “You just love the way he plays, physical. He brings an attitude you can’t have enough of on your football team, and I think he’s clearly playing better this year than he was last year.”
So is the defense as a whole, despite all the lineup shuffling.
“We have good depth on this team,” outside linebacker
“You never like to see players go down, but it’s a great opportunity for young guys, guys in reserve roles, to step up and show what they’re made of.”Additional coverage - Oct. 19