Jake Ryan’s Season-Ending Injury Shouldn’t Panic You
Jake Ryan will likely be announced that he’s done for the season. Kentrell Brice might join him as well. The focus is on Ryan as it seems per what everyone said, it’s not going to be a pretty announcement tomorrow. We’ll focus on Brice later if need be. Even with Ryan done for the year, the Packers are going to have some options at inside linebacker. This is not one of those injuries that are worth losing your mind over even if it’s late July. Green Bay has some talent that can play in the middle as well as trust the new system by Mike Pettine.
First thing, middle linebackers are not as important to a 3-4 defense compared to a 4-3 defense. Blake Martinez is definitely the better inside linebacker and has shown more potential out there compared to Ryan. If anything, Ryan played more of an A.J. Hawk role for the team. Green Bay might look to putting Josh Jones at the middle linebacker position. Jones continues to struggle at the safety position, and it might be team to admit he’s more of a linebacker than a safety even if that’s not what Jones wants to hear this season. Packers might have to explore another option at safety if Brice goes down, but we do not know his status yet. Don’t sleep on the possibility of Vince Biegel being an option in the middle either. He loves to tackle and could really fit in well inside versus outside.
There are free agents available for Green Bay to explore if they decide to go that route. We could get a USC reunion with Brian Cushing, but he can’t stay clean or healthy. Karlos Dansby is another veteran who put together a solid year for Arizona. He also played with Mike Pettine for two years in Cleveland. I’ll be curious to see if Pettine pushes for Dansby. He’s an older player at age 36 and graded out as a below-average inside linebacker by PFF. That said, he’s not being asked to be the man here. That’s for Martinez.
Packers are okay without Ryan. Brice might be tough to handle this early on too, but there’s still a ton of time to mold the roster before Week 1.