Read here from Greg Bedard this morning at jsonline. I like this article because it asks an important and difficult question: could the starting defensive players returning from injury actually disrupt the nice defensive rhythm the Packers have enjoyed for the last 2 games?
Now, I do think defense can be a rhythm thing and that it’s possible by starting some of these recently injured but now healthy players, positive momentum could be disrupted. But I don’t think it will. I would say that the time off for the starters mostly served to improve the play of the back-ups and give them very valuable live-game experience. As Bedard pointed out, Rouse, Blackmon, Williams, Jeremy Thompson – all these guys looked good and the defense as a whole seemed to really work well within Bob Sanders’ scheme. In particular, having A Rouse and T Williams playing well could be a quiet and massively important factor down the stretch here. If there are any injuries, or if a player needs a breather, or we want to go with more and more nickel packages like Sanders’ did against the Colts, having these guys available and playing well could really help us wear down/discourage opposing offenses.
This week, I would start Bigby, Harris and Montgomery if they are back to 100%. I would remove one starter from the starting line-up though: Brady Poppinga (no surprise to any frequent readers). Brandon Chillar has played well of late and again, if Bob Sanders continues to go with nickel packages more often (on run and pass plays as he did against the Colts), I wouldn’t be surprised if Chillar not only starts but plays more and more.