Good post over at Cheesehead.tv on Cullen Jenkins and his disappearance this year. Aaron writes:
Over the years, he’s developed a killer first step that has allowed him to penetrate into the opponents backfield at least two or three times a game to blow up whatever play the offense was trying to run. But this season, those plays have been completely absent. I’m not sure if it’s because teams are combo-blocking him more on the inside (which I doubt) or if he’s playing through some pretty significant injuries (which I suspect is the case). Either way, the Packers haven’t had a sack in two games, and that is disconcerting heading into the playoffs. If teams can just set up a tight end to Kampman’s side and a back to KGB’s side, without fear of getting a push up the middle, the Packers could be in trouble. They have to figure out a way to get pressure from the interior of the line, including from Jenkins or Corey Williams, or it will come back to bite them come playoff time.
I think Aaron is right. Jenkins has reportedly been battling injuries all year and his coaches has noted this several times in explaining his drop-off in play from last year and training camp. That said, he was not on the injury report again this week.
There is another possibility: Is Jenkins the new Cletidius Hunt? Packers fans remember Hunt’s lack of motivation and playmaking the year after he signed his big contract. This off-season, Jenkins signed a four-year, $16 million deal that ensured he’d stay in Green Bay. Is he letting up now that he’s gotten paid?