The Green Bay Packers are back at practice on Wednesday as they prepare for a Week 6 matchup with the Chicago Bears, and with that, we have some initial injury updates.
After missing the last three games on IR, Green Bay Packers tight end Dominique Dafney is eligible to return this week and he was back at practice.
Dafney fills the versatile, do-it-all H-back role in this offense, lining up in the backfield, in-line, in the slot, and out wide, making plays as both a blocker and pass catcher.
He’s been particularly effective, however, as a blocker and a special teams contributor as well. While Josiah Deguara fills a similar role, it’s worth noting that Dafney saw more snaps during Weeks 1 and 2.
“He’s done a lot of good things for us, man,” receiver Davante Adams said via Sports Illustrated. “He’s somebody that can, we can rely on him, like you said, to go and block what would usually be a mismatch size-wise. He packs a punch. I call him Charles Barkley because he’s kind of built like him a little bit, like a thicker guy but he’s kind of compact.”
Kevin King would injure his shoulder in Sunday’s win over Cincinnati, where he played one of his better games in some time. According to PFF ($$), King allowed just 17 yards on three receptions.
However, he did not participate at Wednesday’s practice because of his shoulder. As LaFleur often says, King will be given the entire week to prove that he is ready to go.
Although King has taken his share of criticism from fans, this Packers defense could certainly use his experience, and just simply the depth that he provides, especially since the team is without Jaire Alexander.
“I thought he competed well and was playing really, really well,” said head coach Matt LaFleur via Packer Report when asked about King’s latest performance. “I thought he triggered and was physical. When people caught balls — there were a couple of short passes thrown right in front of him, I want to say maybe it was the first or second play of the game, where he triggered. He did it later on as well.”
If King is unable to play, an already thin Green Bay Packers cornerback room will take another big hit. Healthy cornerbacks include Eric Stokes, Rasul Douglas, Shemar Jean-Charles, Chandon Sullivan, Isaac Yiadom, and the team just signed Quinton Dunbar to join Kabion Ento on the practice squad—although we do not know when Dunbar may be elevated to the 53 man roster or how quickly he could see the field.
Some good news on the injury front is that Elgton Jenkins and Josh Myers both practiced on Wednesday. Jenkins was back at practice last week in a limited fashion but did not play against the Bengals. Meanwhile, Myers missed all of last week with a finger injury that has landed him on the injury report the last few weeks.
We will see how this week plays out, but getting both Jenkins and Myers back for Sunday’s matchup with Chicago would be massive. This Chicago defense ranks second in the NFL in pressure rate.
Even if Jenkins and Myers are back in the mix, this is going to be a tough test for this Green Bay Packers offensive line, who to their credit, has held up well these last few weeks despite several injuries, and against a few other good defensive fronts.
Offensive tackle Dennis Kelly remains out after missing much of last week with an illness and a back injury, according to Tom Silverstein.
These are certainly several key names that the Green Bay Packers will hopefully have available on Sunday, but we will first have to see how each player responds throughout the week to the injuries that they’re dealing with.