Ahead of their matchup on Sunday Night with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Green Bay Packers announced their inactives list. Here is what you need to know.
Before we dive into who won’t be active, just as important is who will be on the field for Green Bay. The Packers came into this game with 10 players on the injury report, eight of which were questionable, and the good news is that Jayden Reed, Dontayvion Wicks, Rudy Ford, De’Vondre Campbell will all play.
Ford was trending in the right direction all week with Joe Barry mentioning on Thursday that he had put together two good days of practice. Also joining Alexander and Ford on the back end will be Darnell Savage, who was activated off IR on Saturday. With how well Jonathan Owens has played as of late, the Packers have a decision to make at safety when it comes to playing time. I expect Savage and Ford to reclaiming those starting spots, but if you click here, I dive into another option, along with what Matt LaFleur and Barry had to say.
Campbell will return as well after suffering a neck stinger against the Chargers. The linebackers and secondary are going to have the difficult task of trying to limit a Chiefs offense that has been the best in football at generating YAC through a lot of short area throws—not to mention that Patrick Mahomes is incredibly good when going off script. Tackling will be at a premium as will correctly diagnosing where the ball is going. Reading their keys, trusting what they see, and responding quickly and appropriately will be crucial.
Despite Reed missing two days of practice, he was always optimistic that he was going to be able to play. Wicks cleared concussion protocol before the week began but was listed with a knee injury. These two have helped spark the Packers offense with their ability to create chunk plays along with being go-to options for Jordan Love. The Chiefs defense is allowing only 5.6 yards per pass attempt behind an aggressive secondary that does play a lot of man coverage. It won’t be easy, but if the offensive line can hold up against the blitz and Reed, Wicks, and the other receivers can win their one-on-one matchups, the opportunity for explosive plays could be there.
Packers Inactives vs. Chiefs
Jaire Alexander was a limited participant in all three practices this week, and along with Ford, Barry did say that he had a couple good days of practice. However, he will not be available. This will leave the Packers with Corey Ballentine and Carrington Valentine on the boundary again with Kyu Blu Kelly and Robert Rochell as the backups. Of course, Mahomes has the ability to throw the ball all over the field, but he does rank 27th in downfield throw rate and instead has often utilized a lot of short area throws as already mentioned.
Deguara has been dealing with a hip injury that he suffered against the Los Angeles Chargers. Once the Packers elevated fullback Henry Pearson from the practice squad on Thursday, it became clear at that point that Deguara, who was listed as questionable, wouldn’t be available. As was the case against Detroit, Tucker Kraft and Ben Sims will handle pretty much all of the tight end snaps with Pearson primarily playing on special teams. This is a blitz-heavy Chiefs defense who sends pressure from just about any part of the field that Kraft and Sims will have to be prepared for.
Caleb Jones and Brenton Cox have been regular members of the inactive list as of late. Jones is the fourth offensive tackle option right now, while the Packers have mainly used a four-man rotation at edge rusher. With the emergence of Malik Heath over the last month, Toure has joined Jones and Cox as a member of the inactives list as of late.
Jones was ruled out on Friday, which means AJ Dillon will take the bulk of the carries with Patrick Taylor worked in. James Robinson will provide depth as the third option, but saw no snaps against the Lions. The run game could be key for the Green Bay offense tonight. Kansas City has been one of the best at defending the pass but have been susceptible against the run.