It will be nothing short of a miracle if the Green Bay Packers are able to place a competent linebacking core on the field during the 2018-19 season. The injury bag has ravaged the Green Bay defense already, and things just got a lot worse.
According to a source, linebacker Jake Ryan will miss the entire season with a torn ACL, as anticipated before this latest round of testing.
Packers LB Jake Ryan has a torn ACL, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 1, 2018
This is a devastating blow to a Green Bay defense in desperate need of stability and high-level production from one of their best players. Ryan has started 27 games and totaled 137 tackles while serving as the quarterback of the defense.
Ryan’s best skill was his run-stopping ability, but his importance extends far beyond that. His ACL tear means the team will either turn to a washed up veteran in the free agent bin or an inexperienced and unproven player already on the roster. The names Vince Biegel, Reggie Gilbert and Kyler Fackrell don’t exactly inspire confidence in a defense that was one of the league’s worst last year.
#Packers coach Mike McCarthy said LB Jake Ryan is still undergoing tests, but a source said the fear is a serious knee injury. As for S Kentrell Brice, X-Rays were negative for a break, but he’ll know his timetable when the swelling goes down.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 31, 2018
The difficulties tied to Ryan’s absence are further exacerbated by the news that safety Kentrell Brice may be out for a long time with an injury suffered on Monday.
The Packers brought in Mike Pettine to turn around a defense that has been floundering under Dom Capers for years, but unless he can work magic, the hole created by Ryan’s absence may be too big to overcome.