Injuries have come to define the 2017 Packers, and Saturday’s home finale proved to be no different.
Just days after placing quarterback Aaron Rodgers back on injured reserve, the Packers took the field against the NFC North Champion Minnesota Vikings without plenty of key players. Davante Adams was already ruled out due to a concussion. Linebackers Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, as well as starting guard Jahri Evans joined Adams on the sidelines.
The defense faired relatively well against Minnesota. Holding Vikings quarterback Case Keenum to just 139 yards passing, and Minnesota’s lone touchdown to Stefon Diggs in the first half. That along with a trio of field goals proved to be all Minnesota needed.
They’re second ranked defense proved to be to much for Brett Hundley and company. Green Bay wasn’t able to cross into Minnesota territory until the final four minutes of the first half. Hundley led the Packers into the red zone, but was picked off by Harrison Smith at the five yard line.
Green Bay’s next opportunity wouldn’t come until the fourth quarter. Facing a fourth and three at the Minnesota 13 yard line, Hundley’s pass to Michael Clark fell incomplete and Green Bay was once again on the verge of being shutout.
A few weeks ago the Packers were shutout at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, their first shutout loss since 2006. Eleven years ago Green Bay was shutout twice in Mike McCarthy’s first year as head coach. On Saturday they were shutout once again, becoming the first team in 11 years to be be held scoreless at home twice in a season. Oddly enough the Packers, along with the Oakland Raiders, were one of those teams.
Now the Packers will have eight days to get ready for their final test of the regular season when they wrap things up in Detroit on New Years Eve. Who will be on the field in the Motor City will be a big question after Jordy Nelson, Jason Spriggs, Aaron Jones, and Richard Rodgers all left this week’s game due to injuries.