Bears’ injury woes? Packers have thrived in theirs

SHARE Bears’ injury woes? Packers have thrived in theirs

We interrupt the Bears Injury Pity Party to ask: would you like some Cheese with your whine?

This preseason, the Bears have watched rookie Kevin White undergo surgery, Jeremiah Ratliff suffer an ankle injury that might outlast his three-game suspension and three receivers receive questionable designations for Sunday.

The Packers, though, lost receiver Jordy Nelson for the season to a torn ACL. Odds are, they’ll be fine. They always are.

The reason, to paraphrase James Carville: It’s the quarterback, stupid. Aaron Rodgers is so dominant, little else matters.

“We’ve dealt with (injuries) better some years than others,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “And our quarterback being a great player, but also the way we’re built on offense is geared toward that. So that’s probably helped us a bunch.”

The Packers were the third-healthiest team in football last season, per Football Outsiders, whose Adjusted Games Lost stat measures games missed by starters, injury replacements and key reserves, and factors in the play of hampered players who reach the field.

In 2013, though, only the Giants were less healthy than the Packers. Their starters missed 70 games — Rodgers seven — but the Packers went 8-7-1 and made the playoffs.

They were the NFL’s unhealthiest team in 2012, and went 11-5. They had average health in 2011 — No. 16 — and won 15 games.

The season before, as the third-unhealthiest team, the Packers won the Super Bowl.

“We don’t make a lot of excuses,” Rodgers said. “Next guy steps up and we expect him to play well. There’s not a lot of grace period for those people.

“We expect them to be able to pick things up when somebody goes down, the way coaches always put expectations on guys.”

Bears coach John Fox said it takes talent, and depth, to overcome injury.

“Really, people that have been successful have overcome all those things,” Fox said.

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley


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