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Lovie Smith downplays Packers’ injuries

Lovie Smith

The Chicago Bears have been one of the healthiest teams in the league this year, and the Green Bay Packers have been one of the teams most adversely affected by injuries.

But Bears coach Lovie Smith isn’t offering Green Bay any sympathy.

“A lot of has been said about the amount of injuries they have had,” Smith said. “All teams have injuries.”

Yes, all teams have injuries, but it’s silly for Smith to pretend his team hasn’t had good luck with its players staying healthy, or that the Packers haven’t had bad luck with a number of key players being lost for the season. Smith, however, doesn’t want any excuses if the Bears win on Sunday.

“Their core, [Clay] Matthews is there, you have a guy like Aaron Rodgers, and of course you add a player like James Starks running the ball, they’ve had a pretty good nucleus to be able to play,” Smith said. “I saw them being one of the teams at the end you would have to deal with.”

And if Smith thinks the Packers are tough to deal with now, just think how tough they’d be to deal with if they had had the Bears’ good luck with injuries.

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48 Responses to “Lovie Smith downplays Packers’ injuries”
  1. scytherius says: Jan 17, 2011 8:55 PM

    Lovie Smith is rarely, if ever, an idiot. but he sure is this time. Not an expert out there puts the Packer’s injuries in the “all teams have injuries” category. The Packers were decimated by a record number of injuries.

    Now, they are damned good and don’t get to use injuries as an excuse, but c’mon Lovie. Get a clue.

  2. aaronitout12 says: Jan 17, 2011 8:56 PM

    This game is not about injuries we suffered in the first quarter of the season. We played most of the year with the players we will have Sunday, let the best team win. No excuses coming from Green Bay if we lose, Bears are a good team!

    GO PACK!!

  3. neverend1 says: Jan 17, 2011 9:06 PM

    He’s absolutely right, and its downright ridiculous on PFT’s part trying to sell “the pack are injured!” agenda everytime they lose a game.

    Packers fans boast about ALL offseason how they’re going to win the SB and how they have the deepest team in the NFL bar none. Now they suddenly face a little adversity and they flood around with the injury excuses. What did they lose anyway? A rookie? An above average ILB? Al harris’ injury was a blessing in disguise.

    Injuries are nothing, especially to a team that is as deep as the packers (donald lee could start for most teams in the league). The main reason why they have struggled is because they are INCONSISTENT. There are games on offense when they look like the greatest show on turf and then there are games when no receivers are getting open. It happens.

  4. bigbear12 says: Jan 17, 2011 9:07 PM

    Neither team needs to make excuses for losing next week. They are the top two teams in the NFC. Just a typical Lovie comment, he never says anything too controversial. Just replied GB is still formidable with the injuries so it’s no reason to dwell on it.

    It’s also bad luck to talk about your team having good luck with injuries. Thought everyone knew that.

  5. longtimefan says: Jan 17, 2011 9:07 PM

    Come on Lovie

    How many LB did we start this year?

    Then go back to your 09 seasons, and what happened with your LB’ers and what was your record?

    Starks was a part of 2 wins the entire season..Then a big part of the Philly playoff win..

    To say every team has injuries is true..But 14-15 on IR? Come on now

    Show me one team that had around 14-15 placed on IR and made it to the CG

  6. hobartbaker says: Jan 17, 2011 9:11 PM

    Lovie has scant sympathy for the injured players. But he did offer to bury the rest of the team in the frozen tundra of Soldier Field.

  7. Bearfan54 says: Jan 17, 2011 9:11 PM

    Bears & Jets in the Superbowl. Bears become World Champs.

  8. angelosdraftboard says: Jan 17, 2011 9:16 PM

    Other than Jermichael Finley and arguably Ryan Grant everyone else the Packers lost was replaceable without a big drop off in talent. They were fortuante to have a deep roster so it didnt affect them. Lets be honest, if Packers had lost Rodgers or Matthews or if Jennings for that matter they wouldnt be playing next Sunday.

  9. nickynick04 says: Jan 17, 2011 9:16 PM

    The Packers have been decimated by injuries. How many starters have they loss ? Seriously, how many starters ,,,not 1, 2, 3,,,it is more like 10 starters,,,So ” Lovie ” IF you would beat the Packers, you would be beating a team without 10 starters in the line up….AND, IF the Packers beat you,,,then you must hang your head knowing you got beat by a team using 5 & 6 th string linebackers……..BUT, may the best team win…..

  10. quickwitt says: Jan 17, 2011 9:19 PM

    The point is who will be playing Sunday. Packers looked pretty darn good on Saturday with the players they had; if they play that well on Sunday, they’ll win. Wonderful execution on offense and enough disruption by defense to frustrate Falcons into humble submission. Bears need to hope Rodgers plays like an Erin.

  11. pack15forever says: Jan 17, 2011 9:34 PM

    Lovie won’t have to worry about Packer excuses if the Bears win on Sunday but rather explaining how his team got their butts kicked by a team that was hit super hard by injuries. Packers are not the Seahawks.

  12. darthvincent says: Jan 17, 2011 9:44 PM

    Lovie is just doing the normal CYA work. He knows that when the Packers whip his team’s assets this Sunday he wants an excuse that will allow him to keep his job.

    ie – we lost to the Packers starters, not their scrubs….

  13. bluestree says: Jan 17, 2011 9:50 PM

    It isn’t just about starters or stars going down, they also lost key reserves and that definitely hurts over the long haul. Thank Ted Thompson for the depth and the free agent (non big name) pickups that have made it work. And credit the players for stepping it up and having each other’s back.
    Lovie is downplaying it because he knows it could creep into his team’s psyche that the Packers are the more talented of the two teams.
    And they would be correct.

  14. jimmy1smith says: Jan 17, 2011 9:51 PM

    The irony is that Mike McCarthy wouldn’t even let his own Packers talk about injuries or use injuries as an excuse, why would the head coach of the Bears even head down this road?

    One thing for sure, the Bears were fortunate to draw the Seachickens for Cutler’s first playoff game. The Packers offer a whole different set of challenges so I would think Lovie would turn his attention to that instead of such a minor point.

  15. longtimefan says: Jan 17, 2011 10:06 PM

    Other than Jermichael Finley and arguably Ryan Grant everyone else the Packers lost was replaceable without a big drop off in talent. They were fortuante to have a deep roster so it didnt affect them. Lets be honest, if Packers had lost Rodgers or Matthews or if Jennings for that matter they wouldnt be playing next Sunday.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Really?

    Show us who…dont just blindly toss that out w/o backing it up

  16. saberstud75 says: Jan 17, 2011 10:11 PM

    No one in the media cut the Bears any slack last year when they were decimated with injuries including loosing Urlacher in week 1. That would be like loosing Clay Mathews for the entire season for the Packers. They had issues keeping LBs and DBs healthy the entire season. Not to mention Matt Forte was dinged up as well. I think the Bears know about injuries and the sympathy they will get you.

  17. shaggytoodle says: Jan 17, 2011 10:13 PM

    Lovie kept his starters in so late that last game of the season trying to bump the Packers out for a reason. He didn’t want to see them in the playoffs, because he knew they were going to be a tough out.

  18. packattack04 says: Jan 17, 2011 10:21 PM

    List below is the number of games missed by starters for the final 8 teams in the playoffs. The packers number is a NFL record. Its amazing they have rebounded so well in light of this fact.

    Falcons 9
    Bears 20
    Jets 34
    Ravens 45
    Steelers 51
    Seahawks 58
    Patriots 62
    Packers 91

  19. philtration says: Jan 17, 2011 10:23 PM

    darthvincent says: Jan 17, 2011 9:44 PM

    Lovie is just doing the normal CYA work. He knows that when the Packers whip his team’s assets this Sunday he wants an excuse that will allow him to keep his job.
    ie – we lost to the Packers starters, not their scrubs…
    ====================================

    Glad that you said that.
    That way when the Bears win on Sunday you can’t come here crying about the Packers injuries.

    But I have a feeling that you will anyway.

  20. aaronitout12 says: Jan 17, 2011 10:33 PM

    nickynick04 says: Jan 17, 2011 9:16 PM

    The Packers have been decimated by injuries. How many starters have they loss ? Seriously, how many starters ,,,not 1, 2, 3,,,it is more like 10 starters,,,So ” Lovie ” IF you would beat the Packers, you would be beating a team without 10 starters in the line up….AND, IF the Packers beat you,,,then you must hang your head knowing you got beat by a team using 5 & 6 th string linebackers……..BUT, may the best team win…..

    ——————————————

    Yes some of what you say is true. But wouldn’t you rather have Bishop in there over Barnett? Walden has been playing darn good ball. As well as Peprah over Morgan Burnett. Yes, Burnett shows promise, but I cannot say that it is a drop off with Peprah in there! So lets not get too carried away with the injury BS, I’m more thankful for the depth we have. I actually think the injuries have made us gel and rally(Finley aside) into a great team!

  21. shadowgm1 says: Jan 17, 2011 10:38 PM

    jimmy1smith says:
    Jan 17, 2011 9:51 PM
    The irony is that Mike McCarthy wouldn’t even let his own Packers talk about injuries or use injuries as an excuse, why would the head coach of the Bears even head down this road?

    One thing for sure, the Bears were fortunate to draw the Seachickens for Cutler’s first playoff game. The Packers offer a whole different set of challenges so I would think Lovie would turn his attention to that instead of such a minor point.

    ————————————————————–

    Great post. I agree with you 100%. Sounds to me like he’s trying to say the Packers aren’t as good as they seem…and that he’s nervous about this game. Saying something like this makes a post game conference better to tolerate when asked how Green Bay beat the “Mighty” (?) Bears with so many injuries. The funny thing is that he thinks we revolve defensively around Matthews…

  22. doe22us says: Jan 17, 2011 10:46 PM

    its scary to think how Rodgers will be if he had Grant and Finley the whole season absolutely sick.. it will be pick your poison time circa Rams even they didnt have that many explosive weapons

  23. urshgur says: Jan 17, 2011 10:50 PM

    Since when has anything Lovie Smith said in public made any sense anyway?

  24. itwasagoodrun says: Jan 17, 2011 10:52 PM

    Actually agree with Lovie. The packers lost players at positions that they fortunately had depth at. Barnett, Finley, Grant all were replaceable. If they lost ONE of the following; Rodgers, Matthews, Woodson, T. Williams, Jennings they wouldn’t be able to absorb it, in fact, they probably would have missed the playoffs all together. The fact is, they had their key core players all year long, yet they play the bs game of “we’ve been decimated by injuries.” Horsebleep. The biggest difference IMO in the NFC North came down to injuries. Vikings and Lions had injuries to key players all year, Packers and Bears didn’t have injuries to key players. Done.

  25. noeffinway says: Jan 17, 2011 10:55 PM

    “And if Smith thinks the Packers are tough to deal with now, just think how tough they’d be to deal with if they had had the Bears’ good luck with injuries.”

    Ha…c’mon……there’s absolutely no way of knowing what the packers would have been like without the injuries. maybe they would have won only 6 games??? To assume that they would be a better team is just a hunch……..we will never know. They may have sucked it all up…….who knows?

  26. childressrulz says: Jan 17, 2011 11:02 PM

    The Packers are not making excuses. They are pointing out that their backups are better than ANY other teams starters in the NFC. It will be awesome watching the Packer backups hoist the Hallas trophy on Solider field. The rest of the NFC doesn’t stack up to the Pack.

  27. duffer58 says: Jan 17, 2011 11:04 PM

    The injuries packers have overcome is a fact. They lose one of the best young tight ends in game and their everydown back. They have lost 4 good linbackers and a promising safety and defensive lineman.
    There is more and ganmes missed by players now healthy.
    However nobody in Green bay is making any excuses if they lose to Bears or anyone else.
    Smith is crazy not to admit his team has been fortunate.

  28. duffer58 says: Jan 17, 2011 11:06 PM

    Jermichael Finley and Grant alone are huge losses not many teams could overcome.

  29. darthvincent says: Jan 17, 2011 11:22 PM

    philtration says: Jan 17, 2011 10:23 PM Glad that you said that. That way when the Bears win on Sunday you can’t come here crying about the Packers injuries.

    But I have a feeling that you will anyway.

    you would have the “wrong” feeling… it’s the F’n NFL — Injuries are a part of the game, just pointing out that duh Bears coach is full of it… I still believe he’s just doing CYA work….

  30. 49erman says: Jan 17, 2011 11:22 PM

    I thought Lovie was a little smarter than that..apparently, in this case, I was wrong.

  31. scytherius says: Jan 17, 2011 11:41 PM

    Well … of this much I am confident … this is gonna be a HELL of a game.

  32. jc1958coo says: Jan 17, 2011 11:56 PM

    why would he even go there!! eric walden is the fourth guy at rolb jones,popinga,zombo,walden.
    the same guys now i know where the bears got the DAAAAAAAAAA from!! lmao

  33. Matt says: Jan 18, 2011 12:03 AM

    “A lot of has been said about the amount of injuries they have had,” Smith said. “All teams have injuries.”

    Loosely translated, this is coach-speak for:

    “I can’t believe how much talent and depth the Packers have. WTF am I going to do next year once everyone is healthy again?”

    “All teams have injuries.”

    Except the Bears. LOL! I’m sure Lovie is so distraught that he doesn’t have to gameplan for Jermichael Finley or Ryan Grant this week.

  34. preseasonchamps08 says: Jan 18, 2011 12:09 AM

    I’ve posted on this site a few times that I am a Lions fan, thus I hate the Bears and the Pack equally. That being said, how could ANYONE argue that the Packers have had the worst luck with injuries in recent memory? The Bears are the worst team to play in the conference championship that I can remember; The Pack is an elite team playing with no fewer than 25% of their starters on injured reserve.

    Again, I hate Green Bay, but in the interest of objectivity, they will be in the hunt for the Super Bowl for the foreseeable future. The Bears? I have $100 that says they don’t break .500 next year…I hate both teams, but I can honestly say that the Packers are going to be very good for a while; the Bears are going to return to laughing stock status and remain there.

  35. deiong says: Jan 18, 2011 12:20 AM

    The Bears can beat the packers and the packer can beat the bears. its pretty close to 50/50 these days. doesnt matter if the packers or the bears beat themselves, or if they beat the opponent or whatever the excuses are its gonna be a good game.

  36. packerbacker12 says: Jan 18, 2011 12:21 AM

    “Other than Jermichael Finley and arguably Ryan Grant everyone else the Packers lost was replaceable without a big drop off in talent. They were fortuante to have a deep roster so it didnt affect them. Lets be honest, if Packers had lost Rodgers or Matthews or if Jennings for that matter they wouldnt be playing next Sunday.”

    Not a big drop off in talent? Dude the Packers were hit so hard by injuries they had to thrust in three virtually unknown players in as starters. Charlie Peprah, who replaced Morgan Burnett, was a unknown who only played on special teams. Erik Walden and Howard Green will both street free agents who have been bouncing from team to team throughout their careers.

    I am not saying they are not talented but considering where those players were before coming to the Pack should be considered a dropoff.

  37. metalhead65 says: Jan 18, 2011 12:23 AM

    maybe he is as tired as bears fans are of hearing about how the packers would have won without all the injuries this year.injuries or not the bears won the division and we are sick of having to listen to everybody talk about how lucky we were. good teams take advantage of the oppertunities presented to them and the bears did so get over it! it is not their fault the teams they played were down this year for whatever reason. if you looked at their schedule like the experts here at pft did did before the season they said it was brutal and the bears would finish 7-9. because they won and proved everybody wrong they have to say they are sorry? they should have beaten the skins and seahawks but were trying to get settled on the offensive line and learn a new offense and made to many mistakes.if your team was so decimated then why are they playing the division champs for the right to go to the superbowl?did anyone have pity on the bears last year when they lost their leader in urlacher on defense for the season?and by the way how did his career suffer this year because of it?

  38. pakrguru says: Jan 18, 2011 1:28 AM

    No one in the media cut the Bears any slack last year when they were decimated with injuries including loosing Urlacher in week 1. That would be like loosing Clay Mathews for the entire season for the Packers. They had issues keeping LBs and DBs healthy the entire season. Not to mention Matt Forte was dinged up as well. I think the Bears know about injuries and the sympathy they will get you.

    ————————————–

    And what was Duh Bears record last year when they “had issues keeping LB’s and DB’s healthy for the entire season”?

    7-9

    The Packers record after replacing 1/2 of their defensive backfield, 3/4 of their LB’s, a very up-and-coming TE, a starting right tackle, an every down RB……10-6, a spot in the playoffs, and an appearance in the NFCCG.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  39. nfldoc says: Jan 18, 2011 6:06 AM

    Lovie should just shut his damn mouth. The Bears had the chance to keep the Pack out of the playoffs by beating them in the final game of the season. They blew it and now they’re gonna get what they deserve. Blown out.

  40. teal379 says: Jan 18, 2011 6:56 AM

    Wondering if Lovie then would rather face GB with those guys we lost – you know, Finley, Grant etc.

    Would that be easier for him then?

    Come on… All the talk outta Bear camp so far has been complete nervousness.

    They saw their QB play one heck of a game against a poor Seattle team and STILL only complete 50% of his passes – at home. Most of this talk by the Bears to to convince themselves and no one else.

  41. itwasagoodrun says: Jan 18, 2011 8:08 AM

    pakrguru says:
    Jan 18, 2011 1:28 AM
    No one in the media cut the Bears any slack last year when they were decimated with injuries including loosing Urlacher in week 1. That would be like loosing Clay Mathews for the entire season for the Packers. They had issues keeping LBs and DBs healthy the entire season. Not to mention Matt Forte was dinged up as well. I think the Bears know about injuries and the sympathy they will get you.

    ————————————–

    And what was Duh Bears record last year when they “had issues keeping LB’s and DB’s healthy for the entire season”?

    7-9

    The Packers record after replacing 1/2 of their defensive backfield, 3/4 of their LB’s, a very up-and-coming TE, a starting right tackle, an every down RB……10-6, a spot in the playoffs, and an appearance in the NFCCG.

    Here endeth the lesson.
    ———————————————————-
    Again moron, the pack didn’t lose any KEY players for the season. Losing Urlacher last year would be the equivalent of losing Clay Matthews in week one. If you lost Clay Matthews for the year in week one would you be so confident?…probably not. If you lost Clay, you wouldn’t even make the playoffs, the Giants would be in your spot. The pack have 3/4 of their defensive backfield. Are you on record of saying that Morgan Burnett was not replaceable? Losing their RT was a blessing because Bulaga is clearly better. Give me a break. You guys will use this if you choke in Chicago or Dallas, but the fact of the matter is that Barnett, Grant (overrated), Finley (to some extent), Tauscher, whoever these terrible LB’s you speak of were all replaceable by other hacks. They haven’t lost one key player except for Finley, but Quarless is pretty good and has some of his same measurables. You can’t compare Chicago 2009 with Pack of 2010, Chicago had many KEY players go out.

  42. joetoronto says: Jan 18, 2011 8:10 AM

    Excuses are for losers.

    If you come back here Sunday night and make excuses, you’re a loser, period.

    For now, continue to wear out the enter button on your computer, hammering the thumbs down icon.

  43. nickynick04 says: Jan 18, 2011 9:21 AM

    All the Bull aside. This could be a very. very good Championship game. The Chicago Bears and The Green Bay Packers….Come on, fans from both teams,, cannot argue that it does’nt get any better. Let the ” Black & Blue Division” put on a show for the ages….This is what the forefathers of the NFL would want. The oldest rivalry in the league played for a Title.
    Hopefully both teams show up playing their ” A ” game , and we get to see good football. Turnovers concern me. I get nervous when Stark carries the ball…He is due to fumble on a big play. And I also feel the Bears are due to get toasted with the ” LONG BALL “….
    Stay tuned I guess…let’s hope the Bears & The Packers put on a ” old school ” show for all football fans..No BS ” wildcat “…
    It is a proud day for the NFC North…THE BEST DIVISION IN THE National Football League.
    GO PACKERS !

  44. gregjennings85 says: Jan 18, 2011 10:13 AM

    We don’t want your pity, Lovie.

    We just want to score more points than your squad on Sunday, nothing more.

  45. beefbus says: Jan 18, 2011 11:40 AM

    This is the dumbest article/debate ever. Why even bring up injuries when the team in question is in the NFC title game? So, Rodgers has redirected his focus on the WRs instead of Grant and Finley. Would they have scored 55 points versus the Falcons instead of 45? There’s only one football to go around idiots. How could the Packers improve on their top-5 defense and #1 overall passing D?

  46. Matt says: Jan 18, 2011 11:49 AM

    No one in the media cut the Bears any slack last year when they were decimated with injuries including loosing Urlacher in week 1. That would be like loosing Clay Mathews for the entire season for the Packers.

    ———

    Please don’t insult Clay by comparing him to Urlacher. Urlacher is a good LB, but he’s never been able to take over and change a game like Matthews. Teams don’t spend multiple days game-planning to stop or slow down Urlacher like they do Matthews. Urlacher doesn’t keep coaches and offensive linemen up late at night worrying about him.

    And save your garbage about Urlacher winning the DPOY in 2005. His numbers weren’t eye-popping, he won it because he was the leader of a great Bears defense.

  47. beefbus says: Jan 18, 2011 6:21 PM

    @Matt-

    December’s DPOM, and the Bears all-time leading tackler. I would think defenses plan for him when they’re playing the Bears. Please, you’re insulting my intelligence, and making yourself look like an idiot.

  48. Matt says: Jan 19, 2011 12:48 AM

    @beefbus

    Actually, a better comparison to Urlacher is Nick Barnett. Urlacher has only averaged 10 tackles a season more than Barnett and the two have similar INT numbers as well. I don’t think Barnett is as good as Urlacher, he’s just a better comparison. Urlacher is far closer to Barnett than he is Matthews.

    Even when Urlacher was in his prime, Clay is in a class above him…and he’s just going to get better. The only Chicago player opposing teams have to worry about or lose sleep over is Devin Hester.

    So next time do your homework before calling me an idiot…

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