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Packers linebacker Walden may miss Super Bowl

Packers outside linebacker Erik Walden was a key to the team’s late-season success, racking up 20 tackles and three sacks in the last four games, including the playoffs.

Walden now appears to be in danger of missing Super Bowl XLV. Listed as questionable, he’ll be a game-time decision after missing Saturday’s walkthrough practice with an ankle injury.

“Erik’s going to have to show us something before the game,” said coach Mike McCarthy. “Obviously we’re going over early, 2 o’clock, so we’ll have a decision right there at the deadline.”

Walden admitted earlier in the week that he has a high ankle sprain, which typically is at least a three-week injury.

His backup is undrafted rookie Frank Zombo.

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24 Responses to “Packers linebacker Walden may miss Super Bowl”
  1. thehatefulnerd says: Feb 5, 2011 3:15 PM

    Walden was himself a street free agent. Picked him up late in the season too. He’s done amazingly well. He’s more of a speed/coverage guy, whereas Zombo is more of a run stuffing/hold the edge kind of guy.

  2. kcjohnson2 says: Feb 5, 2011 3:16 PM

    It’d be a shame if Walden can’t play. He’s had a great post season.

    If Walden can’t go, Zombo played solid when he was the starter. I also expect to see more 3-3 formations with Woodson playing like an OLB near the line on the weak side.

  3. jc1958coo says: Feb 5, 2011 3:18 PM

    welcome back zombo, two sacks on big ben and a fumble recovery!! GREEN & GOLD 34-24 not even close

  4. myasylum11 says: Feb 5, 2011 3:19 PM

    Well… They’ve been doing good with the back-ups all year, might as well keep rollin’ with it!

    I hear Ryan Grant needs something to do! 🙂

  5. tastethejace says: Feb 5, 2011 3:20 PM

    The last line of this article is the scariest.

  6. similis says: Feb 5, 2011 3:24 PM

    ^ not really tastethejace, zombo was the starter before Walden “a street free agent” got the chance to play due to injury… technically it should be a step up, not down… technically.

  7. cityofchampyinz says: Feb 5, 2011 3:25 PM

    ruh rohhhhh

  8. tastethejace says: Feb 5, 2011 3:34 PM

    Yeah apparently Zombo has experience on the field. I read “undrafted” and “rookie”, which is almost always a dangerous mix. Then his bio on wikipedia told me nothing. So it was definitely unsettling.

    But hey, I’m getting thumbs down for the remark which means ppl don’t agree, a good sign that Zombo knows how to play ball.

  9. jarrman46 says: Feb 5, 2011 4:02 PM

    Well considering that 16 of those 20 tackles and all 3 sacks came in one game against Bears last week of the season we should be fine. He has been pretty quite in the playoffs. Zombos been playing since week 1.

  10. laxer37 says: Feb 5, 2011 4:19 PM

    Zombo missed practice this week too.

  11. dwhitehurst says: Feb 5, 2011 4:36 PM

    Hard to say which is better–Zombo (Brains!) simply for his better run containment ability relative to Mendenhall or Walden for his better pass coverage ability relative to Heath Miller. Probably a toss-up. Now, who is Zombo’s backup for the game??

  12. stairwayto7 says: Feb 5, 2011 4:40 PM

    Who cares.. Steelers will still rout the Pack by 14 points EASILY!!!

  13. stavreafavre says: Feb 5, 2011 4:48 PM

    Walden had a monster game against the Bears in the regular season finale; apart from that he’s been solid but not remarkable. Capers and the rest of the defensive staff have been finding ways to get it done for weeks no matter who got hurt, and I’m confident they’ll do it again. PACK ATTACK!

  14. poiuyt7 says: Feb 5, 2011 4:49 PM

    similis says:
    Feb 5, 2011 3:24 PM
    ^ not really tastethejace, zombo was the starter before Walden “a street free agent” got the chance to play due to injury… technically it should be a step up, not down… technically.

    Actually, Brad Jones was the starter at the beginning of the season, so Walden was the backup to the backup.

    The Packers have had so many injuries this season it’s hard to keep track of who’s who. McCarthy and Ted Thompson deserve a lot of credit for not just taking this team to the Super Bowl, but for holding it together in the first place.

  15. keramidas21 says: Feb 5, 2011 5:01 PM

    the Zombonator!

  16. imjinbrdgr says: Feb 5, 2011 5:16 PM

    Zombo is better against the run then Walden. This might even be the better option agains the Steelers.

  17. der6495 says: Feb 5, 2011 5:59 PM

    Zombo has started 8 games in his career and has as many forced fumbles (2) as AJ Hawk has in his 5 year career. He also had more sacks (4) than Hawk ever had. So the guy can play a little.

  18. moosewolsey says: Feb 5, 2011 6:18 PM

    agreed imjinbrdgr… Hawk and Walden are a double liability against the run. Green Bay has stifled the run whenever you play to Matthews side. To the opposite side of Matthews they have been vulnerable to longer runs. Zombo won’t be in coverage all that much – he’ll be asked to hold his water and maintain outside leverage while he has help with a very strong inside rush with Picket, Jenkins and Raji…

  19. stairwayto7 says: Feb 5, 2011 6:28 PM

    No Packer fan ever heard of thsi Zombo guy and they act liek he will be the savior! Packer fan still think Bart Starr played for Packers 10 years ago!

  20. dachozen1 says: Feb 5, 2011 6:34 PM

    In less than 24 hrs the beginning of the end will take place. For 2 weeks I sat back and watched all these analysts sell Green Bay to the world. Tomorrow, everyone comes back to reality. I know what everyone is hoping and praying for. Can someone please stop these big, bad Steelers from winning their 7th but it wont happen!! Steelers 34 Green Bay 20.

  21. stopmakingexcuses says: Feb 5, 2011 6:38 PM

    All week they say with pouncey 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain. This article says typically 3 weeks. Dosn’t really make sense. If he can’t participate in a walkthrough, he isn’t playing.

  22. pervyharvin says: Feb 5, 2011 7:02 PM

    Packer fans…please enjoy your evening ! For tomorrow will be like hitting a brick wall going 100. Steelers are going to spank you bad. Speaking of spanking dwhitehurst, I heard there is a bogo sale on gerbils at Pet Smart. Thought you would like to know!

  23. jfrogwi says: Feb 5, 2011 7:22 PM

    Actually, Walden was the backup to the backup (Zombo) to the backup (Poppinga) to the starter (Jones). And, if Chillar wasn’t on IR, he’d probably be playing the spot. He did practice there in training camp, though his play wasn’t that great.

    While it hurts to not have him (he has been playing well), I think Zombo can do the job. Now if he goes down, and Francois has to play, then we might be in trouble.

  24. jarrman46 says: Feb 5, 2011 8:45 PM

    He better get to PetMart before Pervy buys all the big Gerbils

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