Knee injuries complicate free agency for Packers pair

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The Packers had to finish yesterday’s game without a pair of key defenders, and those two might have their offseason plans complicated by those injuries.

Cornerback Sam Shields and outside linebacker Mike Neal suffered knee injuries in last night’s loss to the 49ers.

According to Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin, coach Mike McCarthy didn’t have an update on their conditions last night. But they were carted off, making MRIs today likely.

Both players are set to be unrestricted free agents in the spring, and Shields in particular was viewed as a priority.

There had been discussions about a multi-year deal for the talented corner throughout the season, but a serious injury could complicate that.

Neal’s absence left the Packers dangerously thin at his position, with just two other outside linebackers to finish the game.

19 responses to “Knee injuries complicate free agency for Packers pair

  1. The Packers were dangerously thin at OLB before Neal got hurt, too. Neal is a DE miscast as playing standing up. So is Nick Perry. When Andy Mulumbu (a rookie UDFA) went down for a short time in the second half, the Packers played another DL, Datone Jones, in his place. It was really a 4-3 look, not a 3-4 look. I thought it was their best defensive stretch of the game. At the very least, it was no worse than any other part of the game.

    If they stick with the 3-4 (and they should ditch it for a 4-3), it doesn’t matter if Neal stays or goes. They have plenty of DL depth and a replacement OLB can match his performance there. Shields is another matter. Keeping him is a priority. I’m not sure of the cap hit for a franchise CB but that tag has to be a part of the discussion.

  2. Cleveland will be interested in both. The injuries won’t matter to Dumbardi. He signs them all-bad knees, heart conditions, loss of vision, loss of limbs, and particularly, loss of skills.

  3. Neal has played better the second half of the season, but is injury-prone at best. I would let him walk(if he can, until he gets hurt again).
    Shields is a slightly-better-than-average corner. His tackling is smidge improved, but far from good. He wants big money via free agency, but with a bum knee, he’s probably smart to sign a one year deal with Green Bay soon, rehab, and hope for a better deal in 2015. He’s faster than lightning and you can’t teach speed as the old saying goes.

  4. Packers need to get rid of Dumb… I mean Dom Capers. All the 49’s had to do was use last year’s game plan. Caper’s still hadn’t figured them out. That last drive (for winning field goal) made me sick. Get a REAL defensive coordinator and draft some REAL offensive and defensive lineman and there won’t be a team in the NFL that can touch them.

  5. Have to resign Shields he’s too talented and young to let walk. I like Neal a lot and he has played better so if he wants to stay at a reasonable price I’m all for it. Either way we need safety help and that’s the bottom line. Morgan is good but needs to be a SS not FS.

  6. Cheap blocks going for the knees. Cant imagine how hard harbaugh would have been crying if the Packers hurt his players going for the knees.

  7. If Neal isn’t seriously hurt, then one has to figure that he is only there for the pay check. A natural for sales at a car dealership. Maybe, lower round picks that play their heart out is the way to go.

  8. The Pack could sign JJ Watt, Jared Allen, and the best linebackers and cornerbacks but it would not make a difference if they keep the worst defensive coordinator in football. Start by hiring a new DC!!

  9. If they don’t do something about some of the defense coaching staff..then it won’t matter who stays or who goes. Like warbirdlover said all the 49ers (HA! any team actually) had to do was watch game flim from the last 4 YEARS to get a game plan. And for the 49ers fans who are all “YAAYY they kicked their butt again”..ok, by 3 points on a defense even Pack fans are saying is questionable. you won…but not by much. Go Pack! (go panthers..this weekend only 🙂 )

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