The return of a healthy Aaron Rodgers will help a lot, but these five Green Bay Packers must improve this year.
Due mostly to quarterback Aaron Rodgers missing practically 10 games with a collarbone injury, the Green Bay Packers finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008 (Rodgers’ first year as the starter) last year.
That down year brought some significant changes in Green Bay, from the top in new general manager Brian Gutekunst, to two new coordinators (Mike Pettine and Joe Philbin), a quarterback coach change and wide receiver Jordy Nelson being released. The latter two moves drew some ire from Rodgers, as he and the team address his contract situation.
Simply having Rodgers healthy will go a long way toward bringing the Packers back to the top of the NFC North. But these five players must improve this year for Green Bay to have a substantial bounceback season.
5. Nick Perry
After tallying 11 sacks in 2016, and signing a five-year, $60 million contract, Perry had seven sacks in 12 games last year. He was put on IR with ankle and shoulder issues once the Packers were eliminated from playoff contention, but Pro Football Focus gave the former first-round pick an above average grade for his work in 2017.
Green Bay’s pass rush has often been Clay Matthews and little else. Perry has finally changed that a bit over the last couple years. But it’s time for him to stay healthy and perform consistently when he’s not playing for a contract. Maybe defensive coordinator Mike Pettine can coax a new level of play out of Perry this year.