One day after it seemed like the Green Bay Packers defense might be getting some assistance, one of its key starters was sidelined at practice with a new injury.
Packers starting safety Adrian Amos popped up on the team’s injury report Wednesday with a hamstring issue that shut him down in practice, coming just one day after Ibraheim Campbell was activated off the PUP list and rejoined the active roster.
Amos has become a central part of the Packers defense since signing his four-year, $37 million deal in the offseason, currently sitting with the team’s second-most tackles (50) along with four deflected passes, 1.5 tackles for loss and an interception in the season opener. Moreover, he helped keep the secondary together while rookie Darnell Savage Jr. missed time with his own injury issues.
Losing Sunday to the Los Angeles Chargers exposed flaws in the defense that have seemed less dire when the Packers were winning, and replacing a veteran now would only hinder the Packers’ chances of correcting their mistakes in Week 10 against the Carolina Panthers.
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Campbell Feels Ready to Contribute
Whether Amos is sidelined for Sunday’s game, Campbell is ready to suit up and help the Packers however he can in his first action of 2019. The safety/linebacker hybrid has been recovering from a torn ACL since last December but showed the Packers enough to like in his limited opportunities for them to resign him and put him on PUP at August’s roster cutdown deadline.
“I’ve been preparing as well as I possibly could up to this point, so I fully anticipate going out there and playing well,” Campbell said after Wednesday’s practice. “This is the opportunity that I’ve been waiting for, so I plan on taking advantage of it.”
One of those advantages includes familiarity with defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who was head coach of the Browns when Campbell played in Cleveland during the 2015 season. That could offer some trust, albeit without too much on-field experience to back it up.
“Just having played in it before, I felt familiar with (the system),” Campbell said. “I didn’t feel like it was too far of a stretch for me to get back and get used to it again.”
Elite Test Awaits in Christian McCaffrey
The Packers are just one game away from a bye week that could help recalibrate the struggling defense, but a stand-up statement against one of the best running backs in the league would go a lot further in confirming how special the NFC North leaders can be.
Christian McCaffrey is 217 rushing yards shy of matching his career best and currently has a league-leading 13 total touchdowns, coming into Green Bay off a three-score performance that once again led the Panthers to victory. The MVP buzz around the third-year running back is well earned, as he has only twice this season finished a game with fewer than 100 total scrimmage yards.
“For how elusive he is, I think people kind of forget how hard he runs,” Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark said Wednesday. He does a great job, he runs behind his pads, he has great vision, and just how they can put him at receiver or the routes that he can from the running back position, he presents a lot of problems.”