Packers Star Suffered Torn ACL vs. Lions, Per Insiders

Getty The Green Bay Packers might have lost one of their biggest stars for the season.

The Green Bay Packers suffered a laundry list of injuries in Week 9 at Ford Field, the home of the Detroit Lions. While fans were hoping that most of the injuries were minor, the team got some worst-case scenario news the morning after the loss: pass rushing force Rashan Gary is likely out for the season.

“Rashan Gary tears his ACL, source confirms, and he’ll have an MRI to determine if there is additional damage. More bad luck for the #Packers,” tweeted NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on November 7 after ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweeted that Gary was undergoing an MRI.

It was a Sunday to forget for the Packers, who lost their fifth straight game in a sloppy 15-9 loss to the Lions. The loss moved them to 3-6 on the year and took them effectively out of the playoff race, but the injuries were the bigger story.

Besides Gary, rookie wideout Romeo Doubs, cornerback Eric Stokes and running back Aaron Jones all got hurt during the loss and did not finish the game. Doubs was carted off with an ankle injury after his first and only reception.

It now seems likely that the team will be without arguably their biggest defensive star for the remainder of the 2022 season, and possibly the start of 2023.

Rashan Gary Has Proved Doubters Wrong Before

Gary, 24, had 6.0 sacks on the season and was on pace to shatter his career-high of 9.5 in 2021. Packers fans will keep their fingers crossed that he can return for the start of the 2023 season. Typically, ACL injuries require six to nine months of recovery.

Some may be skeptical that Gary will be able to return at 100% after this injury, but he has proved doubters wrong in the past. When the Packers took Gary with the 12th overall pick in the 2019 draft, fans and analysts were already calling the young pass rusher a bust and a reach of a draft pick after he didn’t deliver on high expectations at the University of Michigan. Gary produced just 9.5 sacks in three seasons at Michigan after being heralded as the No. 1 player in the 2016 recruiting class.

But Gary has proved the doubters wrong since arriving in Green Bay. He has become a stable pass-rushing presence for the Packers. He’s racked up 22.5 sacks in less than four seasons.

Who Will Replace Gary?

Unfortunately for the Packers, there are few options to replace Gary in the starting lineup. Veteran Preston Smith has been holding his own on the other side of the defense, but now rookie Kingsley “JJ” Enagbare will have to step up.

Enagbare was a solid player at South Carolina before being drafted by the Packers in the fifth round of the 2022 draft. Although expectations weren’t high for him coming into his rookie season, the 22-year-old has already shown some flashes in a rotational role.

Through nine games, Enagbare has already picked up a pair of sacks, while putting pressure on the quarterback fairly regularly whenever he’s out on the field. With Gary done for the season, it will at least give Enagbare some additional reps to get acclimated to the NFL level, hopefully helping speed up his development to help him contribute at a high level for the rest of his career.

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Jim Losch
Jim Losch
10 months ago

Make plans for Next Season 2023=24….unfortunately this season is done. Reviewing the remainder schedule, I doubt Green Bay can win another game, perhaps 2 with , Defense would have to carry the Offense too win. Been through this before.