More often than not, success in any NFL playoff game comes down to healthy bodies. So if the Green Bay Packers (11-6) have any hope of eliminating the No. 2 seed Arizona Cardinals (13-3), they’ll need signs of improvement from the 14 players listed on the injury report ahead of Saturday’s NFC Divisional playoff.
The long list of injuries could put seven-point road underdog Green Bay and its offense in danger of regressing to its late season form, rather than the 35-point explosion it unleashed on Washington in the Wild Card round last week.
Specifically, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers may reportedly miss No. 3 receiver Davante Adams (knee), according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Sitting out every practice so far this week, Adams is recovering after tight end Richard Rodgers fell on top of him during Green Bay’s 35-18 victory over the Redskins.
The effort proved just the fifth 30-plus point output by Green Bay this season, and it second in the last seven games, and much that success started with running backs Eddie Lacy and James Starks.
Lacy’s been limited in practice all week due to sore ribs after he snapped a three-game scoreless streak with 63 yards and a touchdown off a mere 12 carries against the Redskins. The tight end Rodgers (hip) has also been limited in practices this week, as were his backups, Andrew Quarless (knee) and Justin Perillo (hamstring), as well as starting guard Josh Sitton (back), guard T.J. Lang (calf), and tackle David Bakhtiari (ankle).
Green Bay will now hobble into the divisional round to face a loaded Arizona offense that ranked second in the league in points scored and a defense that was ranked fifth overall and seventh in points allowed at 17.6 per game.
The Cardinals do have some injuries to fret over as they seek their first trip to the NFC title game since 2009, but not nearly as many as Green Bay. Guard Mike Iupati (shoulder) was limited in Wednesday’s practice but was a full participant in Thursday’s, while linebacker Markus Golden (knee), defensive tackle Josh Mauro (calf) and defensive tackle Frostee Rucker (ankle) have been limited all week.
Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer (right finger) makes the injury report for the third straight game and with the same injury, but he’s fully participated in practices and is expected to start his first playoff game since the 2009 season with Cincinnati.
Betting Odds: Arizona -7
Over/Under: 49.5 points
Kickoff: Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC
Live Stream: SNF All Access