That they did. After losing Wallace, the Packers lost center Evan Dietrich-Smith to a knee injury, nickel cornerback Casey Hayward to a hamstring injury, right tackle-turned-right guard Don Barclay to a knee injury, defensive end Johnny Jolly to a groin injury and outside linebacker Nick Perry to a foot injury. Only Jolly was able to return to the game.
Dietrich-Smith’s injury meant moving right guard T.J. Lang, who’d barely practiced all week after suffering a concussion against Chicago, to center, Barclay to right guard and bringing Marshall Newhouse off the bench. When Barclay went down in the second half, undrafted rookie Lane Taylor came off the bench and the Packers were out of offensive linemen.
“I feel stupid saying it, but of course we’re going to keep fighting,” Hawk said of all the adversity the team is facing. “We’re 5-4 now, and I’m sure everybody is writing us off. Which is fine. I don’t care what’s happening around us. Sometimes through adversity teams band together. Look at (the movie) Miracle. (about the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team). When they hated the coach (Herb Brooks), they banded together.
“So maybe with the craziness going on around us and people not giving us a chance, who knows? We’ve done that in the past. Hopefully we come through this. When you come through situations like this and get on a run, it feels that much better.”
But to get on that run, they’ll have to find a way to win without Rodgers, then hope he’s back with enough time left in the season to help get them into the playoffs. In the meantime, Rodgers will be on the sideline, trying to help Tolzien any way he can.
“I don’t know if it was one specific thing,” Tolzien replied when asked what Rodgers had said to him to help him during the week or on Sunday. “But I think myself – and I probably speak for a lot of guys in the locker room – we just feed off his poise, his inner confidence and just the way his demeanor is. I think guys feed off of that. There’s never a sense of panic with him, and I think that’s what I take from him. I think a lot of guys would say the same.”
Listen to Jason Wilde every weekday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on “Green & Gold Today” on 540 ESPN, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jasonjwilde.