Ben from Neenah, WI

With Harris out for the season, do we go to free agency for another back or stick with Starks and Green?

One more injury and the Packers would likely have no choice but to look for a back among the street free agents available. As it stands, I think James Starks and Alex Green give the Packers security at the position. I’d like to see one or both have a big game tonight. That would help the perception of the position a lot.

Monica from Lewiston, ME

Vic, is it silly to think landing on IR or PUP would benefit a player? An undrafted agent who is on the bubble of making the active roster busts his knee. Now he is more likely to land on IR, learn the plays in his off year and come back with knowledge and a chip. Your insight?

Every injury weakens a player and brings him closer to the day when he loses that proverbial step. Adrian Peterson is the exception, not the rule, and we don’t know yet what the long-term impact of Peterson’s knee injury will be. Fans have a perception that players have replaceable parts. They do not have replaceable parts. Every injury weakens their body just as it would weaken ours. Yes, it is silly to think that under normal circumstances an injury would benefit a player. I know you don’t want to hear this, but I’m not going to lie to you merely to make you feel better: It’s a game of replacement. Football is a harsh game. Frankly, I’ve always considered that fact to be its charm.

Craig from Vancouver, WA

It seems like the Packers have spent preseason focusing on roster rather than getting ready for start of the year. McCarthy used to say how important it is to start fast. I have not heard that this year. Tell me the Packers aren’t ready for the start of the season.

I’m not going to tell you that for two reasons: 1.) I don’t know it to be true. 2.) All we have to do is wait a week to know the truth. Coaches have long concerned themselves with the right blend of evaluation and preparation. Too much focus on evaluation, and your team isn’t ready to start the season. Too much focus on preparation, and you risk making a mistake on a player and that mistake could haunt you for 10 years. You have to blend the two. I can remember this being a big issue with Chuck Noll, who was bound and determined to be accurate with his evaluations. His teams weren’t especially fast out of the gate, but those four Super Bowl titles would seem to validate his approach.

Dan from Milwaukee, WI

How do injury settlements usually work for the team and players?

There are standards: An ankle is worth this, a concussion is worth that.

Jason from Summerville, SC

What does the NFL lawsuit settlement mean for the future of the NFL?

It means the NFL has just set a dollar amount to the most significant litigation in the history of football. Beyond that, it’s too early to know what else this historic event will mean to the game, the men who play it and the owners who are the game’s stewards. My immediate reaction to your question is to think this will create change in ways so dramatic and so profound that we won’t know the extent of those changes in my lifetime. The precedent set by the dollar amount in this settlement is going to send shock waves through football played everywhere, especially on the amateur level, where there is no CBA to protect it.

 

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