Martin from Tisovec, Slovakia

Jordy Nelson has been my favorite Packers player for several years. This NFL season has suddenly become less exciting. How do I achieve perspective on this?

The first thing you do is wait for official news on the injury. If the news is bad, you turn your attention to replacement, because this is a game of replacement. Fans don’t want to accept that fact, but nothing about football is truer. We spend all offseason trying to create a written-in-stone depth chart, and then one injury changes everything. How about Bryan Bulaga on Family Night in 2013? He was going to play left tackle. It was a devastating injury, right? My inbox was in a state of panic. Then he was replaced by a rookie who has since become the Packers’ long-term fix at the most important position on the offensive line. The perspective is this: Injuries are inevitable. You don’t know to whom or at what position they’ll happen, but you can count on them happening.

Chuck from Grants Pass, OR

I would like to take a moment out of my lamenting to thank Blake of the Steelers for a responsible tackle of an injured Jordy Nelson. Instead of pouncing, Blake simply tagged him down.

We don’t hear the sounds of injury, we only see the injuries. The players hear them. They know the sounds of injury.

Josip from Zagreb, Croatia

Vic, you said you will pay attention to Mike Pennel and how he will play against the Steelers’ front. I would like to know your opinion after the game.

I liked what I saw. He was active and forceful. I saw him hold the point. I saw him chase the ball. I also saw him tap out, which tells me it was a great experience for the Packers to have played a mid-day game on a hot day, because that’s likely what they’ll get in Chicago on opening day.

Jon from Bath, England

Looking back, which preseason injury has been the most damaging to his team’s season?

The Rams suffered a devastating preseason injury in 1999 when they lost their starting quarterback, Trent Green, for the season to a knee injury. Oh, wait, they won the Super Bowl that year with Kurt Warner at quarterback. Never mind.

Matthew from Glendale, AZ

Besides Jordy, what are the big takeaways from the game?

Damarious Randall’s performance deepens the Packers’ stable of young defensive backs. Eddie Lacy is ready to go. He can be an unstoppable force for this team.

Brett from Green Bay, WI

Gunter really stood out again to me yesterday. He looks like a veteran out there.

LaDarius Gunter is this year’s Jayrone Elliott. Now, in the final two preseason games, I’d like to see a young linebacker other than Elliott emerge.

Tony from West Des Moines, IA

I didn’t get to watch the game. Did I miss anything?

Other than the obvious news, you missed an entertaining game. You missed a Packers No. 1 offense at peak performance on the opening drive of the game. You missed Rajion Neal joining the competition for the kickoff-return job. This was not a throwaway preseason game. The coaches have a lot of good tape to evaluate; it’s going to help them make decisions. Mike McCarthy referred to field position swinging on the Packers yesterday. He can use this tape to illustrate the importance of field position. He talked about restoring order there, and that means playing with field position in mind, as you would do in the regular season, as opposed to playing with evaluation only in mind. I think we’re going to see a more strategic performance against the Eagles on Saturday, with an eye on being opener ready.

Jonathan from Darien, IL

Aaron Rodgers called Sunday’s contest a “meaningless game” and I think he feels responsible for Nelson’s injury since the throw was high and Nelson had to jump. Do you think the league would ever think about reducing preseason games? The season isn’t as entertaining with star players getting hurt before the season.

I hate the overreaction in my inbox today. We’re trying to blame everything. Reduce the number of preseason games? I’m all for it. I think two is plenty. Oh, wait, this was the second preseason game. Never mind. Jonathan, when is it a good time to get hurt? In the opener? Midseason? Right before the playoffs? With 3:52 to play in the NFC title game?

Dayna from Jackson, NJ

Do we play our starters against the Eagles or play it safe after the Jordy incident?

Rodgers is ready to go. He doesn’t need more preseason playing time, but his young receivers need time with him. That’s the issue now. There are always issues and the only way you can address them is by playing through them.

Mike from Mukwonago, WI

Our WR room is stocked with young talent, but would GM Ketchman go out and sign a veteran like Wes Welker or Reggie Wayne for purposes of leadership and insight to younger players?

The Packers have coaches who will provide leadership and insight. If you’re going to sign somebody, do it because they can play, not because they can coach. It may come to that. The Packers have the available guys ranked. They also know about guys who might be on the bubble in other teams’ camps. They’re on top of that. Let’s wait for the news on Nelson.

Zack from Miami, FL

Vic, I could remain positive, knowing that even with the injury Ted Thompson’s draft philosophy has prepared his team for injury losses as well as anyone in the league, but I will not. When will the preseason be shortened?

How many games is enough, one? All you’re doing is moving the preseason to the regular season. If a player is injured in a game that counts, is it less of an injury?

Dustin from Independence, MO

Scott Tolzien had some zip on some of his throws, didn’t he?

The throw he made to Jeff Janis that was reversed by replay review is one of the best throws I’ve seen Tolzien make. He’s a young quarterback on the rise. That’s another takeaway from yesterday’s game.

Mike from Seattle, WA

Vic, let’s talk fan base. I have heard the Steelers’ fans are almost as devoted as the Packers’ fans. So where was the Steelers fan base yesterday? I know it was only preseason. Just makes the case. Case closed. Go Pack!

As we pulled away from Heinz Field yesterday, I looked to my left and they were filing into PNC Park again. Nearly 200,000 sports fans passed through Pittsburgh’s north shore in a 72-hour period this past weekend. It’s not a 10-game season in Pittsburgh. It’s nearly 150 major league dates and it’s all year long. Pittsburgh is an absolutely fantastic sports town and it never looked better than it did this past weekend. Let’s go, Bucs!

 

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