Green Bay Packers' injury list grows following loss to Atlanta Falcons

By Guy Curtright, The Sports Xchange  |  Sept. 18, 2017 at 1:44 AM
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ATLANTA -- The Green Bay Packers came into their Sunday night game against the Atlanta Falcons banged up. Then things got worse.

Th+e Packers (1-1) began the game without their two starting tackles and top reserve tackle, then lost their leading receiver and top defensive lineman before the end of the first quarter.

Wide receiver Jordy Nelson sustained a quad injury and defensive tackle Mike Daniels strained a hamstring, and that was just the early bad news for the Packers in their 34-23 loss to the Falcons (2-0).

Wide receiver Randall Cobb (shoulder), guard Jahri Evans (groin) and safety Kentrell Brice (groin) were also knocked out the game, joining Green Bay's lengthy injury list.

"We had a lot of injuries, so it will be a long trip home," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "We've got a lot of work to do."

Right tackle Bryan Bulaga (ankle) missed his second game, and left tackle David Bakhtiari (hamstring) also couldn't go.

With swing tackle Jason Spriggs (hamstring) also inactive, the Packers had to start Justin McCray, normally a center, at left tackle and Kyle Murphy at right tackle. It was the second NFL start for Murphy and first for McCray.

"It was a tough environment on the road, and we had a couple false starts," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "But I thought those guys played well."

Rodgers was sacked three times, the same as the Falcons' Matt Ryan, but one at the start of the third quarter was very costly.

Rodgers lost the ball when hit by linebacker Vic Beasley Jr., and Falcons safety Desmond Trufant picked up the ball and ran 15 yards to put Atlanta ahead 31-7 less than a minute into the second half.

Beasley, who led the NFL in sacks a year ago, immediately grabbed the back of his leg and had to be helped off the field before heading directly to the locker room.

Beasley sustained a hamstring injury on the play and didn't return, joining a Falcons injury list that included defensive end Courtney Upshaw (ankle) and right tackle Ryan Schraeder (concussion).

Trufant, who also had an interception to set up a field goal at the end of the first half, knows about missing time with injuries. He tore a pectoral muscle last year and missed the second half of the regular season and the playoffs.

"My confidence is always high. That's just the way I am as a person," Trufant said. "It was definitely good to get back because I wasn't there when my team needed me the most last year.

"I grinded the offseason to get back to that elite level. I'm happy I had a good game, and I just have to keep pushing."

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