The Green Bay Packers have had to facedown a great deal of obstacles so far this season. Many of these are self-induced and are the result of decided to field the youngest roster in the NFL. Some things, though, have been unavoidable and unfortunate.
David Bakhtiari, the Packers’ left tackle, was lost for the season after the team’s Week One victory over the Chicago Bears. De’Vondre Campbell has been out since the beginning of the New Orleans Saints game with a high ankle sprain. Christian Watson missed the first three games of the season with a hamstring issue. Aaron Jones missed three games with his own hamstring issue. Jaire Alexander has missed three games with a back injury.
The list of injuries goes on and on and on.
And unfortunately, the Packers will be without yet another defensive starter after their 19-17 loss to the Denver Broncos.
The Green Bay Packers May Have to Put Darnell Savage on IR
Throughout the course of the loss to Denver, the Packers lost three of their defensive players due to injury. Darnell Savage left the game with a calf injury, Devonte Wyatt suffered a knee injury, and Eric Stokes suffered a hamstring injury in his first game action in almost a year.
According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Savage’s injury is severe enough that the Packers may consider putting him on injured reserve (IR):
“Safety Darnell Savage aggravated a calf injury that he first sustained in the Oct. 9 loss at the Raiders. He left in the second quarter, and a source told ESPN that he will miss multiple weeks and could wind up on injured reserve, which would keep him out of four games minimum.”
The injury could not come at a worse time for Savage, who is playing in the fifth-year option season of his rookie contract. After two down seasons in 2021 and 2022, Savage was hoping a bounce back in 2023 would lead to a new contract.
Unfortunately, Savage has given up a 75% completion percentage when targeted and opposing quarterbacks have a 103.5 passer rating when throwing his way. That being said, Savage’s 70.8 run defense grade on PFF is the fourth-highest on the team.
In other words, the team needs more time before they make a decision on Savage’s future with the organization. And his window just shrunk.
What Other Options Do the Green Bay Packers Have at Safety After the Darnell Savage Injury?
The safety position was a major concern for the Packers going into the season, but Savage and Rudy Ford have been far from the biggest problems on the team. In fact, they have been two of the best players in run defense this season and Ford leads the team in interceptions.
However, after their starters, quality depth at the position is a major issue. Jonathan Owens started 17 games at safety for the Houston Texans last season and saw most of Savage’s snaps after he went down with the calf injury. Dallin Leavitt is still on the team, but he is a major liability on defense.
There are some fans who want Green Bay to target a safety at the trade deadline, but that likely will not happen as the team will not want to give up any draft capital at a position they usually use premium draft picks on.