Posted by Andy Benoit
UPDATE: 10:40 p.m. ET: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Barnett is indeed out for the season with a wrist injury similar to the one Brian Urlacher suffered last season. Read below to learn what went down and what this means.
CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writer Greg Bedard reports that Packers inside linebacker Nick Barnett could be out for the season. Sources tell Bedard that Barnett needs surgery on his injured right wrist.
The surgery is not a matter of if, but when. As soon as it happens, Barnett will be shelved. Bedard’s sources believe the surgery will occur before the end of the season, though Barnett will get a second opinion on Friday.
Barnett hurt the wrist in the first half of Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions but returned and finished the game wearing a cast.
If Friday’s diagnosis goes against Barnett, it will mark the second time in three years that he’s landed on Injured Reserve (ACL in ’08). Bedard writes, “Barnett, 29, would be a big loss for the defense. The eight-year veteran is one of the vocal and emotional leaders of the unit, and makes the calls in the huddle and adjustments before the play.”
This is true, though it’s worth mentioning that Dom Capers’ scheme puts minimal stock in the inside linebacker position. The defensive line and outside linebackers carry Green Bay’s front seven. Barnett, who has speed to burn, has gone from playmaker to solid contributor in the 3-4 defense.
Because Brandon Chillar is dealing with a shoulder injury, Desmond Bishop would likely start in Barnett’s place next to A.J. Hawk. Bishop, a third-year pro, was given a crack at earning a starting job prior to the season, though coaches were quick to abandon that plan.
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