Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur cautiously optimistic on injured linebackers Quay Walker, Krys Barnes
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers had four players leave Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings with injuries, none of whom returned. In the 23-7 season-opening defeat, the Packers lost inside linebackers Krys Barnes and Quay Walker, cornerback Keisean Nixon, and guard Jon Runyan to various injuries.
Matt LaFleur didn't have many injury updates Monday, but offered some hope in terms of his inside linebackers.
Barnes entered the game in the fourth quarter following the injury to Walker. Five plays later, on the same drive, Barnes went down after getting caught in a gang tackle on Alexander Mattison in the red zone. A cart was eventually brought out for Barnes and trainers placed an air cast on his lower leg.
On Monday, LaFleur said the news was better than hoped, although he didn't provide details.
"Obviously, KB, it looked pretty significant," LaFleur said. "I think we avoided significant injury. So that was some good news today."
Walker started at inside linebacker alongside De’Vondre Campbell. He had eight tackles in his rookie debut before leaving the game on the first defensive series of the fourth quarter. He exited with a shoulder injury.
While the coach didn't provide a specific timeline for the first-round pick's return, he did seem cautiously optimistic.
"Quay," LaFleur said, "we're going to give him the week but we're hopeful that we'll be back ready to roll."
On the previous defensive drive, Nixon was injured. The defensive back made a huge stop on third down, leveling wide receiver K.J. Osborn, but it came at a cost. Nixon immediately clutched his shoulder. He was escorted to the sideline, where trainers tended to him before he was deemed questionable to return.
Starting left guard Runyan was the first Packers player to suffer an injury. After the first drive of the second half, Runyan was evaluated for a concussion and was ruled out shortly thereafter. Rookie Zach Tom played in his place.
LaFleur didn't offer updates on Nixon's and Runyan's status, saying it would be addressed Wednesday.
"I don't have a clear cut as far as what their availabilities will be like," he said. "I have no updates right now. We'll have an injury report for you on Wednesday."
The Packers had Isiah McDuffie finish the game at inside linebacker. The team will return to the practice field Wednesday in preparation for the Week 2 game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday night.