The Green Bay Packers start preparing today for Sunday’s game at Chicago against the Bears. They do so without their 3-time pro bowl safety Nick Collins.
After Clay Matthews, Collins would join a short list of players like Charles Woodson and B.J. Raji that the Packers could least afford to lose. Collins was the quarterback of the defense, but is lost for the season with a neck injury.
The Packers are expected to replace Collins with veteran Charlie Peprah, who has experience in the secondary, but doesn’t have the ability to run and make plays like Collins did.
How good has Collins been. In his last three seasons, all pro bowl seasons, Collins has picked off 17 passes.
The Packers defense currently ranks last in the NFL, but that’s not a reflection of the job that Collins does for the Packers secondary.
Dom Capers will likely have less freedom with the play book without Collins. Time will tell to see just how much he scales things back with Peprah joining 2nd year safety Morgan Burnett in the defensive backfield. That question will most likely be answered and challenged over time.