Packers need Wynn, Wilson to step up in place of Neal

Posted Sept. 16, 2011 @ 2:36 p.m.
Posted By Dan Arkush

Sources on the scene tell us second-year DE Mike Neal is very likely to miss the first half of the season, and possibly more. The 2010 second-round draft pick was expected to be the primary replacement for the departed Cullen Jenkins. But injuries limited him to only two games last season, and while he did display flashes as a rookie when he was able to get on the field, his impact was relatively minimal, and the defense did a commendable job of getting the job done without him. Now, with Neal out following knee surgery, the onus is on Jarius Wynn, who had a strong Week One performance, and C.J. Wilson to step up in Neal's absence. Our sources believe it will be equally important that B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett stay healthy and don't run out of gas, which could be asking a lot. With the defense once again playing mostly in the nickel scheme, Raji and Pickett are often the only two D-linemen on the field.