Season stats: Seven games (All regular season); Eight tackles, zero missed tackles, zero sacks, zero forced fumbles, zero penalties committed
Best game: Week 11 win at Detroit (one tackle, one QB hurry; played 20 of 75 defensive snaps; season-best 0.4 PFF rating)
Worst game: Week 12 loss at New York Giants (two tackles, zero QB hurries or hits; played 31 of 66 defensive snaps; season-worst minus-2.8 PFF rating)
ProFootballFocus.com season rating: minus-5.9 (fourth-worst on Packers defense)
Expectations at the start of the season: Low
Expectations were … Not met
Looking live: Zombo reported to training camp still recovering from a hamstring injury and was unable to participate in any of the team’s practices. That injury kept Zombo on the sideline until Week 11. It was at that time that Clay Matthews had a hamstring injury of his own and had to miss four games. With Matthews out, Zombo got an opportunity for some playing time. Zombo played 20-plus snaps in four games, while playing single-digit snaps in three other games. Zombo was primarily used as a pass rusher. In his 58 pass-rushing snaps, he generated only one quarterback hurry and no sacks. Zombo was not used at all in Green Bay’s two postseason games.
Upon further review: As a rookie in 2010, Zombo started nine games, including the Super Bowl. That season, despite going undrafted, Zombo contributed a total of five sacks. He even recorded a sack in the Packers’ Super Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since then, however, it’s been all downhill for Zombo. Injuries have prevented him from building upon his rookie-year success. Still only 26 years old, Zombo could bounce back from a disappointing past two seasons and still have a productive career that features more than just one good year. But some players are just injury-prone, and like running back James Starks, Zombo has fallen into that category. In his limited chances in 2012, Zombo didn’t do much to help his case when on the field. Understandably, he was in training-camp mode while his teammates were in mid-season form, but Zombo didn’t fare well against the run or the pass.
Overall 2012 grade: D-plus
Status for 2013: 10 percent chance of being on the Packers’ active roster next season. Zombo is a free agent and has yet to generate any interest around the league. It is possible, though, that Zombo returns to Green Bay in 2013. The Packers don’t have much depth at outside linebacker, especially after Erik Walden signed a four-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts. Currently, Green Bay only has Matthews, Nick Perry and Dezman Moses under contract at outside linebacker. General manager Ted Thompson knows he could get Zombo back on a cheap deal. So, if the Packers get through the draft and free agency without adding many players at that position, Zombo could be re-signed.