Packers Annual Checkup: C.J. Wilson
FOX Sports Wisconsin’s Paul Imig gives an in-depth statistical analysis and film study of every Packers player in his annual offseason checkup. Check every weekday through mid-April for his latest report.
C.J. Wilson, defensive lineman
Season stats: Nine games (127 snaps; 11 percent of total defensive snaps); eight tackles, one tackle for loss, zero sacks, five quarterback hurries, zero batted passes, one missed tackle, zero forced fumbles, three stops (solo tackles that resulted in offensive failure)
ProFootballFocus.com season rating: minus-2.4 (ranked No. 15 out of Packers’ 26 qualifying defensive players)
Best game: Week 12 tie vs. Minnesota (played 27 of 81 defensive snaps; three tackles, three quarterback hurries, two stops; 0.6 PFF rating)
Worst game: Wild-card round playoff loss vs. San Francisco (played 19 of 64 snaps; zero tackles, zero quarterback hurries; minus-1.5 PFF rating)
Expectations at the start of the season: Medium
Expectations were … Not met
Looking live: C.J. Wilson entered the 2013 offseason coming off of a very productive 2012 season. Even though he missed five games that year with a knee injury, he played 38 percent of the snaps when he was available, recording 2.5 sacks and being disruptive in the running game. That brought about increased expectations from coach Mike McCarthy. "C.J., he has a big camp in front of him," McCarthy said on July 25, 2013. "He’s a veteran player, he’s done some good things . . . I really enjoy C.J. and just the way he goes about it, and he’s still a young player that has growth in front of him. Powerful man." Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac stated that, while Wilson had gotten off to slow starts in previous training camps, the fourth-year player "started off this camp faster." But, while Wilson was steady and was on the field every day, there wasn’t much else notable about his play. With the Packers defensive line depth chart deeper than it was in Wilson’s first three seasons in Green Bay, he seemed to be getting lost in the shuffle a bit. However, to no surprise, Wilson made the regular-season active roster. He also figured to be in a similar role to what he enjoyed during the 2012 season.
Upon further review: Wilson found out very quickly that the Packers’ plans for him in 2013 were not nearly what they had been a season earlier. Despite being healthy, Wilson was a gameday scratch in both Weeks 2 and 4, and he wasn’t happy about it. "It was very disappointing," Wilson told FOXSportsWisconsin.com on Sept. 19. "This year, I had my best camp — I did — and I feel like my best football is ahead of me." Defensive coordinator Dom Capers dismissed any concerns about it, describing Wilson as "a quality guy" and "a team guy." Even when Wilson was up on gamedays throughout the first half of the season, his role was quite limited, playing just 22 snaps combined in Weeks 6-8. When Johnny Jolly suffered an injury late in the third quarter of the season, Wilson got a short-lived shot at increased playing time. Unfortunately for Wilson, he suffered an ankle injury in Week 12 and then missed the next three games. Wilson’s worst game of the season came in Green Bay’s playoff matchup against San Francisco, a game in which he played 19 snaps and failed to make a positive impact in any way. Overall, it was a season that Wilson will want to forget, mostly because he never did enough to earn the trust of the Packers coaching staff.
Overall 2013 grade: D
Status for 2014: Zero percent chance of being on the Packers’ active roster to begin the 2014 season. Wilson signed with the Oakland Raiders as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, ending his four-year run in Green Bay. The Packers had little use for Wilson anymore, as was evident during the 2013 season. With a lot of young defensive linemen being added to the roster in recent years (Mike Daniels, Datone Jones, Jerel Worthy, Josh Boyd), Wilson simply got phased out of the rotation. Wilson’s departure opens up a roster spot and a bit of playing time for those young players to have more chances to show what they can do.
Next: Defensive lineman Jerel Worthy
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