The Green Bay Packers just lost a big cog in their defense.
However, that confidence quickly dissipated Saturday.
Raji signed a one-year, $4 million prove-it deal with the Packers in the offseason. He drew raves at Packers camp for his play after sliding back to nose tackle. Losing the space-eating Raji is a hit for a defense that has designs on turning the unit around under Dom Capers after several lackluster seasons.
The 28-year-old's play had slipped in the last few years as he moved to defensive end. The Packers anticipated Raji clogging the middle in 2014, allowing their linebackers to roam free and make plays.
Without him Green Bay will look to second-year pro Josh Boyd and undrafted rookie Mike Pennel in the short term. Letroy Guion was signed this offseason as a backup at nose tackle but is battling a hamstring injury.