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Charles Woodson could return next week; McCarthy addresses other injuries, rough hits

Posted by Mike Spofford on December 3, 2012 – 4:45 pm

Charles WoodsonMike McCarthy suggested on Monday that veteran DB Charles Woodson could return from his broken collarbone in time for the Dec. 16 showdown in Chicago against the Bears.

“Maybe next week would be my guess there,” McCarthy said when asked about Woodson’s return. “If you ask Charles, he’d probably push to play this week.”

McCarthy added that more evaluations need to be done on Woodson, who has not yet been medically cleared. Woodson has been out since fracturing his collarbone on Oct. 21 at St. Louis. The upcoming Bears game would be eight weeks from the date of the injury, a standard timetable for a broken bone.

McCarthy gave no update on LB Clay Matthews, who has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury. He did say Matthews worked out in the Hutson Center on Monday but did not elaborate.

WR Jordy Nelson, who left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury, “felt something in pre-game, went back in the training room and tried to play through it,” McCarthy said. He did not expect to have Nelson this week but otherwise wasn’t overly concerned about the injury. It is the same hamstring Nelson injured earlier this season, which kept him out of one game.

Nelson’s absence forced WR Greg Jennings to play 51 snaps in his first game back after missing seven contests. That’s far more than the coaching staff planned for Jennings, who had four receptions for 46 yards, including a crucial juggling catch over the middle to convert a third down on the Packers’ final scoring drive to seal the win.

“I’m sure he’s sore,” McCarthy said of Jennings, who had surgery on an abdominal/groin muscle a month ago. “He was sore coming out of the game, which I think would be expected.”

After further review: Having reviewed the game film, McCarthy said he could see why the official flagged CB Tramon Williams for an unnecessary roughness penalty for his hit on RB Toby Gerhart on a sideline pass in the third quarter, but he didn’t necessarily agree with the call.

The Packers have had a number of penalties and/or fines for hits they didn’t necessarily believe warranted those punishments this season, but McCarthy said his staff will continue to coach the proper techniques. Any helmet-to-helmet contact on the plays in question hasn’t been intentional, McCarthy said.

“We’re trying to get our guys to play harder and be more physical, and we’ve had some things where guys are trying to do it the right way, going with their shoulder and so forth,” he said. “When you do have the tight call, the gray-area hits, there’s a little bit of, ‘Here we go again.’

“I’m talking about Brad Jones (against Detroit), Ryan Taylor (against Arizona) and (Jerron) McMillian (against the Giants). We’ve had some tough calls go against us. You just have to continue to coach through that. The league has obviously made it a priority. The fines reflect that.

“You don’t want to see anybody lose money, particularly when the intent’s not there. We’re not intending to hit helmet to helmet. I don’t think anybody is coaching or teaching that. It’s tough when you see a call go the other way when you don’t agree with it.”


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Burnett, Starks, Lattimore awarded game balls

Posted by Mike Spofford on December 3, 2012 – 2:21 pm

Packers S Morgan Burnett, RB James Starks and LB Jamari Lattimore earned game balls for their performance vs. the Minnesota Vikings in Week 13

S Morgan Burnett’s two interceptions on Sunday in the 23-14 victory over the Vikings has earned him the defensive game ball from the Packers’ coaching staff.

The coaches award game balls weekly to members of all three phases — offense, defense and special teams — based on their performances.

Burnett’s two interceptions were his first two of the season, and they both came at crucial times. The first came early in the third quarter, in the end zone with the Vikings at Green Bay’s 8-yard line and threatening to add to their 14-10 lead. The second came later in the third quarter after the Packers had taken a 20-14 lead but the Vikings were driving again, having reached the Green Bay 25.

On offense, James Starks received a game ball for his 15-carry, 66-yard outing, which included a 22-yard TD run for the go-ahead score. Starks hadn’t scored a rushing TD since Week 1 of last season, and the rushing TD was the Packers’ first this season since Week 5 in Indianapolis.

On special teams, LB Jamari Lattimore was the game-ball recipient. Lattimore wasn’t credited with any coverage tackles based on the press box statistics, but the coaches often see things on film that don’t make the stat report and reward a player accordingly.


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Posted in Packers.com Blog | 18 Comments »