GREEN BAY — Mike McCarthy said on Wednesday the Packers are beginning their ‘playoff mindset’ this week in preparation for the trip to Tampa, and that includes electing the six players who will serve as team captains the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs, as long as the Packers keep playing.
“This is a road game we have to have,” McCarthy said. “We clearly understand the importance of winning in December, and we need to take it up a notch as a football team.”
The captains, elected by their teammates, are QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Jordy Nelson on offense, LB Julius Peppers and S Morgan Burnett on defense, and WR Randall Cobb and DB Jarrett Bush on special teams. Normally, the Packers elect three captains each week and then elect six playoff captains once the postseason begins. The change is designed to send a message of focus and urgency following the tough loss in Buffalo.
“I felt the need to give these men a chance to stand up front and take the responsibility their teammates have placed upon them,” McCarthy said. “It’s time to ramp it up and make sure we’re playing our best football this time of year.
“Those will be our six captains from here on in.”
On the injury list, T Bryan Bulaga (concussion) did not practice on Wednesday. He is going through the concussion protocol but “looks great” and is “making progress,” according to McCarthy.
RB Eddie Lacy was limited by an eye problem that is not “game-related,” while LBs Clay Matthews (bicep) and Mike Neal (abdomen) were also limited.
“I don’t think Clay’s is of serious nature,” McCarthy said. “I think we’ll be OK there.”
Neal has dealt with abdominal issues before and his limitations sound precautionary.
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