GREEN BAY — The Packers won’t have their final practice of the week until Saturday, but on Friday, Head Coach Mike McCarthy said he’s not concerned about quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his calf injury at this point.
“He’s done everything that’s been asked of him today,” McCarthy said. “I don’t have any concerns today, just based off of my conversation with Aaron and how he’s feeling. Really, tomorrow will be the big indicator. We’ll watch him move around and do different things.”
Rodgers is officially listed as probable on the injury report for Sunday’s game. Everyone on the Packers’ injury report is listed as probable except for CB Davon House (shoulder), who is out and will miss his third straight game.
McCarthy remains optimistic the secondary could get House back for the playoffs.
“I know he feels a lot better,” McCarthy said. “His workouts have revved up. He’s making progress. I’m hopeful he’ll be ready for next week.”
The players and coaches returned to work Friday after taking Christmas Day off. The changed schedule for the week has not been a problem, according to McCarthy, and the schedule will not proceed as normal.
“I feel real good about our energy, our execution,” McCarthy said. “I thought Wednesday’s practice was excellent. I feel good about where we are.”
The Lions offense will be functioning with one new key piece, rookie center Travis Swanson. He’s replacing the suspended Dominic Raiola, and while Swanson has gotten game action at guard this season, these will be his first live snaps at center.
McCarthy said the lineup change is not something the Packers defense is too focused on. It’s not something the players can let distract them, one way or the other.
“I think it’s important for us to just line up and do the things we do well,” he said. “I feel very confident about what our defense has done since the bye week. It’s important for our guys to be playing fast and free-minded.”
McCarthy also called on the kickoff return unit to jump start the offense on Sunday. Primary kickoff return man DuJuan Harris has just two returns all season longer than 30 yards and none since Week 6.
“This is the time of year it needs to accelerate, and I’m looking for that to happen Sunday,” McCarthy said. “Playing in the winter months is when your return game has to factor.”
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