GREEN BAY — The Packers could end up playing any one of three teams — Dallas, Carolina or Arizona — in the NFC divisional playoffs on Sunday, Jan. 11, and Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Monday the coaching staff will begin preparing this week for all possibilities.
“You have to prepare for all three,” McCarthy said. “Everyone knows what the combinations are.”
The game that will determine Green Bay’s opponent is the Detroit-Dallas game, which won’t be played until late Sunday afternoon. If Dallas wins, the Cowboys come to Green Bay. If the Lions win, the winner of Saturday’s Cardinals-Panthers game will visit Lambeau.
McCarthy said once the first NFC game is done on Saturday, that will narrow the coaching staff’s focus to two teams. Then the staff will watch the Detroit-Dallas game together the next day.
“We’ll watch the game here at 3 o’clock on Sunday and we’ll go right into game plan meetings on Sunday night,” McCarthy said.
As for that Detroit-Dallas game, the Lions will be without star defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, who was suspended by the league Monday for stepping on QB Aaron Rodgers’ leg during Sunday’s game in Green Bay. After the game, McCarthy called Suh’s act “ridiculous” and said there’s “no place” in the game for it. Just before McCarthy took the podium on Monday, he was informed of the league’s decision.
“Frankly, that’s an NFL matter,” McCarthy said. “I gave my opinion last night.”
The players are off until Friday and then they will have two practices, on Friday and Saturday, to focus on fundamentals. Preparation for their specific opponent on the field will begin next week.
Regarding Rodgers, McCarthy said he “feels good.”
“He had some testing done. We feel we have a good plan for his rehab this week. We’ll see how he’s doing on Friday,” McCarthy said.
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