Pregame warmup: Packers thin at safety again

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 11, 2015 – 10:35 am

GREEN BAY — With Morgan Burnett and Sean Richardson both out, the Packers are down to three listed safeties on the active roster for today’s game vs. the Rams.

Micah Hyde will start in Burnett’s place alongside Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, leaving Chris Banjo as the only backup at the position. It’s the same situation the Packers were in two weeks ago against Kansas City.

A special-teams standout, Banjo played roughly half the defensive snaps against the Chiefs, coming in as a safety in the dime package with Hyde moving to the slot. The defense’s other option in the dime would be to bring in rookie Quinten Rollins as an extra cornerback and keep Hyde at safety.

Elsewhere on the injury front, RT Bryan Bulaga is back in the starting lineup after missing three games with a knee injury, so the Packers will have their regular starting five on the offensive line for the first time since Week 1. Bulaga will be matched mostly against Rams DE Chris Long.

Last year, when Bulaga sat out in Week 2, it turned out to be the only game missed by any member of Green Bay’s starting offensive line.

In the NFC North: The Packers have a chance today to extend their lead in the NFC North to three games in the win column over the Vikings, who are 2-2 and on a bye. Regardless of today’s outcome, the Packers will remain in sole possession of first place in the division at day’s end.

The Bears (1-3) are at Kansas City looking to make it two straight wins over AFC West teams after their last-second victory over Oakland last week. Detroit (0-4) is still in search of its first victory over the season and will take on Arizona, a second straight NFC West opponent after last week’s controversial loss in Seattle.

Ranks of the undefeated: The Packers are one of six NFL teams to be undefeated heading into this week’s games. The other unbeatens in the NFC are Atlanta (4-0) and Carolina (4-0), who are tied for first atop the NFC South. The Falcons will attempt to get to 5-0 at home against the Redskins, while the Panthers are on a bye.

In the AFC, Cincinnati (4-0), Denver (4-0) and New England (3-0) are undefeated. The Bengals host the Seahawks in a key interconference matchup, while the Broncos travel to Oakland and the Patriots play in Dallas.

Bounce-back effort: Prior to last week, the Packers hadn’t been held under 20 points in a game since Week 15 last season at Buffalo. The 49ers allowed just 17 points in San Francisco last week. When was the last time the Packers, with Aaron Rodgers at QB, were held under 20 points at home? Is the offense due for a bounce-back game? Explore that and more in this week’s “One Last Look.”

TV map: Here’s today’s TV map for CBS for the noon CT broadcast window, courtesy of 506sports.com

 


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