Pregame warmup: Hyde, Hawkins will take on larger roles with Randall out

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 9, 2016 – 6:12 pm

GREEN BAY — The somewhat surprise scratch of CB Damarious Randall (groin) from the Packers’ lineup will elevate everyone else who can play cornerback for Green Bay.

The Packers are without their top two corners now in Sam Shields (concussion) and Randall, so second-year pros Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter will be the starters. Yet to be determined is whether Micah Hyde or undrafted rookie Josh Hawkins will get the call as the nickel, with the other one coming in for the dime package.

The nickel will most likely be Hyde based on experience, but Hawkins could still get a fair number of snaps because the Packers play their dime defense plenty. Another option in the dime would be to bring in an extra safety rather than a corner, but that might make it tough to match up if the Giants line up with four wide receivers.

Hawkins will be looking to atone for a significant blunder in the Packers’ last game, vs. Detroit before the bye week. With Randall out of the game briefly due to illness, Hawkins was the first line of defense on a 73-yard TD pass to Marvin Jones Jr. that never should have been such a big play. It appeared Hawkins had a chance to shove Jones out of bounds after a roughly 20-yard reception, but he failed to do so, and then fellow undrafted rookie Kentrell Brice, playing safety, was late getting over to help and Jones went all the way.

Those are the kinds of mistakes by young players the Packers can’t afford, especially against a veteran QB like Eli Manning and a deep receiving corps that includes Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, and Sterling Shepard.

Around the NFC North: Regardless of tonight’s result, the Packers will remain in second place in the division, but to be determined is whether they’re one game or two behind the Vikings in the loss column.

Minnesota improved to 5-0 with a victory over Houston earlier Sunday. Detroit improved to 2-3 by handing Philadelphia (3-1) its first loss of the season, and Chicago fell to 1-4 with a loss at Indianapolis. The Vikings are now the lone unbeaten team in the entire NFL after the Broncos fell to the Falcons late this afternoon.

Weather update: It should be a nice fall evening for football at Lambeau Field. Temperatures are expected to be around 50 degrees at kickoff and falling into the high 40s as the game goes on. Skies are expected to be clear with minimal chance of rain and light winds.

Been a long time: Home cooking has been good to the Packers in October. The last time Green Bay lost at home in the month of October was way back in 2010, an overtime defeat at the hands of the Miami Dolphins.

This mark’s the Giants’ first trip to Lambeau Field since the 2011 NFC Divisional playoff, when New York scored an upset victory over a 15-1 Green Bay team. The last two Packers-Giants games, in 2012 and 2013 respectively, took place in New Jersey.

The last time the Giants visited Lambeau Field in the regular season was Week 16 of 2010, a Green Bay victory that launched the Packers’ run to the Super Bowl XLV title. That’s the only truly poor game Manning has played in his career vs. Green Bay. For more on that history, check out this week’s “One Last Look.”


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