Packers focus on getting Jared Cook healthy

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on November 10, 2016 – 11:02 am

161110-cook-950GREEN BAY — Tight end Jared Cook continues to make progress with the ankle injury that’s sidelined him for the past five games.

Cook returned to practice last Thursday, but sat out of Sunday’s game against Indianapolis. He had six catches for 53 yards to start the season before injuring his ankle against Detroit on Sept. 25.

While Cook’s status for Sunday’s game against Tennessee is still up in the air, Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy has been encouraged by what he’s seen from the eighth-year tight end in his first week back at practice.

“It’s to get to the point where he’s practicing and exercising the game plan,” McCarthy said. “Obviously, he played good football for us there early. It would be great to get him healthy is really the focus.”

McCarthy said the team plans to increase the workload of Cook and running back James Starks (knee) during Thursday morning’s padded practice at Clarke Hinkle Field.

Starks has missed the last four games after undergoing a procedure on his knee.

McCarthy also said linebacker Clay Matthews will be a part of the rehab program on Thursday. Matthews was making progress with his injured hamstring before suffering a setback on Friday and missing Sunday’s game against the Colts.

“Hopefully, he’ll do more today,” McCarthy said. “Today will tell us a lot based on how much he goes. He’s scheduled to be in the early prehab group.”

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Mike McCarthy: ‘Our guys will bring it’

Posted by Mike Spofford on November 9, 2016 – 11:57 am

161109-mccarthy-950GREEN BAY — Mike McCarthy doesn’t believe motivation will be a problem for the Packers on Sunday at Tennessee.

Before practice on Wednesday, McCarthy was asked about his team’s sense of urgency for this game at 4-4, and he reiterated that the lack of energy comments from last week’s loss to the Colts were not intended to be a “blanket statement” regarding his team’s effort.

“We’ll play with great energy Sunday. That’s not a concern of mine,” McCarthy said. “It’s a road game, so we have that challenge. Our guys will bring it.

“We’re just paying attention to what matters and it’s about improvement. We had a really good week of practice last week … but the first part is preparation and the last part is performance. We have to learn from last week.”

On the health front, McCarthy said both RB James Starks and TE Jared Cook would continue practicing on a limited basis, with Thursday’s upcoming padded work providing the true indicator of where they are. McCarthy did not have a read on LB Clay Matthews and his hamstring yet for this week.

The key matchup on Sunday could be the Titans’ running game against the Packers’ run defense. Tennessee is ranked No. 3 in the league in rushing, with RB DeMarco Murray second in rushing yards behind Dallas’ Exekiel Elliott. The Packers are ranked No. 1 in the league against the run.

“It’s going to be a hell of an afternoon,” McCarthy said. “We don’t play these guys (often), there’s a lot of newness. Our guys will hit the video harder than they ever have this week.” will have more following practice and locker room interviews.

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Captains named for Packers-Colts game

Posted by Duke Bobber on November 6, 2016 – 11:25 am


As per team tradition, the Packers select game captains each week. Today’s captains will be WR Davante Adams (offense), LB Jake Ryan (defense) and LB Jayrone Elliott (special teams).

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Eddie Lacy staying connected in meetings

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on November 4, 2016 – 10:03 am

161104-lacy-950GREEN BAY — Eddie Lacy isn’t on the football field right now, but the Packers running back is still making his presence felt inside the meeting room.

Running backs coach Ben Sirmans told reporters on Thursday night that Lacy has been active in positional meetings when he’s not undergoing rehab for his injured foot.

Over the years, the Packers have encouraged players on injured reserve to stick around team facilities during their recovery to attend meetings and stay involved with the process.

There was no better example of that than Pro Bowl receiver Jordy Nelson, who remained with the team after undergoing knee surgery last summer that sidelined him for the season.

“I think it’s important for any player, especially Eddie Lacy,” said Head Coach Mike McCarthy on Friday morning. “When these players go on IR, that’s a tough spot to be. … I think it’s a natural reaction once a player gets hurt, they don’t feel they’re as involved in the locker room and all those things. We’ve always been proactive in keeping those guys part of the football team. I think that’s important for Eddie to feel that way and make sure we take care of him.”

The Packers still have the option available to return a player to the active roster from injured reserve, so there is a chance Lacy could be back this season if he’s cleared by the end of the season.

Like Nelson’s work with the receivers, Lacy’s presence provides the added benefit of helping assist the team’s two healthy running backs, Don Jackson and Aaron Ripkowski.

“Your best player in the room is injured, so you take him out of the room, it obviously changes the dynamics, but also the experience, the interaction and the communication,” McCarthy said.

“You look at what Jordy Nelson did last year for those receivers just to be there every day to be part of it. From a coaching perspective, you need to try to elevate those guys a little bit so they can contribute and help the younger players. Eddie Lacy has a lot to offer. He’s played a lot of football, he’s a very smart, instinctive football player and he’s a great asset for our young running backs.”

McCarthy said running back James Starks (knee) and tight end Jared Cook (ankle) are making progress after both participated in Thursday’s practice in limited fashion.

The Packers have been cautious with Ty Montgomery (illness) this week, but McCarthy said the second-year receiver is getting in “in-tune” with the offense and doing well after sitting out against Atlanta.

Receiver Randall Cobb (hamstring), linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) and cornerback Quinten Rollins (groin) practiced this week, but their available for Sunday’s game against the Colts likely will be determined by how they come out of Saturday’s final practice.

“’Q’ is getting better. Randall is probably not as far along as he’d like to be,” McCarthy said. “Today’s an important day for their process to get back. Then, really post-practice and frankly all three of those guys we’ll see how they feel Sunday morning will be the (indicator) because they need to work Saturday also.”

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TV map: Where you can see Packers vs. Colts

Posted by Duke Bobber on November 4, 2016 – 8:00 am


– If you’re looking for a Packers bar airing the game, try the search feature on Packers Everywhere.

– CBS will broadcast the game to a regional audience with play-by-play man Jim Nantz and analyst Phil Simms handling the call from the broadcast booth and Tracy Wolfson reporting from the sidelines.

– Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since November 1929, heads up the Packers Radio Network that is made up of 50 stations in five states. Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (analyst) call the action.

– Westwood One Sports will air the game on radio across the country. Tom McCarthy (play-by-play) and Ross Tucker (analyst) will call the action, with Scott Graham hosting the pregame and halftime shows.

– The broadcast is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (WTMJ feed).

– DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game on Channel 713.

NFL Game Pass gives fans access to full replays of every NFL game on demand, in high definition.

TV map is courtesy of View the full image.

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Defensive coaches working through ‘some interesting Tuesdays’

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on November 3, 2016 – 6:02 pm

161103-gunter-950GREEN BAY — The Packers’ coordinators and offensive coaches addressed the media late Thursday afternoon. Here’s a synopsis of some of their key comments.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers

On Clay Matthews:

Obviously it’s good to have Clay working back in the right direction. We’ll see how he does tomorrow. It’s nice to have him back out on the field doing some work. As soon as Clay is healthy and ready to go, we’ll be able to use him.

On injuries at cornerback:

The first thing we do – Tuesday is our game plan day. We put together a depth chart and go through worst-case scenario and best-case scenario. Because before you even start to talk Xs and Os, you look at who is going to be available and who might not be available because it has a big influence on what your plan will be. You have to look at your opponent and how you matchup in certain areas. We’ve had some interesting Tuesdays.

Special-teams coordinator Ron Zook

On Indianapolis:

They have a great punter and kicker. Kicker (Adam Vinatieri) is probably as old as I am, but he does a great job. Hasn’t missed a kick in forever. The kickoff team, they do a good job. They don’t let you get set in their returns. They’re subject to onside at any time. They’re always moving around. You have to make sure to get your guys on the right guys.

On Mason Crosby:

With the way he’s kicking right now, he’s taking care of himself and doing the right things. When the season is over, he takes his time and comes back slow. It’s what allows him to extend his career.

On aftermath of Trevor Davis’ 55-yard return:

You have to be consistent in what you’re doing. We felt like Trevor has the ability to do those things. The guys do a really good job of protecting. They have to do their job, which was the case last week. Everybody did a nice job with what they were supposed to do. We’re just fortunate it worked out on that particular play.

Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett

On Davante Adams:

The goal is to be consistent and stack successes, and preparation. He has a tremendous work ethic. He’s being consistent. That’s always the goal with all our guys on offense. … The more you do it at that consistent level, the confidence goes up and that plays an important role in it, as well.

Associate head coach/offense Tom Clements

On Aaron Rodgers’ performance the past two weeks:

I think he’s gotten into a rhythm and guys have made some plays. Individuals have made plays that boost their confidence. Anytime you’re successful, that boosts your confidence. He’s always made good decisions and knows where to go with the ball.

On Rodgers meeting with RB Don Jackson:

You get that a lot in the meetings because the quarterbacks meet with the tight ends and the wide receivers. I think that was probably a function of not having a lot of experience with Don. He was here in the spring and wasn’t here in training camp. He didn’t have a lot of reps and he was trying to get him comfortable. It was mutually beneficial.

Offensive line coach James Campen

On Corey Linsley:

He’s in very good shape. His wind is up. He’s been doing all those things. The trainers and the staff have done a great job. There’s no concern at this point.

On T.J. Lang getting used to playing next to Linsley again:

They’ve played together for a lot of games and have a lot of plays. It’s only common. You’ve rode a bike next to a guy for a while. It’s more of a confidence thing and a feel.

On offensive line’s increase in pass protection:

Whether you’re running the ball 50 times or throw it 50, no matter what the assignment is, you do your job. Every lineman likes to run the football, but there’s satisfaction in protecting the quarterback.

Quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt

On Rodgers leading team through injuries:

Aaron’s always a guy who loves a challenge. I haven’t felt any change in his attitude. I think it’s just more of a challenge to him personally. I think he looks forward to those kind of challenges.

On Rodgers’ scrambling ability:

You definitely have to account for it. That’s something you saw in Atlanta. They took one of their biggest pass-rushers and spied him. You’re going to have to account for it, for sure. That’s part of it and I’m sure defenses have to take into account.

Receivers coach Luke Getsy

On Jeff Janis:

When I got here, Jeff was getting here. It was a guy who didn’t have a lot of background on details of position. This year, I think confidence is starting to come. Anytime you know what you’re doing, you can play a little faster and a little more physical.

On Davante Adams’ improvement:

Anytime you’re healthy, that definitely helps. He’s a guy who’s always had confidence in himself and his ability. He’s getting more opportunities and taking advantage of them.

Tight ends coach Brian Angelichio

On Jared Cook’s work at practice:

He did a little individual. It’s good to see him out there. He’s been working hard with the trainers. It’s a good step. He’ll continue to progress hopefully.

On keeping Cook sharp when he isn’t playing:

He’s in every meeting. He’s taking notes as if he’s playing. His preparation has been good. He knows that. We’ve talked about that. He’ll look at it as if he’s playing. He’s taking part in all the walk-throughs and everything. He needs to stay up on all the adjustments that have taken place.

Running backs coach Ben Sirmans

On Aaron Ripkowski’s production:

It’s probably more of looking at our situation and understanding what the H-back does in our offense. That evolved into him getting more carries. … Sometimes it depends on some of the things you’re asking him to do, we’re not asking him to run outside-zone or something that’s unfair to his ability. I think with the plays we were running with him are more suited to him. I think he averaged like 5.7 yards per carry with that.

On James Starks:

He went through individual. He wanted to do more and I kind of held him back out of some of the drills we did. He didn’t do any team reps but he’s feeling pretty good. He moves around pretty good. We’ve been slow with him.

On Ty Montgomery learning the RB position:

He pretty much spends a lot of time with me in my meeting room. The thing that helps is he has a great grasp of what to do as a receiver. He did running back in high school and some at Stanford. He can do both positions at a pretty good level.

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James Starks to return to practice on limited basis

Posted by Mike Spofford on November 3, 2016 – 10:54 am

161103-starks-950GREEN BAY — Packers RB James Starks will return to practice on Thursday on a limited basis, Head Coach Mike McCarthy announced.

Starks has missed the last three games with a knee injury, and this is one step in his potential return to action. McCarthy did not address whether he could return to game action as soon as Sunday vs. Indianapolis, or if that is further down the road.

“We’ll see how it goes,” McCarthy said.

Also on the injury front, LB Clay Matthews (hamstring) and CB Quinten Rollins (groin) had “good days” on Wednesday and will be trying to do more on Thursday. WR Randall Cobb (hamstring) might back off on Thursday after a heavier workload on Wednesday.

“I’m hopeful they all can go but we just have to go through the whole week and see if we have any more hurdles to get over,” McCarthy said.

G T.J. Lang (hip) is being held out of practice, with the hope he can practice on Saturday, the last on-field workout of the week.

“Frankly, I’m holding T.J. back,” McCarthy said. will have more following practice and locker room interviews.

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JC Tretter won’t practice Wednesday; Corey Linsley to step in at C

Posted by Mike Spofford on November 2, 2016 – 11:49 am

161102-linsley-950GREEN BAY — Mike McCarthy announced on Wednesday that Packers starting C JC Tretter would not practice due to a knee injury, and Corey Linsley would be stepping in as a full practice participant.

Linsley, still on the physically unable to perform list, has practiced for the past two weeks and would need to be activated to the 53-man roster in order to play on Sunday vs. Indianapolis. The Packers’ roster is currently at 52 players following the release of RB Knile Davis, so there is a spot available for Linsley.

“We’ve been doing work with Corey all along, and it starts in the strength and conditioning aspect of it,” McCarthy said. “He’s a pro in his approach. His conditioning is at a very high level right now, but there’s nothing like football shape, and we understand that.”

Tretter was hurt on the final offensive series in Atlanta. So was WR Jordy Nelson, who came out briefly with an injured hand, but McCarthy said Nelson would be back in practice Wednesday on a limited basis.

Limited practice participation will be the calling of the day, with WR Randall Cobb (hamstring), LB Clay Matthews (hamstring) and WR Ty Montgomery (illness) all scheduled to work out on a limited basis. McCarthy also said RB James Starks, who has been out multiple weeks with a knee injury, could potentially return on a limited basis as well.

“At the running back position, we have some moving parts,” McCarthy said, regarding the potential availability of Montgomery and Starks, with Montgomery the further along of the two health-wise. “It’s a little bit like last week. You set a game plan and communicate with the medical staff. We’re clearly in a projection mode.”



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Pregame warmup: Packers must adjust to more injuries

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 30, 2016 – 2:03 pm

ATLANTA — The Packers will have to adjust on both sides of the ball due to an extensive injury list to starting players on Sunday in Atlanta.

On offense, WRs Ty Montgomery (illness) and Randall Cobb (hamstring) are both out, while on defense, LB Clay Matthews (hamstring) is also out.

Without Montgomery or Cobb, the Packers will be back to a more traditional backfield and running game, with newly acquired Knile Davis and former practice-squad member Don Jackson.

Both players made their Green Bay debuts in limited action last week vs. Chicago. Jackson injured his hand and came out of the game, but he was able to function in practice this week with a wrap on his hand. Davis came to the Packers in a trade with Kansas City and has now had a week and a half to learn the playbook.

At receiver, the absences of Montgomery and Cobb also will factor. Jordy Nelson is the most likely candidate to take Cobb’s place in the slot, but Jeff Janis could get some work there, too. On the outside, Davante Adams is coming off his best career game, but also look for more snaps for rookies Trevor Davis and Geronimo Allison. Signed from the practice squad this past week, Allison will be making his NFL debut.

Matthews also out: As the injury situation goes from bad to worse, Matthews is also out for this game due to a hamstring injury. It’s the second game this year Matthews will miss due to the injury, having sat out in Week 3 vs. Detroit as well.

With Matthews out, Nick Perry and Julius Peppers will likely start at the outside linebacker spots, backed up by Jayrone Elliott and rookie Kyler Fackrell.

Around the NFC North: At the time of this posting, the Lions were trailing the Texans in Houston, as Detroit (4-3) is looking to win its fourth straight game. Should the Lions lose, the Packers would remain in second place in the division after today regardless of their result. If Detroit rallies to win, the Packers would drop a half-game behind them into third place with a loss.

First-place Minnesota (5-1) is at Chicago on Monday night. The best-case scenario for Green Bay is a win coupled with a Vikings loss, which would create a tie at 5-2 atop the division.

Long time no see: The Packers haven’t been to the Georgia Dome since 2011, and barring a playoff meeting in January, it’ll be their last trip here. Atlanta is building a new stadium right next door that is scheduled to open next year.

Recent Packers-Falcons history has been full of close games and comebacks on both sides. For more on that, check out this week’s “One Last Look.”

Coming home: Veteran Packers safety Morgan Burnett is from Georgia and played his college football at Georgia Tech. He’ll have a bunch of family and friends in attendance today, but one who won’t be watching Burnett in person is his father, who passed away in the summer of 2015. For more on Burnett’s family history and how close he was to his dad, be sure to check out this story by Wes Hodkiewicz.


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Cobb, Montgomery and Matthews out; Packers-Falcons inactives

Posted by Duke Bobber on October 30, 2016 – 1:55 pm

161030-wrs-socialThe following players will not play in Sunday’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons:

Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers
18 WR Randall Cobb
23 CB Damarious Randall
24 CB Quinten Rollins
44 RB James Starks
52 LB Clay Matthews
88 WR Ty Montgomery
89 TE Jared Cook

Starting lineup changes: 17 WR Davante Adams will start in place of Cobb, 82 TE Richard Rodgers will start in place of Cook, 34 RB Don Jackson will start in place of Starks, 56 LB Julius Peppers will start in place of Matthews, 39 CB Demetri Goodson will start in place of Randall and 36 CB LaDarius Gunter will start in place of Rollins.

Atlanta Falcons
20 S Sharrod Neasman
26 RB Tevin Coleman
32 CB Jalen Collins
71 G Wes Schweitzer
77 DT Rashede Hageman
82 TE Joshua Perkins
98 DL Cliff Matthews

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