Pregame warmup: Packers still shorthanded in secondary

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 16, 2016 – 2:07 pm

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GREEN BAY — The good news is the Packers have CB Damarious Randall back in action today vs. Dallas. The bad news is fellow second-year CB Quinten Rollins is the one not playing now.

Randall missed last week’s game with a groin injury and was questionable on the injury report this week, but he’s active and will start. But with CB Sam Shields (concussion) missing his fourth straight game and now Rollins (groin) out, once again the Packers are a little shorthanded in the defensive backfield.

If Green Bay goes with the same plan it utilized last week, CB Micah Hyde will play the nickel corner position joining starters Randall and LaDarius Gunter, and rookie S Kentrell Brice will come in for the dime defense, with S Morgan Burnett playing the dime corner role. Rookie CB Josh Hawkins is also an option for the dime defense, but S Chris Banjo, out with a hamstring injury, is not.

For the Cowboys, WR Dez Bryant, who was questionable with a knee injury, is out and will not play.

RB options: The Packers have only one true running back active for today’s game in RB Eddie Lacy, with RB James Starks out and rookie RB Don Jackson still on the practice squad.

Lacy was questionable this week after leaving last week’s game with an ankle injury, but he is active and will start. Green Bay’s other options for carrying the ball would be FB Aaron Ripkowski or WRs Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery, all of whom have carried the ball this season, though not regularly. That trio has combined for nine rushing attempts this season, with Cobb leading the way with five.

Big day in the NFC: With the first-place Minnesota Vikings on their bye, the Packers will end the day either one or two games back in the NFC North race. In the overall NFC picture, four one-loss teams are playing one another in the Cowboys-Packers and Falcons-Seahawks matchups. So, at the end of today, the conference will have just two one-loss teams left, or three if the Eagles can rally to beat the Redskins (Washington was winning in the third quarter at the time of this posting), on the heels of the unbeaten Vikings.

Weather update: It’s a beautiful late afternoon in Green Bay. Temperatures at kickoff are expected to be in the 60s, perhaps dropping into the high 50s later in the game. There’s no chance of rain and winds are light.

TV map: Here’s the FOX TV map for the late-afternoon broadcasts, courtesy of 506sports.com.


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Rollins ruled out; Packers-Cowboys inactives

Posted by Duke Bobber on October 16, 2016 – 1:54 pm

161016-inactives-950The following players will not play in Sunday’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys:

Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers
24 CB Quinten Rollins
32 S Chris Banjo
37 CB Sam Shields
44 RB James Starks
68 T Kyle Murphy
89 TE Jared Cook
99 DT Christian Ringo

Starting lineup changes: #82 Richard Rodgers will start at tight end for Cook, #36 LaDarius Gunter will start at cornerback for Shields

Dallas Cowboys
9 QB Tony Romo
25 RB Lance Dunbar
32 CB Orlando Scandrick
34 RB Darius Jackson
79 OL Chaz Green
88 WR Dez Bryant
95 DL David Irving


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Captains selected for Sunday’s Packers-Cowboys game

Posted by Duke Bobber on October 16, 2016 – 10:25 am

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As per team tradition, the Packers select game captains each week. Today’s captains will be QB Aaron Rodgers (offense), S Morgan Burnett (defense) and WR Ty Montgomery (special teams).


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Halftime ceremony with Brett Favre will be ‘special’

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 14, 2016 – 9:57 am

161014-mccarthy-950GREEN BAY — The Packers are honoring Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre at halftime of Sunday’s Packers-Cowboys game, putting his name up on the Lambeau Field facade along with the franchise’s others enshrined in Canton and presenting him with his Hall of Fame ring.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy — who coached Favre’s final two seasons in Green Bay and was his QB coach back in 1999 — won’t be able to see the halftime ceremony, but he expects it to add to the atmosphere in the stadium.

“Anytime they put your name up in Lambeau Field, it’s special,” McCarthy said on Friday. “Brett’s special in what he’s accomplished as a Green Bay Packer. It’ll be great to see his name up there permanently and get the ring and so forth. It’ll be great for our fans. The organization is excited about having him back.”

It’s interesting that Favre is coming back for a Cowboys game. Dallas was his nemesis as an opponent, as the Packers lost in the playoffs three straight years during the Cowboys’ dynasty of the early 1990s. McCarthy’s Packers now have their own history, and playoff history, with the Cowboys, which factors into the game atmosphere as well.

“You look at both organizations, there’s a lot of history, not only against each other but in the NFL,” McCarthy said. “We respect that, we understand it. They definitely do travel very well, so hopefully our Packer fans will hold onto their tickets. It’ll be a festive environment to play in. There will be a ton of energy outside the stadium, inside the stadium. That’s part of the competition between the Packers and Cowboys.”

As for the Packers’ injury report, McCarthy said RB Eddie Lacy (ankle) continues to “make progress,” while RB James Starks (knee, personal) is slated to return to the team on Saturday, and an evaluation on his availability will be made then. On the offensive line, McCarthy has no concerns about G T.J. Lang (hip) or C JC Tretter (back) for this week.

“JC just got hit in practice, so we were being cautious and following the rules of the injury report,” McCarthy said. “T.J. just needed a day.”

McCarthy also said CB Sam Shields (concussion) was not expected to practice on Saturday, while CB Damarious Randall (groin) might practice. “I’m hopeful he’ll do something tomorrow,” McCarthy said.

 


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Randall Cobb played with a ‘purpose’ against the Giants

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on October 13, 2016 – 6:15 pm

161013-cobb-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 Cowboys offensive line:

It’s one of the most talented groups in the league. They have three first-round picks who are all athletic with good size. They do a nice job of working up to the second level to the linebackers. Their run game is where everything starts. They have a very good play-action game with a mobile quarterback. It all ties together.

On Packers ILB Joe Thomas:

I like the flexibility he gives us. He’s a little different style player than Blake or Jake. I think he can win and do some of the same things, but he also can matchup when you put people out there against some of the third-down personnel you see. He’s a young guy. Your first year you’re seeing a lot of things for the first time. He’s had that go-around now.

Offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett

On running back situation:

Really any other week. You go into it and there’s a plan in place as far as the guys and overall preparation in the room. You always have to prepare like you’re the starter because at any moment a guy could get injured. I think all of our guys prepare that way. … We have a plan in place as far as who’ll be contributing this week.

On Eddie Lacy:

I love his play style. That’s something that stands out when you look at Eddie Lacy. He breaks a tremendous amount of tackles and the energy he brings from his running style. You get him in there and get him going, but also keeping in mind – we’ll take the approach to do what’s necessary to win the game.

Special-teams coordinator Ron Zook

On punter Jake Schum:

He hit the ball great today. Obviously we track that. He had a good week of practice and I’m looking forward to getting out there Sunday. … They all are deep thinkers. Really, you try to get them away from thinking too much. Do your thinking off the field and when you get out there let it rip.

Associate head coach/offense Tom Clements

On the offense:

I don’t think we’re far away. The guys are practicing hard. They’re working to get better. It’s just a matter of having some things click in the game. As I said, you look at the last game, there were plays that could have been big plays that for whatever reason didn’t happen. At some point they will and that’s what we’re working towards.

On the offensive line:

Usually you get better as you go along and the offensive line in general is the case. A lot of them have been playing together for a long time. They’re smart. They know what they’re supposed to do.

Offensive line coach James Campen

On offensive line’s jelling early:

They work so well together. Lane took a lot of reps last year. He would fill in a lot with both guards. He had a lot of work with David and the centers. It doesn’t surprise me from that standpoint.

On Lane Taylor:

Each one of those five positions has a job requirement. You work hard to get in that position. When you’re in there playing the game, there’s a job requirement and an expectation. He already filled that expectation for me, so I’m not surprised.

Quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt

On putting emphasis on passing game:

Spending more time than we have in the past. Groups of time together where we’re putting my emphasis on it on the practice field and in the meeting room. … We still meet a lot together. It’s maybe more time together dedicated to it.

On Joe Callahan’s release:

Obviously Joe I thought did a great job. He’s a great success story coming from a small school and making it and earning a spot on this team. He understands things happen throughout the course of a season.

Receivers coach Luke Getsy

On Randall Cobb’s performance against Giants:

Some opportunities presented themselves, that’s for sure. When he got the ball in his hands, there was a purpose behind it. He definitely had a purpose behind him this past week. … He had some space around him, so he was able to get going after the catch.

Tight end coach Brian Angelichio

On Richard Rodgers getting more playing time:

He played a lot of plays. I think he had like 70 plays in the game, which is a lot. Certainly he’s done it before, so I think he responded OK.

On how Jared Cook is doing:

He’s been good. He’s been positive. He’s been working hard. He’s been good in the classroom and the meetings. He’s been partaking in everything that he needs to do.

Running backs coach Ben Sirmans

On injuries at running back:

The first thing is, you always react under the assumption that the guys are going to play. In sports, you always have to have a Plan B or another guy ready just in case. I think that’s kind of where we’re at with everything is making sure we’re prepared and don’t get caught (unprepared).

On Eddie Lacy’s 31-yard carry against the Giants:

You guys have been seeing that for years. Those are the things he’s capable of doing. I remember his rookie year during the preseason as a rookie and running through it. Those are the things that he’s capable of. It’s a shame what happened in the second half because he was on pace for a really good game. He was feeling really good before the game.


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This week’s TV map: Packers vs. Cowboys

Posted by Duke Bobber on October 13, 2016 – 2:47 pm

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

– FOX Sports, now in its 23rd season as an NFL network television partner, will broadcast the game.

– Play-by-play man Thom Brennaman joins color commentator Troy Aikman and sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

– 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. McCarren first joined the team’s broadcasts in 1995 and enters his 22nd season calling Packers games. After originally being paired together in 1999, McCarren and Larrivee enter their 18th season of broadcasts together.

– Sports USA Radio will air the game on radio across the country. Wayne Randazzo (play-by-play) and Doug Plank (analyst) will call the action.

– The broadcast is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (WTMJ feed) as part of the network’s NFL Sunday Drive.

– DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game on Channel 715.

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

 

INTERNATIONAL
– Brazil: Domingo 18:25 (ESPN)
– Mexico: Domingo 3:00p (Televisa)

TV map is courtesy of 506sports.com. View the full image.


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James Starks absent due to injury, personal reasons

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on October 13, 2016 – 11:02 am

161013-starks-950GREEN BAY — Packers running back James Starks will be out of town until Saturday due to a death in the family, Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday morning.

Starks also was listed on Wednesday’s injury report with a knee injury after a flare-up during a workout Tuesday. His status for Sunday’s game against Dallas will be determined after Starks returns to the team.

McCarthy said running back Eddie Lacy is making progress after being a limited participant on Wednesday due to the ankle injury he sustained in Sunday’s 23-16 win over the Giants.

Lacy and Starks currently are the only running backs on the active roster. The Packers will use the week to determine what impact the two running back’s situations will have on the offense.

“That’s really what the game plans are for,” McCarthy said. “Frankly, Eddie’s health will have a lot to do with what direction we go. He’s a featured player in our offense. That’s stating the obvious.”

Receiver Randall Cobb (neck) and cornerback Damarious Randall (groin) are getting better after practicing in a limited capacity on Wednesday, according to McCarthy. Both are expected to practice again Thursday.

McCarthy added that cornerback Sam Shields (concussion) will not practice.


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It’s wait and see on Eddie Lacy

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 12, 2016 – 12:01 pm

161012-lacy-950GREEN BAY — Head Coach Mike McCarthy said that Packers RB Eddie Lacy would be doing rehab on his ankle rather than practicing on Wednesday, and Green Bay is in wait-and-see mode as to whether Lacy will be available for Sunday’s game vs. Dallas.

“He’ll be in the rehab today,” McCarthy said. “We’ll see how he moves around.”

Lacy injured his ankle in the second half of Sunday night’s victory over the Giants. The Packers are conducting Wednesday’s practice a little later than normal after spending more time in meetings and walk-throughs earlier in the day.

The Packers will also be watching DT Mike Pennel and CB Demetri Goodson closely in their first practice following four-game suspensions. Neither player has been activated to the roster yet, and McCarthy said no decisions have been made in that regard so far, emphasizing that any player’s first practice after a long layoff puts him at a higher risk for muscle injuries.

“That’s one of the things we need to accomplish today. We need to get down there and not only get our work done but see where those two guys are at,” McCarthy said. “We’ll spend some time after practice to make sure we have a good feel for where they are.”

Pennel could provide an extra big body for the league’s No. 1-ranked run defense, which will be facing the Cowboys’ top-ranked rushing offense and the league’s leading rusher in RB Ezekiel Elliott.

Packers.com will have more following the Dallas conference calls, practice, and locker room interviews.

 


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