Head Coach Mike McCarthy officially ruled out QB Aaron Rodgers on the injury report for Thursday’s game in Detroit and declared Matt Flynn the starting QB.
“Matt Flynn will be the starter tomorrow,” McCarthy said following the team’s practice on Wednesday. “He’s taken all the starter reps this week, and he’s ready to go.
“We’re ready. We’ve got a full game plan in.”
As for G Josh Sitton’s disparaging comments about Detroit’s defensive line and coaching staff, which he made on a radio show Tuesday, McCarthy addressed them briefly.
“I’ll say this about Josh Sitton’s comments. They definitely don’t reflect how we go about our business here,” McCarthy said. “It was discussed with the football team.”
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Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was wearing his customary red No. 12 practice jersey and going through drills during the portion of Tuesday’s practice that was open to the media.
Practicing inside the Don Hutson Center, Rodgers was seen working on C-QB exchanges, executing footwork and dropback drills, and throwing short passes to receivers during position drills, along with backups QBs Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien. It’s his first action on the practice field since breaking his collarbone on Nov. 4.
On Monday, Head Coach Mike McCarthy categorized Rodgers’ chances of playing on Thursday in Detroit as “slim to none,” adding that Rodgers would have to practice in order to play.
Packers.com has updated this story with a full report.
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The Packers’ starting right tackle could be Don Barclay or Marshall Newhouse on Sunday, as Barclay missed his third straight day of practice on Friday with a knee injury but continues to improve and still might play against the Giants.
“Don’s getting better,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s improving each day throughout the week. We’ll see if he’ll be available. We’ve got Marshall ready to play. He took the reps this week. Don will be close.”
Barclay is officially listed as questionable. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee) sat out practice on Friday as a precaution but is probable, so it appears one change up front would be the most facing the starting offensive line this week.
Barclay is in just his second season, and often with a young player, McCarthy is reluctant to have that player play if he doesn’t get to practice at all during the week. But he’s making a bit of an exception this week with Barclay, who has engendered confidence from the coaching staff by all of his off-the-field preparation.
“He’s very conscientious,” McCarthy said. “He’s on top of it. He’s here round the clock trying to get healthy. He hasn’t missed a meeting, he’s in the walk-throughs in the gymnasium and so forth. So I’d have no problem playing Don.”
QB Aaron Rodgers was officially ruled out on Friday for the second straight week with his broken collarbone, and McCarthy did not have an update on when he could potentially return to action. The team is still in wait-and-see mode.
“We’ll see how he is,” McCarthy said. “He’s on top of every inch of his rehab and he feels better. He’s definitely made a big improvement from last week to this week, but I don’t have a plan.”
Elsewhere on the injury report, LB Mike Neal (abdomen) and DE Johnny Jolly (groin) both returned to practice on Friday and are listed as probable, along with DE Ryan Pickett (knee).
CB Sam Shields sat out practice on Friday to rest a tender hamstring, but he is also probable.
LB Nick Perry (foot/ankle) is doubtful, while fellow outside LB Andy Mulumba (ankle) is questionable. CB Casey Hayward (hamstring) has been ruled out and will be out multiple weeks.
In other injury news, TE Jermichael Finley had surgery on his neck on Thursday in Pittsburgh and will be returning to Green Bay soon.
“I’m looking forward to hearing from Jermichael and seeing him,” McCarthy said. “My understanding is through our medical staff that it was a successful surgery.”
Tags: aaron rodgers, don barclay, marshall newhouse
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The Packers might be fully healthy on the offensive line this week after all.
RG T.J. Lang, who missed the second half of Monday night’s game with a concussion, said he was medically cleared for non-contact work and returned to practice on Friday on a limited basis. He said he still had another test to take to get 100 percent clearance, so a final decision on his status would be coming over the weekend.
He’s officially listed as questionable on the injury report.
“I feel pretty good,” Lang said. “Each day this week I’ve slowly gotten a little better. I don’t know about my chances Sunday.
“We have to make sure I’m 100 percent before I step on the field. The decision might come tomorrow or it might come Sunday, but I always have to prepare like I’m going to play. I don’t like missing time. There’s still a chance I can be out there.”
If Lang can play on Sunday, the starting offensive line would remain intact. In his absence on Monday night, RT Don Barclay slid over to take Lang’s guard spot, and Marshall Newhouse came off the bench to play right tackle.
“We’ll visit with him tomorrow,” Mike McCarthy said. “I don’t take any chances when it comes to those types of things. He felt all along that he was going to be ready to play, but we’ll check him again in the morning.”
Having the starting offensive line together should help backup QB Seneca Wallace, who will be making his first start in place of QB Aaron Rodgers. McCarthy officially ruled Rodgers out on the injury report Friday.
McCarthy emphasized, however, that the game shouldn’t hinge on the change at QB, and that’s the message he has delivered to his team.
“No disrespect to Aaron, and he knows this too … but you get to the point where it’s about your football team,” McCarthy said. “We’re trying to accomplish something special as a team. Now, special is winning on Sunday, because that’s all that really matters, and that’s what it’s all about.
“This is a long journey. We’re only halfway through the season. But this is a great opportunity for everybody on our football team to step up and be successful. We missed that opportunity Monday night.”
To McCarthy, the week hasn’t been about making drastic changes but rather proper adjustments.
“We’re not going to try to do things we’re not capable of doing,” he said. “We’re not going to throw things against the wall. You’re going to recognize our offense, you’re going to recognize our defense and you’re going to recognize how we play on special teams. Everything we’ve done this week, like we do every week, is to go win the game. We really have moved past playing without Aaron.”
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The Packers are in a “week-to-week mindset” with QB Aaron Rodgers’ injury, according to Head Coach Mike McCarthy in a Tuesday afternoon press conference. Rodgers suffered a fracture to the clavicle in the first series of the game when his left shoulder was driven into the ground on a sack by Bears DE Shea McClellin.
McCarthy said the doctors felt much better about the situation on Tuesday, after gathering more information on the injury.
In Rodgers’ potential absence, Seneca Wallace figures to be the starter heading into Sunday’s Week 10 contest with the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field.
“We’re preparing Seneca Wallace and getting him ready to be the starter,” McCarthy said. “I have all the confidence in the world in Seneca.”
“This is a great opportunity for our football team to show its mettle.”
The Packers head back to the practice field Wednesday afternoon.
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Packers LB Nick Perry may not be as close to returning to the field as his appearance at practice last Friday might have indicated.
Perry did not participate at all in Thursday’s practice and appears to be having more trouble with his injured foot.
“He’s just not ready,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “Not moving along as everybody would hope.”
In other injury news, TE Ryan Taylor (knee) returned to practice on a limited basis for the first time since injuring his knee against Baltimore three weeks ago. WR James Jones (knee) was also listed as limited, though McCarthy said he was doing mostly rehab. LB Brad Jones (hamstring) was listed as a full participant and could be nearing his return.
There were also no new updates on TE Jermichael Finley, as the team is still gathering information and medical opinions on his neck injury. Finley was at the facility on Wednesday, however, for the team picture. His teammates appreciated another chance to see him, and QB Aaron Rodgers noted it always lifts an injured player’s spirits to come back and be around the team, even if only for a little while.
“There’s a comfort being back in this locker room,” Rodgers said. “He went through a difficult injury, is still dealing with it, but this is an escape I think for a lot of us. To be in this locker room with our brothers, be able to joke around and go to practice, sit in meetings. I’m sure it’s been great for J-Mike to come back in. It’s been great to see him and give him a big hug, and he looks great.”
Tags: aaron rodgers, brad jones, james jones, Jermichael Finley, mike mccarthy, nick perry, ryan taylor
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With an injury-depleted receiving corps, the Green Bay Packers managed a narrow 19-17 road win over the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers delivered the decisive blow late in the third quarter, a 64-yard touchdown to Jordy Nelson. The Packers had lost two of their top receivers — James Jones and Randall Cobb — to injury in the game. The Packers’ win ended the Ravens’ 14-game home winning streak against NFC opponents.
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Former Packers QB Matt Flynn was released by the Oakland Raiders on Monday, prompting media speculation as to whether the Packers might pursue him as a backup to Aaron Rodgers, a job Flynn held for four seasons (2008-11).
Head Coach Mike McCarthy didn’t sound as though the Packers would be making any changes at the quarterback position at this point. Seneca Wallace is Rodgers’ current backup, with Scott Tolzien on the practice squad. Both players were signed following training camp this summer, after Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman were released.
“Personally, I’m very happy with the quarterback room, the way it looks, the people in it,” McCarthy said. “Obviously Matt was a Packer. I’m very fond of Matt and his time here. I do like Seneca Wallace. I like what he’s done since he’s been here.”
Flynn left Green Bay after the 2011 season — which he ended with a record-setting 480 yards passing and six TDs filling in for Rodgers against the Lions in Week 17 — and signed with Seattle in 2012, but he was beaten out for the starting job by Russell Wilson. This year, he went to the Raiders but was beaten out by Terrelle Pryor. When Pryor had to miss a game two weeks ago, Flynn got his lone start since leaving Green Bay but lost and was demoted to third string.
McCarthy admitted to being surprised that things haven’t worked out for Flynn elsewhere given how he performed in Green Bay. In his first NFL start, he nearly beat Tom Brady and the Patriots on the road in a prime-time game in 2010.
McCarthy suggested that perhaps Flynn simply hasn’t found the right “fit” with another team, though he said he couldn’t know for sure without having studied Flynn’s game tapes.
“Definitely I’m surprised, because when his opportunity came, I obviously gave him a very high recommendation,” McCarthy said. “I haven’t watched the film of Matt, so I can’t really give you an educated or informed opinion on exactly how he did play.
“On a personal level, as I said I’m very fond of Matt Flynn. He was excellent in his time here, and I wish him the best of luck.”
For today’s feature story, which gives the latest on Clay Matthews plus a review of other aspects from Sunday’s game, click here.
Tags: aaron rodgers, matt flynn, mike mccarthy
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Third down is always a key down in football, but it will take on added importance for the Packers on offense on Sunday.
The Lions are ranked No. 1 in the league in third-down defense through four weeks, and no one in the NFC is even close to them. Detroit has allowed just 10 conversions in 47 attempts, for 21 percent. The No. 2 team in the NFC is San Francisco, at 31 percent. No. 2 in the league is the AFC’s Kansas City, at 22 percent.
Looking a little deeper, six of the 10 third-down conversions the Lions have allowed came in one game, at Washington in Week 3. Aside from that game, when Washington was 6-of-13, Detroit’s opponents have gone 2-of-10 (Minnesota), 1-of-11 (Arizona) and 1-of-13 (Chicago). Last week, the Bears were 0-for-12 until converting a third down with a TD pass with just 43 seconds left in the game.
“It is a small sample size, but they’ve played four games, so you have to give them credit for that,” Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said. “I think they’ve got a good combination. They’ve got a real good pass rush, they’ve got a good scheme on defense and they’re making plays in the secondary.”
The Lions are making some of their biggest plays on defense on third down. Five of their nine sacks on the season have come on third down, as well as three of their eight interceptions. They also had a sack/fumble on third down against Arizona nullified by a penalty.
Thanks to offensive penalties and other negative-yardage plays by opposing offenses, the Lions also have benefited from several long third downs, which have allowed them to permit short pass completions but then come up and make the tackle shy of the marker.
On offense, the Packers are converting just 36 percent on third downs this season (12-of-33), which is right in the middle of the pack and slightly below the league average of 37.7 percent.
“We want to stay in favorable down-and-distances, which means no negative-yardage plays, and try to avoid sacks,” guard T.J. Lang said. “We haven’t done a good job this year of maintaining our drives. Third down is going to be a big component this week.”
For more Packers-Lions preview headlines, click here.
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Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and RB James Starks have been voted the Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week for Week 2.
Rodgers tied a franchise record with 480 yards passing in Green Bay’s 38-20 victory over Washington. He completed 34 of 42 passes with four touchdowns and no interceptions, posting a passer rating of 146.0, the third highest of his career. The 34 completions tied his career best.
Starks took over for Eddie Lacy (concussion) in the first quarter and rushed 20 times for a career-high 132 yards, including a 32-yard TD. He became the first Packers RB to rush for 100 yards in a regular-season game since Brandon Jackson in Week 5 of 2010, and the first to do so in any game since Starks himself rushed for 123 yards at Philadelphia in the 2010 NFC Wild Card playoff contest.
Tags: aaron rodgers, james starks
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