Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier and WR Greg Jennings were made available to the media via conference call Wednesday. To listen to Frazier and Jennings talk about Sunday night’s game in Minneapolis, click on the links below.
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A day earlier, Marshall challenged Green Bay’s defensive backs to cover him one-on-one, and he took exception to the characterization that any Packers DB shut him down during his two-catch performance in Week 2 because whoever was guarding him had plenty of help in other areas of the field.
Recognizing how absurd it would be to devise a game plan that would involve covering Marshall man-to-man when Marshall has 101 receptions for 1,342 yards and the next-closest Bears in each category have 36 catches and 256 yards, Jennings “challenged” the Bears defense to do the same against Green Bay’s receivers.
“Man, I wish the Bears would play us one-on-one and man-to-man,” said Jennings, howling with laughter as he said it. “Yeah, man, the Bears always play Cover 2. I think they’re scared not to play Cover 2.”
Once the laughter around his locker had subsided, Jennings acknowledged that Marshall was obviously trying to fire up his team and possibly get into the heads of the Green Bay secondary.
“What receiver doesn’t want to get played man-to-man coverage the entire game?” Jennings said. “Your pride (as a defensive back) wants to say ‘I can guard you man-to-man,’ but why do it? Why do it when you don’t have to? That’s why we’re a team. We help one another.”
Tags: brandon marshall, cover 2, greg jennings
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“Maybe next week would be my guess there,” McCarthy said when asked about Woodson’s return. “If you ask Charles, he’d probably push to play this week.”
McCarthy added that more evaluations need to be done on Woodson, who has not yet been medically cleared. Woodson has been out since fracturing his collarbone on Oct. 21 at St. Louis. The upcoming Bears game would be eight weeks from the date of the injury, a standard timetable for a broken bone.
McCarthy gave no update on LB Clay Matthews, who has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury. He did say Matthews worked out in the Hutson Center on Monday but did not elaborate.
WR Jordy Nelson, who left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury, “felt something in pre-game, went back in the training room and tried to play through it,” McCarthy said. He did not expect to have Nelson this week but otherwise wasn’t overly concerned about the injury. It is the same hamstring Nelson injured earlier this season, which kept him out of one game.
Nelson’s absence forced WR Greg Jennings to play 51 snaps in his first game back after missing seven contests. That’s far more than the coaching staff planned for Jennings, who had four receptions for 46 yards, including a crucial juggling catch over the middle to convert a third down on the Packers’ final scoring drive to seal the win.
“I’m sure he’s sore,” McCarthy said of Jennings, who had surgery on an abdominal/groin muscle a month ago. “He was sore coming out of the game, which I think would be expected.”
After further review: Having reviewed the game film, McCarthy said he could see why the official flagged CB Tramon Williams for an unnecessary roughness penalty for his hit on RB Toby Gerhart on a sideline pass in the third quarter, but he didn’t necessarily agree with the call.
The Packers have had a number of penalties and/or fines for hits they didn’t necessarily believe warranted those punishments this season, but McCarthy said his staff will continue to coach the proper techniques. Any helmet-to-helmet contact on the plays in question hasn’t been intentional, McCarthy said.
“We’re trying to get our guys to play harder and be more physical, and we’ve had some things where guys are trying to do it the right way, going with their shoulder and so forth,” he said. “When you do have the tight call, the gray-area hits, there’s a little bit of, ‘Here we go again.’
“I’m talking about Brad Jones (against Detroit), Ryan Taylor (against Arizona) and (Jerron) McMillian (against the Giants). We’ve had some tough calls go against us. You just have to continue to coach through that. The league has obviously made it a priority. The fines reflect that.
“You don’t want to see anybody lose money, particularly when the intent’s not there. We’re not intending to hit helmet to helmet. I don’t think anybody is coaching or teaching that. It’s tough when you see a call go the other way when you don’t agree with it.”
Tags: charles woodson, greg jennings, helmet to helmet, jordy nelson
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WR Greg Jennings took another step toward possibly returning to game action this week when he practiced in pads during the media portion of Thursday’s workout. Thursday is the regular day when the Packers practice in full pads.
Also, LB Vic So’oto, who missed Wednesday’s practice due to illness, returned to practice.
Both Mike McCarthy and Jennings commented after practice on the progress being made. McCarthy said Jennings took reps in the team (11-on-11) periods both with the regular offense and the scout-team offense.
“Greg’s excited,” McCarthy said. “We’ll see how he feels in the morning. He felt really good today after practicing yesterday, so he’s definitely progressing. The biggest thing was to get him on course to make progress, and right now he’s taken every step, so that’s very encouraging.”
Jennings confessed the decision on whether or not to play is ultimately out of his hands, but he’s giving whatever “input” he can by doing what he’s doing on the field.
“Honestly, I felt better than I thought I was going to feel,” Jennings said. “I guess I was working more rapid-fire yesterday and prior days than I would actually during a game. I felt really good.”
Tags: greg jennings, vic so'oto
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WR Greg Jennings ran a few routes in the jog-through segment of practice and did some receiver drills during the portion of Wednesday’s workout open to reporters.
It’s the first time Jennings has been involved in practice since Week 4. He had surgery on an abdominal/groin muscle a few weeks ago and has only played in three games this season.
Also on the practice field on Wednesday were NT B.J. Raji, who limped off the field late during Sunday’s victory in Detroit with an ankle injury, and TE Andrew Quarless, who sat out two practices last week due to his knee.
Not practicing on Wednesday during the media portion were DB Charles Woodson (collarbone), CB Sam Shields (ankle), LB Clay Matthews (hamstring) and LB Vic So’oto, who was not on the injury report last week and played in the Detroit game.
Mike McCarthy will speak with reporters following practice at the top of the hour.
Tags: greg jennings
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Mike McCarthy said on Monday that the ankle injury that forced NT B.J. Raji to limp off the field late during Sunday’s victory is not as bad as the one that led to Raji missing two games last month.
Raji apparently has re-injured the same ankle that he hurt in the Indianapolis game in Week 5. He sat out the victories in Houston and St. Louis the next two weeks before returning to the field.
McCarthy didn’t say whether Raji would play this week against the Giants, but he didn’t sound concerned about the injury long-term.
No update was provided on WR Greg Jennings and LB Clay Matthews. McCarthy said more information would be known on Wednesday.
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“We’ll see what next week brings,” McCarthy said. He added that the team had been planning not to have Matthews this week.
Also, WR Greg Jennings (groin/abdominal) and DB Charles Woodson (collarbone) remain out, but McCarthy said both players are farther along in their rehab and workouts than expected at this point.
WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring/foot) was limited in practice, but McCarthy said he “looked like his old self” and doesn’t anticipate him having any problems playing. Nelson missed the Jacksonville game with the hamstring injury and then injured his foot and/or ankle early in the Arizona game and was taken out again.
DE Mike Neal (ankle) did not participate in practice because the ankle injury he played through against Arizona is “bothering him,” according to McCarthy, who is hoping Neal might be able to practice at some point later this week.
Tags: charles woodson, clay matthews, greg jennings, jordy nelson
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FB John Kuhn, who has missed the past couple of games with a hamstring injury, was back on the practice field on Wednesday.
LB Clay Matthews and DE Mike Neal, however, were not practicing in the portion of the workout open to the media. CB Charles Woodson and WR Greg Jennings continue to sit out as well.
Mike McCarthy will address reporters after practice at the top of the hour.
Tags: clay matthews, greg jennings, john kuhn
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“I’m pain-free, so that’s a step in the right direction,” said Jennings, who has missed the last five games and six of the last seven. “As far as a timetable for getting back out there on the field, still really just taking it a day at a time. That’s all we can do. But I feel really, really good. Really good.”
Jennings said he hasn’t been pain-free in his abdominal area since originally sustaining the injury in the fourth quarter of Week 1 against San Francisco. He sat out Week 2 against Chicago, then played in Week 3 at Seattle and again in Week 4 against New Orleans before leaving that game midway through. He hasn’t played since.
As he did before the surgery, he sounded confident he would return this season, but he’s just not interested in saying when.
“I have a target in my own mind,” he said. “It’s in my mind, and I’m going to keep it right there.”
In other injury news, LB Desmond Bishop spoke with reporters on Monday and said all is going well with his rehab. Bishop was lost for the season in the first preseason game due to a hamstring injury that required surgery.
“I foresee me being close to 100 percent, I would say February-ish,” Bishop said. “I’m just focused on positive energy to get this leg right and get back to regular form, or even better actually.”
In the meantime, Bishop said he’s been impressed with his current replacement, Brad Jones, who took over when Bishop’s initial replacement, D.J. Smith, was also lost for the season to injury. Jones originally came to the Packers in 2009 as an outside linebacker, but Bishop said he could see even then that Jones was a bit of a natural inside.
“I always knew he was a good player,” Bishop said. “When he first came, he did some scout team reps at middle linebacker, and I thought he could actually fit as a middle linebacker. I think he’s doing really good.”
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WR Greg Jennings had surgery on his abdominal muscle on Thursday, Mike McCarthy confirmed, two days after it was originally scheduled.
Jennings had the procedure done in Philadelphia, where the specialist he visited last week resides. His surgery was postponed two days due to the East Coast storm.
McCarthy said he was told Jennings would be out a minimum of a couple of weeks. Jennings has not played since Week 4 against New Orleans.
“The procedure went very well,” McCarthy said.
Tags: greg jennings, surgery
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