If necessary, McCarthy prepared to go with just two RBs

Posted by Mike Spofford on September 19, 2013 – 4:36 pm

With RB Eddie Lacy (concussion) and FB John Kuhn (hamstring) still not having practiced this week, Mike McCarthy said on Thursday he’s prepared to go into Sunday’s game at Cincinnati with just two running backs — James Starks and Johnathan Franklin — if he has to.

RB Johnathan Franklin

RB Johnathan Franklin

“I’m prepared. That’s my job,” McCarthy said. “The preference is not to go into the game with two running backs. We’ll be much better prepared than we were two years ago in Kansas City.”

McCarthy referred to that game as a “hard lesson,” as the Packers’ only healthy RBs for that contest were Ryan Grant and Kuhn, and Grant had bruised ribs coming in. McCarthy said the game got to a point in the second half where “it was time to run the ball,” but Grant had to sit out a series or two and the Packers didn’t have the firepower in the backfield to make it go.

The Packers do have one RB on the practice squad, rookie Michael Hill from Missouri Western, so if neither Lacy nor Kuhn can play, Hill would be a possible third back, but a player would have to be released in order for Hill to be signed to the 53-man roster.

An emergency option would be WR Randall Cobb, who has carried the ball out of the backfield at times the past two seasons, but McCarthy said he’d never put Cobb in a workhorse-type position.

“I don’t want to make a living running the ball with Randall Cobb, let’s be honest,” McCarthy said. “Randall is a dynamic player, but he doesn’t need to be lined up behind center carrying the ball 20 times. That’s not the plan.”

It’s also not the plan to automatically sit all of the Packers’ injured players because the bye week is coming up, though McCarthy did indicate S Morgan Burnett (hamstring) is a “longshot” to play this week.

In Thursday’s full-pads practice, CB Jarrett Bush (hamstring) joined Burnett, Lacy and Kuhn as a non-participant, while TE Jermichael Finley (toe) and DE Johnny Jolly (neck) practiced but were limited. G T.J. Lang (back) was added to the report as a limited participant, but McCarthy didn’t believe his injury was anything serious.


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No setbacks so far for Morgan Burnett

Posted by Mike Spofford on September 12, 2013 – 4:52 pm

Packers S Morgan Burnett practiced for the second straight day on Thursday in a limited fashion without any setbacks to his hamstring injury, which kept him out of last week’s opener in San Francisco.

Also, G Josh Sitton (back) and TE Jermichael Finley (toe) returned to practice on a limited basis after sitting out Wednesday’s workout. Thursday’s practice was in pads.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Burnett was able to do more in practice on Thursday than initially expected, but after Burnett suddenly was held out of practice last Friday and had to miss the game, caution is certainly being exercised.

“It’s better than last week,” Burnett said. “It’s improving, it’s getting there. We’re going to see how I feel tomorrow.

“I want to be out there so bad. I’m anxious to get out there and get the season started. But the trainers and guys there, they’re doing their job, so that’s why we have to play it by ear.”

McCarthy said the situations for Sitton and Finley are similar. If their medical exams go well Friday morning and they can practice again, their chances of playing will look even better.

CB Casey Hayward (hamstring) has been ruled out for the second straight week, and CB Jarrett Bush pulled up in practice on Thursday with a hamstring injury and was added to the injury report. Bush was on the report last week with an ankle injury but still played.

LB Nick Perry (neck) was downgraded to a limited participant in practice after going full on Wednesday, when practice was not in pads. McCarthy said Perry’s stinger “flared up” after Wednesday’s practice and his evaluation was ongoing.


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May 30 OTA practice notes

Posted by Mike Spofford on May 30, 2012 – 5:31 pm

Despite a steady drizzle through the first half of practice, the Packers remained outside on Ray Nitschke Field for the entirety of Wednesday’s workout. Here are a few news & notes about what went on:

–Not practicing on Wednesday were RB Alex Green, CB Charles Woodson, S Charlie Peprah, FB John Kuhn, LB Frank Zombo, C Sampson Genus, DL Johnny Jones, G Jaymes Brooks, DE Phillip Merling, T Marshall Newhouse, DT Mike Daniels, T Derek Sherrod and TE Andrew Quarless.

–With Newhouse and Sherrod both out, Herb Taylor and rookie Andrew Datko shared snaps at left tackle with the No. 1 offensive line. On the No. 2 line, Datko played LT and Taylor was at RT, so both players got quite the workout.

–On defense, LB Clay Matthews did not take snaps in the team (11-on-11) drills, and he was replaced by LB Erik Walden on the right side. Rookie Nick Perry remained at LOLB with the first unit.

–P Tim Masthay was at his best in the pooch-punting portion of practice. Masthay dropped multiple punts perfectly inside the 5-yard line with his Aussie-style end-over-end boots.

–Like last week, the young DBs continued to make plays, as CB Davon House broke up a quick out to WR Diondre Borel and then moments later deflected a deep ball intended for WR Shaky Smithson. Later, House was outjumped by WR Curenski Gilleylen for a nice catch. Also, S Anthony Levine nearly had an INT on a sideline route for WR Tori Gurley, and CB Jarrett Bush almost had a pick-six on a quick out for WR James Jones. Bush also deflected a pass in the blitz period that was nearly picked off by CB Sam Shields.

–QB Graham Harrell did beat the blitz with a tightly threaded throw to TE Ryan Taylor down the seam, an impressive play that left S Jerron McMillian and Levine looking at one another in the defensive backfield.

–In the locker room after practice, LB A.J. Hawk spoke to reporters about his new haircut. Earlier this spring, Hawk had his long hair cut for charity, and he and his wife are partnering with Wigs for Kids in an effort called Hawk’s Locks for Kids, which will take donated hair to help make wigs for children who are cancer patients or burn victims. An event in Hawk’s home state of Ohio is planned for June.

“I think they said it takes six or eight people’s hair to make one wig for these kids, and with my ratty, terrible hair, they probably needed a bunch of extras in there,” Hawk said. “So I didn’t give them much, but I gave them what I had.”


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Aaron Rodgers finishes first in Pro Bowl voting

Posted by Duke Bobber on December 21, 2011 – 3:14 pm

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers received 1,581,982 fan votes to lead all NFL All-Stars in balloting for the 2012 Pro Bowl, NFL.com announced today. Fan voting ended on Monday, December 19. A record 100.64 million votes were cast by fans this year.

The AFC and NFC All-Star squads are based on the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group’s vote counts one-third toward determining the 43-man rosters that represent the American Football Conference and National Football Conference in the Pro Bowl. NFL players and coaches will cast their votes on December 21-22.

The teams will be announced at 6:00 pm (CT) Tuesday, December 27 on a special NFL Total Access 2012 Pro Bowl Selection Show on NFL Network.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (1,454,311 votes) leads all AFC players and finished second overall, while New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (1,188,893 votes), Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (1,180,777 votes) and New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker (1,133,787 votes) rounded out the top five.

The 2012 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 29, 2012 and televised live on NBC at 6:00 pm (CT) from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Fans may purchase tickets at NFL.com/probowl.

The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its all-star teams. It was the first professional sports league to offer online all-star voting in 1995.

Listed below are the top 10 overall All-Star vote-getters and the players who finished with the most votes at each position:

NFL ALL-STAR TOP-TEN VOTE-GETTERS
Name, Team……….Votes
QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers……….1,581,982
QB Tom Brady, Patriots……….1,454,311
QB Drew Brees, Saints……….1,188,893
WR Calvin Johnson, Lions……….1,180,777
WR Wes Welker, Patriots……….1,133,787
RB LeSean McCoy, Eagles……….962,824
TE Rob Gronkowski, Patriots……….936,886
QB Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers……….935,535
RB Adrian Peterson, Vikings……….925,554
WR Mike Wallace, Steelers……….923,073

NFC LEADING VOTE-GETTERS BY POSITION
Name, Team……….Votes
QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers……….1,581,982
RB LeSean McCoy, Eagles……….962,824
FB John Kuhn, Packers……….322,260
WR Calvin Johnson, Lions……….1,180,777
TE Jimmy Graham, Saints……….725,612
T Chad Clifton, Packers……….392,106
G T.J. Lang, Packers……….327,740
C Scott Wells, Packers……….436,693
K Mason Crosby, Packers……….184,665
KR Devin Hester, Bears……….268,293
DE Jared Allen, Vikings……….784,527
DT Justin Smith, 49ers……….525,578
OLB DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys ……….581,554
ILB Patrick Willis, 49ers……….417,923
CB Charles Woodson, Packers ……….763,198
SS Roman Harper, Saints……….147,542
FS Morgan Burnett, Packers……….223,292
P Andy Lee, 49ers……….161,812
ST Jarrett Bush, Packers……….134,696

AFC LEADING VOTE-GETTERS BY POSITION
Name, Team……….Votes
QB Tom Brady, Patriots……….1,454,311
RB Arian Foster, Texans……….896,804
FB Vonta Leach, Ravens……….149,801
WR Wes Welker, Patriots ……….1,133,787
TE Rob Gronkowski, Patriots……….936,886
T Michael Oher, Ravens……….327,644
G Logan Mankins, Patriots……….337,844
C Maurkice Pouncey, Steelers……….376,457
K Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders……….244,512
KR Joe McKnight, Jets……….140,926
DE Andre Carter, Patriots……….511,693
DT Haloti Ngata, Ravens……….592,603
OLB Terrell Suggs, Ravens……….546,851
ILB Ray Lewis, Ravens……….413,222
CB Darrelle Revis, Jets……….561,986
SS Troy Polamalu, Steelers……….230,649
FS Ed Reed, Ravens……….198,075
P Shane Lechler, Raiders……….228,782
ST Brendon Ayanbadejo, Ravens……….106,515


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