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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LG Josh Sitton (back) and TE Jermichael Finley (toe) both missed practice on Wednesday, leaving their status for Sunday’s game against Washington in doubt. Also, S Morgan Burnett (hamstring) returned to practice on a limited basis, but Head Coach Mike McCarthy said it would take the entire week to determine whether or not Burnett can play.
Sitton had his back flare up on him during the long flight to San Francisco, but he played the whole game. The long flight back didn’t help matters, though.
“It’s feeling better than it did Monday and Tuesday, but I don’t know, we’ll see,” Sitton said. “We’ll be able to gauge it more as the week goes on.
“It’s one of those things that comes and goes, and hopefully it’ll go away before Sunday.”
Sitton had a rough second quarter in San Francisco, getting called for three penalties — two holding and one illegal hands to the face — while trying to block All-Pro Justin Smith. Long story short, Sitton wasn’t crazy about the calls.
“You can’t really do anything about the officials,” he said. “I don’t necessarily agree with a couple of the calls, but you can’t do anything about it. Screaming and complaining about it isn’t going to get you anywhere. Old ‘94’ (Smith) out there is a pretty good actor. He likes to throw his hands up in the air a lot, pretend like he’s getting held. Nothing you can do about that.”
If Sitton is unable to play on Sunday, McCarthy said that Marshall Newhouse would be the next lineman in. Newhouse started primarily at tackle the past two years, so one possible lineup would put Newhouse at right tackle and move Don Barclay to Sitton’s left guard spot. Newhouse also could play guard, though he hasn’t done so in a regular-season game in his career.
“Things are kind of open,” Newhouse said. “We’ll be flipping a lot and taking a lot of reps and things are still up in the air as far as that’s concerned. I know the offense well.
“There shouldn’t be any dropoff. I’ve always prepared mentally like I’m a starter, and in 2011 when my number was called, I was ready.”
Finley will be “hard pressed” to practice on Thursday, according to McCarthy, but any decision on his game status would wait until at least Friday.
“I’ve got the mentality that I want to play,” said Finley, acknowledging that the best medicine for his sore toe is rest. “I don’t have it in my mind that I want to sit down Sunday. We have four days until Sunday, so if it’s up to me, I’m going to be out there.”
Tags: Jermichael Finley, josh sitton, marshall newhouse, mike mccarthy, morgan burnett
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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.”
Tags: a.j. hawk, anthony levine, clay matthews, davon house, erik walden, graham harrell, hawk's locks for kids, herb taylor, jarrett bush, marshall newhouse, nick perry, OTA, practice, ryan taylor, tim masthay
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Green Bay Packers
12 QB Aaron Rodgers
18 WR Randall Cobb
21 CB Charles Woodson
44 RB James Starks
52 LB Clay Matthews
75 T Bryan Bulaga
85 WR Greg Jennings
Starting lineup changes: On offense, #10 Matt Flynn will start at quarterback in place of #12 Aaron Rodgers. #74 Marshall Newhouse will start at right tackle in place of #75 Bryan Bulaga. #87 Jordy Nelson will start at wide receiver in place of #85 Greg Jennings. On defense, #37 Sam Shields will start at cornerback in place of #21 Charles Woodson. #59 Brad Jones will start at left outside linebacker in place of #52 Clay Matthews. #58 Frank Zombo will start at right outside linebacker in place of #93 Erik Walden.
5 QB Drew Stanton
26 S Louis Delmas
32 CB Aaron Berry
35 RB Joique Bell
39 S Ricardo Silva
75 G Leonard Davis
99 DT Corey Williams
Tags: aaron rodgers, brad jones, bryan bulaga, charles woodson, clay matthews, frank zombo, greg jennings, inactives, james starks, jordy nelson, lions, marshall newhouse, matt flynn, packers, randall cobb, sam shields
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Coming off of their first loss of the season last week, the GREEN BAY PACKERS were able to get back on track by beating a long time rival in the Chicago Bears and clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Packers offensive line allowed AARON RODGERS (California) enough time to have a personal best five touchdown passes while allowing only one sack. This impressive performance by the injury plagued offensive line establishes the Green Bay Packers as a contender for the third annual Madden Protectors Award. The award honors the NFL’s best offensive line and will be presented during the week of Super Bowl XLVI, which will be played on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis. Past Madden Protectors Award recipients include the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2010) and the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (2009).
The Madden Protectors Award recognizes the fundamental role offensive linemen play in their teams’ success by providing consistent and powerful protection day in and day out.
The Packers continued their dominance throughout this season as they notched their 14th win of the year and can now rest easy until the second round of the playoffs. The offensive line was missing three of their four top tackles and still managed to only allow one sack and only two hits on Rodgers. The offensive line starts in the middle with center SCOTT WELLS (Tennessee), who is flanked by guards EVAN DIETRICH-SMITH (Idaho State) and JOSH SITTON (Central Florida). Providing powerful protection on the outside are tackles MARSHALL NEWHOUSE (Texas Christian) and T.J. LANG (Eastern Michigan). Offensive line coach JAMES CAMPEN is in his fifth season with the Packers and in each of his first four years, the Packers have finished in the top 10 in the NFL in total offense. The offensive line allowed for Rodgers to throw for 283 yards and 5 touchdowns. With the combination of RYAN GRANT (Notre Dame) and JAMES STARKS (Buffalo), the Packers were able to rush for 81 yards on the day.
“The Packers offensive line played a great game against Chicago on Sunday night,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach JOHN MADDEN.
Other offensive lines from around the league delivering powerful protection during Week 16 were the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (463 total yards, 307 passing yards, 164 rushing yards, 1 sack allowed, 2 QB hits allowed) the BUFFALO BILLS (351 total yards, 191 passing yards, 160 rushing yards, 1 sack allowed, 2 QB hits allowed), the BALTIMORE RAVENS (284 total yards, 122 passing yards, 162 rushing yards, 1 sack allowed, 2 QB hits allowed), the CAROLINA PANTHERS (433 total yards, 163 passing yards, 270 rushing yards, 1 sack allowed, 1 QB hit allowed), and the PITTSBURGH STEELERS 377 (total yards, 208 passing yards, 169 rushing yards, 0 sacks allowed, 1 QB hit allowed).
Tags: evan dietrich-smith, james campen, john madden, josh sitton, madden protectors award, marshall newhouse, offensive line, scott wells, t.j. lang
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