Morgan Burnett out again; Packers-Redskins inactives

Posted by Duke Bobber on September 15, 2013 – 10:32 am

The following players have been declared as inactive for this afternoon’s Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Redskins game.

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
24 CB Jarrett Bush
29 CB Casey Hayward
42 S Morgan Burnett
51 LB Nate Palmer
65 G Lane Taylor
93 DE Josh Boyd
98 DE C.J. Wilson

43 M.D. Jennings & 22 Jerron McMillian will start at safety for the Packers. 97 DE Johnny Jolly will start on the defensive line.

Washington Redskins
2 K Kai Forbath
8 QB Rex Grossman
22 RB Evan Royster
32 S Jordan Pugh
48 S Jose Gumbs
67 G Josh LeRibeus
95 NT Chris Neild

K John Potter, signed on Saturday after being released in training camp as Forbath’s competition, will kick for the Redskins.


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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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Josh Sitton, Jermichael Finley miss practice on Wednesday

Posted by Mike Spofford on September 11, 2013 – 4:54 pm

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.

LG Josh Sitton

LG Josh Sitton

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.”


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News & notes: WRs Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb on their way back

Posted by Mike Spofford on August 25, 2013 – 5:39 pm

On Sunday, Head Coach Mike McCarthy explained the team’s decision to release QB Graham Harrell, which can be found here. A third kicker was also added to the competition, and you can read about his strong first impression here.

Other news & notes from the day…

–Nelson, Cobb back to work: WRs Jordy Nelson (knee) and Randall Cobb (bicep) were back on the practice field on Sunday, a good sign that the Packers WR corps could be at full strength for the season opener in San Francisco. Both players ran routes during a lengthy jog-thru period and did some conditioning work after.

Neither receiver has played in a preseason game yet, so Thursday in Kansas City would be the last opportunity, but that isn’t taking paramount importance.

“I don’t think it’s going to matter, because if I do play, it’s not going to be much,” Nelson said. “I think that little bit of work is not going to make a difference if I get it or not, but we’ll see.

“I feel good. If it was a regular-season game, we could definitely be going. But we still have to be smart, see what happens, and take it day by day.”

Cobb is taking the same approach. Wearing a compression sleeve on his injured right bicep, Cobb said he will play “free-minded” and not have any worries about the injury when he’s out there full time.

“I can play. If it’s up to me, I’d be on the field (Thursday), but we’re going to be smart about the situation,” he said. “We know what we’re dealing with and we know what we’ve got going forward, so we’re going to be smart about it.”

–Banjo making roster bid: Rookie S Chris Banjo, who went undrafted out of SMU, is making a bid for the No. 4 safety spot on the roster with his heads-up play on both defense and special teams.

In last Friday’s game in Seattle, Banjo made an impressive tackle of TE Luke Willson just shy of the first-down marker on third-and-5, forcing the Seahawks to punt. Later, he brought down former Packer Will Blackmon on a punt return.

“Chris Banjo has been making plays since he arrived,” Mike McCarthy said. “Very pleased what he has shown so far. This will be a big game for all the young guys, and definitely for Chris.”

There’s no guarantee the Packers will keep four safeties, but starter Morgan Burnett sustained a hamstring injury last Friday, which could force the Packers to go deeper at the position, increasing Banjo’s chances.

Banjo has been working against the odds from the start, arriving four days into camp after being released July 25 by Jacksonville.

“It was definitely tough, I can’t lie, especially on the defensive side of the ball, so much new terminology and all the adjustments,” Banjo said. “Trying to get all that put together and looking like I belong on the field, not looking lost, that was definitely a tough curve. But day by day I’m getting better at it, and I’m trying to put it all together.”

Injury update: Of the players injured in last Friday’s game, McCarthy said Burnett (hamstring) and CB Casey Hayward (hamstring) would not be available this week. LB Brad Jones (hamstring) could be back sooner than the other two.

RB DuJuan Harris (knee) and CB Jarrett Bush (ankle) also missed practice, while TE Matthew Mulligan (elbow) returned.

CB Tramon Williams (knee) would not rule himself out for Week 1 in San Francisco, but he wasn’t guaranteeing he’d be ready, either.

“We’re taking our time with it,” he said. “There was never a timetable set for it, but it wasn’t serious. That’s what was coming from the doctor. We’re still pushing and, like Coach said, making progress.”


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News & notes: Morgan Burnett’s bigger presence

Posted by Mike Spofford on August 1, 2013 – 2:50 pm

For an update on the kicking competition and some sloppy moments during Thursday’s practice, check out today’s feature story. As for other news & notes:

–Bigger presence: Head Coach Mike McCarthy couldn’t be happier with the start to camp of veteran S Morgan Burnett. It’s a big year for Burnett, who signed a contract extension just before camp began as he became the elder statesmen at the safety position with the departure of Charles Woodson.

S Morgan Burnett

S Morgan Burnett

Burnett had an interception in Wednesday’s practice, and then on Thursday, he chased down a deep ball intended for Jarrett Boykin and knocked it out of Boykin’s hands just as it appeared the receiver was going to have a TD catch.

“It’s not just the upgrade in his play, it’s the upgrade in his exertion of leadership and command in the back end, which is critical in our defense,” McCarthy said. “This is the Morgan Burnett that we know, and I think it’s now just being expressed a little more openly to everybody else. He’s doing exactly what he needs to do.”

Woodson’s departure in some senses forced Burnett into a bigger leadership role, and he also said he feels more comfortable being vocal and forceful with his calls now that he’s in his fourth season.

“As a safety, I have to be loud and decisive with my checks and calls, be the quarterback of the back end, and make sure we get lined up and ready to play,” he said.

“There’s no pressure (with the new contract). It’s really an honor and a blessing to know your organization is standing behind you. It motivates you not to let them down.”

–Officials on campus: A crew of NFL officials was working Thursday’s practice, and they will be at practice both Friday night and for Saturday night’s scrimmage inside Lambeau Field.

The officials will also take part in some of the players’ meetings to go over rules, rule changes and answer questions. The players will also be given a full presentation of rule changes and points of emphasis on Friday (a presentation also will be made to the media on Friday, and packers.com will put the highlights of that here in the blog).

McCarthy welcomes the interaction the players and coaches have with the officials at this time of year, because it only adds to a regular daily meeting the players have during camp that focuses on a specific rule or rule change.

“At the end of the day, everybody wants the same thing,” McCarthy said. “They want to make the right calls, and we want to make sure we’re coaching our guys the right way, because you don’t want to be talking about this on Sundays.”

–Spirited play: CB Loyce Means, formerly of the CFL, got a chance on Thursday to work with the No. 1 nickel defense and appeared pretty fired up about it. Early in practice, he took WR Myles White to the ground in a mini-scuffle on a screen pass and then hopped up and got in on the tackle. Later, in a one-on-one drill, he knocked away a pass on a post route to White.

Means was then beaten for a TD on an inside-out move in the end zone by WR James Jones, but Means looked agitated after the play, suggesting he thought Jones got separation with an illegal shove.

–Tough customer: Evan Dietrich-Smith is a starter in training camp for the first time in his career, and he’s showing no interest in letting anyone challenge him. After one play on Thursday, Dietrich-Smith was moving very slowly and trying to stretch out his arm and/or shoulder as he walked back to the huddle, but as Don Barclay jogged in to replace him and give him a breather, Dietrich-Smith waved him off and took the next snap anyway.

–Great matchup: Two of the early stars of camp, DL Mike Daniels and OT David Bakhtiari — both fourth-round draft picks the last two years — squared off in the one-on-one pass rush/pass blocking drill, and by subjective measure it was probably a draw.

Daniels used his brute strength to push Bakhtiari well into the backfield, but Bakhtiari managed to keep himself between Daniels and the QB the whole time. Daniels then showed off his strength again in blasting undrafted rookie lineman Lane Taylor off the line before Daniels finally met his strength match in veteran G Josh Sitton, who successfully held his own.

The best block of the day may have been turned in by LT Bryan Bulaga. In the set-the-edge drill against the outside linebackers, Bulaga locked up rookie Andy Mulumba, who has made a good early impression, and then lifted and planted the undrafted free agent on his backside, almost like a wrestler.

–Not his best day: WR Randall Cobb was not at the top of his game with two glaring drops during the workout. On the first, in a one-on-one drill against CB Micah Hyde, Cobb cleanly beat Hyde with an inside-out move but then had the pass bounce right off his hands. Later, in team work, he was open on a go route but had the ball glance off his hands as S Jerron McMillian was closing fast.

“We need to catch the football better,” McCarthy said. “I’ve never been part of a perimeter group that accepts anything less than 100 percent. That’s what we’re striving for.”

–Injury update: S David Fulton (foot) returned to practice after sitting out on Wednesday, and DL Johnny Jolly (ankle) also returned after dropping out early the previous day.

“Johnny has always been a tough guy, always practiced hurt,” McCarthy said. “That was no surprise to anybody. That’s a part of what makes him a unique football player, and obviously with the opportunity he has, I’m sure he’s going to take full advantage of it.”

S Sean Richardson, who had neck surgery last year, still doesn’t have a determination on his future, but it could be coming soon. Richardson has remained as optimistic as possible, all things considered, but there is a chance he won’t get medical clearance to return to the field.

“All the opinions from the doctors now have to weigh in and a final decision needs to be made,” McCarthy said.


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Burnett, Starks, Lattimore awarded game balls

Posted by Mike Spofford on December 3, 2012 – 2:21 pm

Packers S Morgan Burnett, RB James Starks and LB Jamari Lattimore earned game balls for their performance vs. the Minnesota Vikings in Week 13

S Morgan Burnett’s two interceptions on Sunday in the 23-14 victory over the Vikings has earned him the defensive game ball from the Packers’ coaching staff.

The coaches award game balls weekly to members of all three phases — offense, defense and special teams — based on their performances.

Burnett’s two interceptions were his first two of the season, and they both came at crucial times. The first came early in the third quarter, in the end zone with the Vikings at Green Bay’s 8-yard line and threatening to add to their 14-10 lead. The second came later in the third quarter after the Packers had taken a 20-14 lead but the Vikings were driving again, having reached the Green Bay 25.

On offense, James Starks received a game ball for his 15-carry, 66-yard outing, which included a 22-yard TD run for the go-ahead score. Starks hadn’t scored a rushing TD since Week 1 of last season, and the rushing TD was the Packers’ first this season since Week 5 in Indianapolis.

On special teams, LB Jamari Lattimore was the game-ball recipient. Lattimore wasn’t credited with any coverage tackles based on the press box statistics, but the coaches often see things on film that don’t make the stat report and reward a player accordingly.


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Burnett, Jennings discuss Woodson’s absence

Posted by Mike Spofford on October 22, 2012 – 5:07 pm

Packers safeties Morgan Burnett and M.D. Jennings addressed the pending long-term absence of veteran leader Charles Woodson on Monday, and though they’re confident the defensive backfield will be ready to play, they acknowledged there will be something missing without Woodson on the field.

“He really means a lot,” Burnett said. “He’s one of those guys you look up to. Just from what I’ve seen when I first got here, he’s a real pro. He carries himself very well on and off the field, and to see the little things he does around here as far as working out, studying, getting prepared for opponents, and just seeing his play on the field speaks for itself.

“That’s a big leader toward our team, not just our defense.  You know he’s going to work hard. We just wish him a speedy recovery. We’re all going to have him in our prayers.”

Burnett said what could be missed the most are just the little things Woodson would notice during a game that he would alert his teammates to. In theory, Woodson will still be able to provide that help in the film room and from the sideline, but it won’t be the same as having him in the huddle.

The leadership is most likely going to fall on multiple players, not one individual to fill the void.

“We’re all leaders of some sort,” Jennings said. “If we see something the next guy doesn’t see, we’ll call it out or give it a heads up. Everyone out there has to just step up.

“Everybody has to pull their weight. We all have to go out there and take care of our job and not wait for the next man to do the job for us. We all have to be ready.”

Burnett praised the work of safeties coach Darren Perry and how he gets everyone ready to play. They’ll be depending on Perry, a former safety himself, even more now.

“Everyone in our safety room is prepared and ready,” Burnett said. “Everyone has had their share of snaps through training camp, preseason, this season so far. Everyone is prepared, and in this game you just have to be ready whenever your number is called.”


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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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