Watch the celebration unfold in the Green Bay Packers locker room following Sunday’s thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. The Packers’ rally from 23 points down tied the largest comeback in team history (1982).
Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy praised the team for its response to adversity, before TE Ryan Taylor positioned himself to follow Donald Driver on Dancing With The Stars.
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WR James Jones practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day on Saturday and has a chance to return on Monday night after missing the last two games with a knee injury. Jones is listed as questionable on the injury report.
“He did more than yesterday, so we’ll see where he is,” Head Coach McCarthy said. “It’s up in the air. He’s doing everything he can.”
Speaking with reporters after practice, Jones labeled himself “50-50″ and said it all will come down to how the knee feels on Sunday morning after the work he has done with it throughout the week.
“I’m mostly just going to see how it reacts tomorrow,” he said. “If it reacts pretty good, we might have a decent shot. If I wake up sore and all that stuff, I don’t know.
“I don’t know if I’ll go this week, next week, but I felt better. I felt better this week than last week, so I’m excited about that.”
In other injury news, Packers CB Sam Shields sat out practice on Saturday and is listed with an injury to his “toes,” but he’s probable for the game.
“Sam got stepped on yesterday,” McCarthy said. “Frankly, I just held him for precaution. I’m hopeful it’s nothing more than that.”
TE Ryan Taylor (knee) sat out practice on Friday but is listed as probable. He has missed the past two games. LB Brad Jones (hamstring) was a full participant in practice all week and is also probable, set to return after missing the past three games.
LB Nick Perry (foot), who practiced one day last week, did not practice at all this week and is listed as doubtful.
Tags: brad jones, james jones, ryan taylor, sam shields
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Packers WR James Jones, who has missed the last two games with a knee injury, appears to be getting closer to a possible return after he practiced on a limited basis in pads on Friday.
Jones was a limited participant on Thursday as well, but Mike McCarthy said he was only doing rehab. During the portion of Friday’s practice open to reporters, Jones was running routes with the offense and was dressed in full pads.
“We’ll see how he is in the morning,” McCarthy said.
Also on the injury front, TE Ryan Taylor was a limited participant in practice for the second straight day after missing the last two games following knee surgery. If Taylor can return this week, he might provide a boost to the special-teams coverage units, which have allowed some long returns in the last two games.
Cleveland’s Travis Benjamin returned a kickoff 86 yards and Fozzy Whittaker ran one back 56 yards two weeks ago. Then last week, Minnesota’s Cordarrelle Patterson returned the opening kickoff 109 yards for a TD.
“The plays that we’ve had come out on us, it’s one guy misses here or one guy mis-fits it,” Taylor said. “We’ve played against some pretty good returners the last couple weeks. But we’ve got a lot of guys coming back now, we’re getting healthy, and right on time because they’ve got a pretty good returner over there.”
Taylor is speaking, of course, about Chicago’s Devin Hester, who brought a punt back 81 yards for a TD against Washington in the Bears’ last game. That was Hester’s 18th career kick or punt return TD, most in league history.
“Everybody just has to take care of their responsibilities and be very disciplined,” Taylor said of facing Hester. “He can fake you out, like he’s taking a knee, and bring it out. You have to be disciplined and be ready.”
Tags: devin hester, james jones, ryan taylor
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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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Matching up against big targets is nothing new to Hayward, who played at Vanderbilt in the SEC, but doing so at the NFL level does present its challenges.
“No doubt, because he’s a big guy,” Hayward said of Gurley. “He kind of reminds me of a tight end, but he moves very well to be that big. You can’t let him get his hands on you.”
Hayward admitted he’s still making some rookie mistakes out there, but he’s trying to use any mistake as a chance to learn. He’s certainly right in the mix for playing time at cornerback with a competitive group that also includes Jarrett Bush, Davon House, Sam Shields and Brandian Ross.
“Certain calls I’m playing full speed,” Hayward said. “Sometimes I question myself, but I shouldn’t, because I know the plays.”
Other notes from Wednesday’s practice:
–K Mason Crosby went 2-for-2 again in a FG period, hitting a pair from 45-plus. Crosby has yet to miss a FG in camp through six practices.
–TE D.J. Williams has been getting plenty of attention thus far in camp, and rightly so, but fellow second-year TE Ryan Taylor is starting to show up, too. Taylor made a couple of big catches during team drills, including one where he dove toward the sideline as he finished a crossing route and hauled in the pass with a linebacker trailing in coverage.
–The “old” guys continue to make plays on a daily basis. CB Charles Woodson had a diving interception over the middle on a fourth-down throw by QB Aaron Rodgers, and WR Donald Driver got open deep behind S M.D. Jennings and caught a perfectly thrown deep ball from Rodgers.
–WR Greg Jennings turned in what was probably the play of the day in his first day back after missing a few practices with an elbow bruise. Jennings caught a ball right in stride that deflected off TE Jermichael Finley and may have been deflected by CB Tramon Williams as well.
–LB Desmond Bishop and FB John Kuhn both must practice two times in shells before they can put full pads on, and they got their first day in on Wednesday. If they practice in shells again Thursday night, that would make them eligible to put pads on for Friday’s Family Night scrimmage, but it seems unlikely they’ll do so.
“You know I would if they let me, but I’m not sure how that would work,” Bishop said. “I don’t foresee them letting me the first day in pads go in the scrimmage. So I’m guessing Sunday.”
–In addition to Commissioner Roger Goodell, other big names in attendance at Wednesday’s practice included former Packers GM Ron Wolf and Hall of Fame head coach and former broadcaster John Madden.
Tags: aaron rodgers, casey hayward, charles woodson, d.j. williams, desmond bishop, john kuhn, ryan taylor, tori gurley
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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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