GREEN BAY — The Packers replaced LB A.J. Hawk with Sam Barrington at inside linebacker in the nickel defense in last week’s game against New England, but Head Coach Mike McCarthy said on Friday that doesn’t mean Hawk is getting phased out of the defense.
“A.J. is still part of our plan,” McCarthy said. “Everybody has a role, everybody is part of packages and so forth. How they shape out … the way Atlanta comes in and lines up and what they do personnel-wise will factor into what we do.”
Hawk played snaps in the base defense last Sunday but was not on the field for the nickel or dime. He has still played more snaps than any other inside linebacker on the team this season, his ninth since being drafted in 2006.
“A.J. has been an outstanding football player for us my whole time here,” McCarthy said.
On the injury front, DE Josh Boyd (knee) returned to practice on a limited basis. Mike Daniels (back) and Sam Shields (concussion) remained out.
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