GREEN BAY — It began raining in the early afternoon in Green Bay on Thursday, and it doesn’t appear that it’s going to stop.
Tonight’s Thanksgiving game between the Packers and the Bears will be played in the wet and wind, with temperatures in the low 40s and high 30s throughout the game, with winds around 15 mph. A tarp was covering Lambeau Field throughout the afternoon and early evening before pregame warmups.
It’s not quite the monsoon conditions for Halloween night in 1994 at Soldier Field, one of the more memorable games of QB Brett Favre’s career, but the weather will definitely be a factor tonight.
The Packers need a win to remain in first place in the NFC North. They’re currently tied with the Vikings at 7-3. The Bears, who had a two-game win streak snapped last Sunday, are 4-6 and fighting to stay in the playoff hunt. Minnesota plays at Atlanta on Sunday.
First career start: Packers C JC Tretter gets his first career start tonight in place of Corey Linsley, who is out with an ankle injury. Tretter replaced Linsley for the final three quarters of last week’s game at Minnesota for the first extended playing time of his career and played well.
Tretter, a third-year player out of Cornell, has taken a long road to get to this point. A broken ankle suffered during his first OTA practice as a rookie wiped out most of his 2013 season, and then last year, after working all offseason and most of training camp as the starting center, he injured his knee in the third preseason game, which opened the door for Linsley to take over.
Elsewhere on Green Bay’s injury report, rookie CB Damarious Randall is active after being questionable with a hamstring injury, but DB Micah Hyde (hip) is out, which will likely lead to snaps in the dime defense for rookie CB Quinten Rollins and/or S Chris Banjo.
For the Bears, both RB Matt Forte and WR Alshon Jeffery are active, but TE Martellus Bennett and S Antrel Rolle are not.
Hot team: Regardless of what happens tonight, the Packers will be facing a hot team next Thursday in Detroit. The Lions won their third straight game earlier on Thanksgiving, blowing out the Eagles, 45-14. Detroit’s three-game winning streak began with a victory at Lambeau, 18-16, over the Packers when they were 1-7. They’re now 4-7 and looking a lot more like the team that made the playoffs last year than the one that began this year with so many struggles.
Trying to get even: The Packers-Bears all-time series hasn’t been even since the early 1930s, with the Bears leading by nearly two dozen games before Favre took over as Packers QB in 1992. A win on Thursday would even the all-time series, and if QB Aaron Rodgers is able to get it, he would make it an even 50 total victories against the Bears by Bart Starr, Favre and Rodgers, all of whom are in the house tonight.
For more on the three Packers QBs and their history against the Bears, check out this week’s “One Last Look.”
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