TE Jermichael Finley was confident when he left the locker room in Indianapolis on Sunday that his shoulder injury would not prevent him from playing this week, and he was not backing off that stance on Wednesday.
“I’m not going to let an AC joint in the shoulder hold me back,” Finley said. “God willing, if this recovery goes well, I’m for sure playing.”
Finley, who has not yet returned to practice, said the only issue for him is how the shoulder will respond to contact. He said he has his range of motion back. He indicated he’s not planning on doing any contact drills in practice this week, so he’d be taking a bit of a risk by testing the shoulder for the first time in a game, but that’s not going to deter him.
“I think they want me to play, and my mindset is to play,” Finley said.
DL B.J. Raji, meanwhile, wasn’t as definitive but said he’s going to do everything he can to get his injured ankle well enough to play.
“I have an optimistic personality. I try to be positive,” Raji said. “At the end of this week, if I can’t go, I can’t go, but knowing I’ve put in all I can to give it a chance, that’s what I rely on.”
In non-injury news, OLB Nick Perry said he was fined for the helmet-first hit he laid on Colts QB Andrew Luck that drew a flag and wiped out a fumble recovery by the Packers in the red zone. Perry didn’t disclose how much the fine was, but he wasn’t surprised by the fine after getting the unnecessary roughness penalty in the game. Perry’s helmet didn’t contact Luck’s head, but the crown of Perry’s helmet hit Luck square in the chest.
“I just have to be smart with the way I wrap up,” Perry said. “I feel like I did the right thing by getting him down, but it wasn’t good enough. There’s a better way to approach it.
“I led with the crown of my head, and for that, I get fined. I just have to be more focused on making the play without my head.”
Tags: finley, perry, raji
Posted in Packers.com Blog
In what amounts to no surprise at all, TE Jermichael Finley (shoulder) and DL B.J. Raji (ankle) were not practicing in the portion of Wednesday’s workout open to the media. On Monday, Mike McCarthy gave both “a chance” to play this Sunday.
Also not practicing were RB Cedric Benson (foot), who is out for at least several weeks, WR Greg Jennings (groin) and S Sean Richardson (hamstring).
McCarthy will address the media following practice, and the first official injury report of the week will be released.
Tags: benson, finley, injury report, jennings, raji
Posted in Packers.com Blog
With the regular season starting, practices are no longer fully open to reporters. Only the initial part of practice can be observed.
That being said, here’s what was observed in the portion of practice open to the media on Monday:
The players were not in pads. Those not practicing were DL B.J. Raji, S Sean Richardson, RB James Starks, LB Robert Francois, LB Jamari Lattimore and CB Davon House. Lattimore and House were doing some drills but did not have their helmets and were not part of the main practice. Raji injured his ankle on the first defensive play of the preseason game vs. Kansas City on Thursday.
TE Tom Crabtree was back at practice after sitting out the preseason finale last Thursday. The Packers were practicing with their full complement of tight ends for the first time in a while, aside from Andrew Quarless, who is on PUP. Also, practice-squad OL Andrew Datko, who had missed the last two weeks of training camp with a concussion, was back at practice.
A couple of players have been assigned new uniform numbers. DE Phillip Merling has changed from No. 69 to No. 94, while practice-squad OL Greg Van Roten has changed from No. 54 to No. 64. Merling’s No. 69 has gone to new practice-squad OL Chris Scott, while Van Roten had been sharing No. 54 in training camp with LB Dezman Moses.
Mike McCarthy is scheduled to speak to the media after practice, within a half hour or so.
Tags: practice, raji
Posted in Packers.com Blog
FULLBACK JOHN KUHN
(how it feels to be recognized like this)
“It’s just really an honor, because it means that the fans out there really appreciate you, it means your peers, your players, appreciate you, and it means that your coaches, the people that are directly involved in game plans, appreciate you. That’s very special to me. Some awards out there are voted on in all different kinds of ways, but the fact that I can say my peers, my coaches and the fans all really appreciate me, that means more than anything.”
(why he feels he received the honor and what his biggest contributions to the team are)
“I think it’s the fact that I’m versatile at fullback. I can play the traditional fullback role and lead-block, and the coaches also entrust the ball-carrying opportunities that I have. I think the combination of the two of those really gets my name out there.”
(whether the chanting of his name at Lambeau Field will get louder now)
“I can imagine. The fans, they are truly football fans here in Wisconsin. They won’t let this one slide by.”
NOSE TACKLE B.J. RAJI
(his reaction to being named to the team)
“I was pretty excited. It’s one of those things with the position that I play, a lot of times you kind of feel like your contributions go unnoticed, but this is just confirmation that somebody out there is noticing the work I’ve put in and some of the plays I make, and I’m appreciative for that.”
(on getting voted in despite playing a less glamorous position in the 3-4 defense)
“Like I said, it just shows me that the real football minds and the people that understand the game are able to make decisions based off of the film and not necessarily just off of popularity and things like that. It’s good to know that it’s a balanced process.”
(whether it’s even more rewarding after the disappointment of having not gotten in last season)
“I think it’s fitting in a way. Things have kind of aligned with the goals I set for myself when my career started. My No. 1 goal was to win the Super Bowl, and we were able to achieve that first and foremost, and that was the priority and how I had prioritized it. And then the second was obviously making the Pro Bowl, and now that I’ve done those two things, hopefully I can get many more of both.”
(on being the first Packers defensive tackle selected in almost 40 years)
“It’s definitely a big deal to me. It’s really very fulfilling, because the Packers drafted me with high expectations, and in my second year starting, I am now able to build on having won a championship and also the all-star accolades. Ultimately, it’s an honor that can be shared by our whole defensive line. I sent a mass text message to all my (defensive line) guys telling them how much I appreciated them and loved them, because without them, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities to achieve this.”
QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS
(what the recognition means to him)
“I think it’s the culmination of a solid, successful season. I think it’s an award that is personified by consistent play, but also by a supporting group that has done their job as well. I’m very honored by the recognition, and very thankful for my teammates, the way they’ve conducted themselves and prepared and played, and for my coaching staff, particularly my individual position coach, Tom Clements, and I’m also very thankful to the fans for them voting me in as well.”
(whether being named the starter adds to the honor)
“It does have special significance, because when I was voted in in 2009, I was the third guy and I was very thankful to be voted in, and got the opportunity to start because of some injuries and guys not going. But it’s great to be voted in as a starter, that means a lot to me and it’s a special honor.”
CENTER SCOTT WELLS
(what the honor means to him)
“It means a lot, being that it is my eighth year in the league. I was an alternate years ago, I think about my fourth or fifth year I was an alternate. For it to take this long and to finally make it, it definitely is big for me. It’s always been a dream of mine, so I am excited.”
(whether he takes it as recognition for the offense)
“I take it as an honor as being a part of a special team. I think some of it comes off of the success that we had last year, and then rolling into this year and the success we have continued to have this year definitely pays dividends. As a team is successful, the individual accolades come, so I know it is a direct correlation to what the team has been able to do.”
(whether this has been one of his best seasons)
“I think so. I am not real big on talking about myself, but I think this has probably been my best year so far.”
(if the recognition is more significant because he entered the league as a seventh-round pick, spent time on the practice squad, etc.)
“Absolutely. I was talking to my wife about it and the fact that I was not an All-American in college. I was only All-SEC by the coaches’ vote. Then being a late-round draft pick and having to work my way up from the practice squad, going through what I went through in ’09 when I was on the bench for a couple of games and fighting my way back, it definitely means a lot to finally get recognized and to be named a member of the Pro Bowl team.”
Tags: aaron rodgers, b.j. raji, john kuhn, kuhn, pro bowl, quotes, raji, rodgers, scott wells, wells
Posted in Packers.com Blog