this Jan. 1, 2012, photo, Green Bay Packers' Matt Flynn
scrambles during an NFL football game against the Detroit
Lions in Green Bay, Wis. With quarterback Aaron Rodgers
hurt, Flynn will back up one-time practice squad player
Scott Tolzien, who replaced Seneca Wallace in the 27-13 loss
Sunday, Nov. 10, to the Eagles.
GREEN BAY — Get
a flow chart ready to follow the Packers' quarterback situation.
The old backup is
now the backup again. He's taking the place of the guy who was the
backup, who played for a series before he was injured and gave way
to the former third-stringer. All this after Aaron Rodgers got
instability, is a picture of calm, at least at his locker
Wednesday. Former practice squad player Scott Tolzien is keeping
things simple as he prepares to make his first career NFL start,
Sunday at the New York Giants.
same game that you played in high school, in youth football ...
You're trying to move the football, take care of the football, and
finish with drives with a score or kick," Tolzien said.
"So you try to minimize (the) impact that the game has, and
just treat it as the same game as you were a kid."
McCarthy has said Rodgers might be a couple weeks away from
returning from a fractured left collarbone. Seneca Wallace is on
injured reserve after hurting his groin last week against the
Eagles, giving Tolzien to impress coach Mike McCarthy.
Now, Matt Flynn's
back this week to back up Tolzien. And yeah, that's a little weird
to Flynn that Rodgers isn't calling the shots.
don't think anyone will ever get used to that," Flynn said.
"He's just been a solid, consistent guy. I think it's weird
for everybody, probably, to prepare, get through a game and
prepare without him."
Just another in
the seemingly endless list of challenges encountered by coach Mike
McCarthy in an injury-filled season.
And stop saying
that word that begins with "I," please!
Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Scott
Tolzien look at a video board during the second half of an
NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday,
Nov. 10, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis. The Eagles won 27-13.
going to need (Flynn), OK? I've had enough of this bad karma about
quarterbacks getting injured," McCarthy said. "So
Scott's going to play the whole game" Sunday.
the shot after playing relatively well in relief of Wallace
considering he had only a handful of snaps the previous week,
throwing for 280 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in
the 27-13 loss to the Eagles.
Rodgers have been impressed with Tolzien's work ethic. He was
signed before the start of the season after being released by the
49ers, and Tolzien recounted how he used to sleep on the coach at
the team facility after putting in long hours getting ready.
He's not doing
that in Green Bay, but he's apparently just as hard-working and
well because he's here all the time, so I'm not worried about
him," McCarthy said. "The man loves it, and you've got
to appreciate his work ethic. It's refreshing, and it's good for
everybody, and he's going about it the right way."
because of his blue-collar Midwestern sensibility. Tolzien is from
Illinois, and he played college ball at Wisconsin. This is big
news in the Badger Country.
There are more
demands on his time as the starting quarterback. But he's keeping
things in perspective.
"I think my
job right now is to put the blinders on, have some tunnel vision
and focus on the task at hand," Tolzien said. That's getting
the offense ready for the Giants and ending the Packers' two-game
Now he can draw
on Flynn for advice, too. Flynn owns a share of the franchise
single-game passing record of 480, set the last time he played in
Green Bay, on Jan. 1, 2012, against the Lions.
He signed with
the Seahawks as a free agent the following offseason but lost his
job to Russell Wilson (another former Wisconsin quarterback).
Seattle traded Flynn to the Oakland in the offseason. He was cut
by the Raiders in October then signed by the Bills before being
released by Buffalo last week — on the same day that Rodgers got
Both McCarthy and
Flynn have said the quarterback's arm is fine. Flynn said that
while things have changed with the running game since he was last
in Green Bay, he's right at home with the passing playbook.
confident that I'll be back fluent in this offense real
soon," he said.
Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee) was a limited participant in practice
Wednesday. McCarthy said RT Don Barclay (knee) was getting better,
and was waiting to get fitted with a brace to return to practice.
... LB Clay Matthews practiced without the "club" over
his right hand, but still sported protection on his injured thumb.