The Packers are hoping
the return of two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Greg Jennings will
revive a disappointing game.
is how many snaps Jennings will be able to handle against the
Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
missed the last seven games and had surgery Nov. 1 to repair a lower
abdominal tear that has bothered him since he first injured it near
the end of the Sept. 9 season opener against San Francisco. Coach
Mike McCarthy expects Jennings to be a full participant in practice
talking with Greg Saturday and Sunday, I think he's in a good place
and he's ready to (go)," McCarthy said. "He needs a full
week of work, and that's our plan."
in and out of the lineup during the first month of the season and
has not played since catching a touchdown Sept. 30 in a victory over
have to have the conversation of, how many plays is he going to
play? That's really what the week's work is for," McCarthy
said. "We'll see how it goes Wednesday. Because when guys come
off injuries that hold them out of multiple weeks, multiple games,
it's important that we not only have Greg for Minnesota, but all the
way through (the rest of the season). So that's something we'll
watch Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and communicate."
practiced all three days last week and proclaimed himself
"ready" last Friday, but he was inactive for the team's
38-10 loss at the New York Giants on Sunday night.
player, every player wants to be out there and play. I'm no
different. I want to go out there and play — especially if you
feel good," Jennings said last week. "But at the end of
the day, I'm going to let them make the decision. I'm going to give
my input, but it'll be their decision, their call. We'll see."
quarterback Aaron Rodgers has had Jordy Nelson, James Jones and
emerging second-year man Randall Cobb in his arsenal, Jennings'
absence has been felt by the Packers, who rank 18th in the NFL in
yards per game (342.9) and 13th in scoring (24.8 points per game)
after leading the NFL in scoring last season (35.0) and finishing
fifth in yardage (401.5).
dynamic player. He's been to the Pro Bowl, he has an excellent
working relationship with Aaron Rodgers, they're on the same
page," McCarthy said. "Greg's one of those receivers
that's extremely athletic, his body language is very easy to
readjust to and Aaron has great confidence to throw to with
anticipation. They have a lot of history together, a lot of
production. It'd be great to have him back."
have had trouble against teams playing predominantly Cover-2
defenses against them, and Jennings' ability to get open on
underneath routes as well as stretch the field would help.
he's an outstanding player," offensive coordinator Tom Clements
said. "Anytime you get an outstanding player on the field, it
makes the defense prepare a little bit differently and hopefully we
can take advantage of a good player."
not update the status of 2011 first-round draft pick Derek Sherrod,
who has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list since breaking
a lower leg last Dec. 18 at Kansas City, or of veteran running back
Cedric Benson, who sprained a foot Oct. 7 at Indianapolis. Benson
was placed on injured reserve with a designation to return.
was put on IR three days after the injury, was scheduled to visit a
specialist in Charlotte, N.C., and after initially ruling out
surgery, that possibility was reportedly still being considered last
week. Benson is currently eligible to return to practice and under
league rules could play Dec. 9 against Detroit.
said Benson would not practice this week and asked if he thought the
Packers would get Benson back this season, McCarthy replied,
"We'll probably have some information for you tomorrow on
said the team would have an announcement on Sherrod on Wednesday.
The NFL's transaction wire stated that Sherrod "remains on
Reserve/Physically Unable To Perform (List)," indicating he
will not play this season.
offensive line is struggling in the wake of right tackle Bryan
Bulaga's season-ending hip injury Nov. 4, and the only remaining
backups on the 53-man roster are undrafted rookie free agents Don
Barclay and Greg Van Roten.
GREEN BAY, Wis.
(AP) — The Green Bay Packers might have the worst timing in the
and the Minnesota Vikings roll into town Sunday, and the Packers
expect they'll be without defensive end C.J. Wilson, a cornerstone
of their run defense. That's on top of the absences of Charles
Woodson and, most likely, Clay Matthews.
better from Sunday ... but it's a longshot," Wilson, who
injured his knee in last weekend's blowout loss to the New York
Giants, said Wednesday. "It's a horrible feeling knowing I
won't be able to play Sunday and help the team with my defense, to
stop this beast."
Few teams have
been hit harder by injuries this year than the Packers (7-4), who
have lost more than a dozen starters or projected starters for at
least one game, and their timing has only made the pain worse.
With No. 1
receiver Greg Jennings already out, Jordy Nelson, Aaron Rodgers'
second-favorite target, missed one game and most of another. James
Starks, Green Bay's leading rusher last season, was still nursing
a toe injury when Cedric Benson went down with a foot injury.
Starks got healthy just in time for fullback John Kuhn to suffer a
The Packers had
to take on Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions without both
Woodson and cornerback Sam Shields. The last time Green Bay faced
a bulldozer of a running back, Houston's Arian Foster? Nose tackle
B.J. Raji was in sweats.
Peterson, and Wilson will be on the sidelines.
it's definitely going to be tougher," fellow defensive
lineman Ryan Pickett said. "C.J. is a real good player,
especially against the run."
The Packers have
been tough to run on lately. After giving up a total of 407 yards
rushing in the first three weeks of the season, they've held
opponents to an average of 91.9 yards over the last eight games,
fourth-best in the league.
particularly stingy with Foster. Though he scored two touchdowns,
Foster was held to just 29 yards, his fewest in two seasons, and
his 1.7 yards per carry was a career low.
But Wilson played
a big part in that. And, no offense to Foster or any of the other
running backs the Packers have faced, but Peterson is a much, much
"This is a
different animal," Pickett said. "I mean, he's a
once-a-decade kind of runner."
the NFL with 1,236 yards rushing, almost 200 more than Foster.
He's averaging a whopping 5.8 yards per carry, about a yard better
than almost every other top running back. He's run for 100 yards
in five straight games, matching Robert Smith's franchise record.
And this from a
guy who blew out his ACL not even 12 months ago.
he's better, scary to say," Pickett said. "I already
thought he was the best back, hands down, in the league, and now
he's looking better on tape. I was shocked when we started
watching tape on him. He's running the ball real hard and he's
breaking a lot of tackles.
don't expect to see him do the things he's doing," Pickett
added. "This is probably one of his better years he's ever
had. He's running the ball great. We were watching the run cut-ups
and it's like a highlight reel. I'm like, 'Wow, what is this?'
He's averaging almost 6 yards a carry. That's unheard of."
If Wilson doesn't
play, the Packers will lean on rookies Mike Daniels and Jerel
Worthy, who filled in after Wilson got hurt against the Giants.
Welcome to the
big time, kids!
to have the young guys step up," Pickett said. "They've
been stepping up all year, they'll have to again."
When it comes to
stopping Peterson, though, it really is a job for the entire
He's savvy and
slick enough to find even the smallest of holes, and he'll make
anyone who leaves his assignment look silly. He's also guaranteed
to make at least one guy miss every play, so there'd better be a
second wave ready to stop him. Third and fourth wave, too, and
probably a fifth just for good measure.
It sounds like a
defensive lineman's nightmare — and Pickett can't wait for it.
playing against this, this is a challenge. A big challenge,"
he said. "He's the leading rusher in the league right now and
it's the Vikings. And we don't like the Vikings. It's an extra
push to get ready for this game."
did not practice Wednesday and coach Mike McCarthy said he thinks
it's "a stretch" the linebacker would be ready for
Sunday's game. But "he's getting close," McCarthy said.
"He wants the opportunity to talk again on Friday." ...
McCarthy said RB Cedric Benson was being re-evaluated Wednesday.
Benson has been on the injured reserve, eligible to return list
since Oct. 10, but is reportedly still considering surgery on his
injured foot. ... The Packers have won nine straight games against
NFC North opponents. Asked to explain their divisional success,
McCarthy joked, "Coaching."