Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts after James Starks
ran 65-yards for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL
football game against the San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Oct. 18,
2015, in Green Bay, Wis.
GREEN BAY — Aaron Rodgers had a
noticeable pep in his step when he walked to his locker.
A bye week left the Green Bay Packers
quarterback refreshed, and gave his sore teammates a chance to rest up
before the showdown Sunday with the Denver Broncos.
"Yeah, it would be nice to get
everybody back," Rodgers said Wednesday after practice.
"It's good for all of us, but especially us older guys and the
guys up front."
It is at the skill positions where the
down time could help the most.
Receiver Davante Adams is back at
practice after being sidelined for much of the last month with a
sprained ankle. Randall Cobb (shoulder) and James Jones (hamstring)
benefited enough from the time off that they weren't even listed on
the injury report Wednesday.
The injury toll has slowed an offense
not quite operating to the Packers' high standards. Even teammates are
bugging Adams about when he'll be back.
"They've been saying it just as
much as you guys have ... just looking out for me and also wanting me
back out there on the field," Adams told reporters. "It's
getting better day by day and just hoping this is the week, and we're
pushing and it's looking good so far."
Packers' James Starks (44) goes in for a five-yard touchdown
reception as he is tackled by San Diego Chargers' Denzel
Perryman during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday,
Oct. 18, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis.
There was one new name to add this week
after running back James Starks hurt his hip during Green Bay's last
game, a 27-20 win over San Diego on Oct. 18.
Following last week's bye, McCarthy
hopes Starks will make enough progress to play in Denver. Starks and
receiver Ty Montgomery (ankle) didn't practice Wednesday.
Starks ran for 112 yards on 10 carries
against the Chargers, starting for Eddie Lacy, who finished with 3
yards on four carries. Lacy sprained his right ankle in Week 2, though
he hasn't missed a game.
Lacy has said he wasn't limited in the
Chargers game, and understood that McCarthy stuck with Starks because
he was running well.
"Well, he looks good, just
watching him work out and watching his work Monday," McCarthy
said about Lacy before practice Wednesday. "Particularly in the
individual stuff, that's where you try to really stress each position,
so I don't think the injury is affecting him anymore."
Otherwise, Lacy is off to a slow start,
though that's not necessarily unusual for the third-year back:
—Lacy hasn't rushed for a touchdown
since the season opener against Chicago. He has 260 yards on the
season on 67 carries, averaging 3.9 yards a carry.
—Last year through six games, Lacy
had 306 yards on 80 carries, averaging 3.8 yards an attempt. He
finished with 1,139 yards for that season on 246 carries, averaging
Lacy tends to finish strong. McCarthy
in part thinks more production will come about from more
"No. 1, we're not running enough
plays," McCarthy said. "We need more attempts at the plate.
Sixty plays a game, that's not what we're looking for."
McCarthy likes the run-pass balance,
but would also like more volume. Running 70-plus plays is more like
Here's where the injury bug has played
a role, though, beyond Lacy. The Packers' best deep threat, Jordy
Nelson, was lost for the year during the preseason with a torn right
ACL. Defenses are focusing on slowing down Lacy and pressing the
team's other top receivers, who are also dealing with nagging
Having Adams back might help. He was
limited in practice on Wednesday.
The Packers raved about Adams'
offseason and preseason work. But the second-year receiver hasn't done
much since getting hurt in Week 2.
"It depends on his physical
status, his ability is there. He's got a lot of believers in the
locker room and upstairs in what he can do, it's just a matter of him
being comfortable," Rodgers said. "He can do a lot for this
offense if he gets opportunities."
NOTES: S Morgan Burnett (calf), LB Nick
Perry (shoulder/hand) and DT B.J. Raji (groin) were limited. They each
missed the Chargers game. ... McCarthy indicated that the team would
leave a little earlier than usual for a road trip to get acclimated to
the altitude in Denver. The Packers haven't played there since 2007.