GREEN BAY — A full
week of practice could help newly acquired running back Knile Davis
get up to speed in the Green Bay Packers' injury-depleted backfield.
swelling-reducing glove may help rookie Don Jackson contribute, too.
Davis had a long
weekend to study the Packers' offensive playbook after arriving in an
Oct. 18 trade from Kansas City — less than 72 hours before the
Packers' victory over the Chicago Bears last Thursday night. Coach
Mike McCarthy was reluctant to play Davis with so little time to learn
the schemes, so Davis didn't see action on offense until late in the
fourth quarter, carrying twice for 1 yard.
definitely some similarities (to Kansas City's playbook). I've just
got to get the terminology and verbiage together," Davis said.
"I'm definitely excited."
McCarthy said Davis
spent the weekend working with running backs coach Ben Sirmans to get
a better feel for the offense entering Sunday's game at Atlanta.
"He's part of
the game plan," McCarthy said of Davis. "I like what he
brings to the table. He's a natural football player, someone that's
played a lot of football, was successful obviously in college, and
he's been in the league. I think this is just more of a language and
communication gap that you have to fill. He's very bright. He's making
took part in Wednesday's practice after X-rays did not show a fracture
in his left hand, which he injured against Chicago. In an effort to
reduce swelling, Jackson wore a special therapeutic glove throughout
practice and was able to carry the ball with both hands - something he
couldn't do after the injury occurred.
looking better," Jackson said. "The trainers, they're pretty
optimistic about it. We've still got (four) days, so we've still got
some time. And it's already taken, I think, a dramatic leap from
Sunday till now. I couldn't even like have anybody touch it, and now
it's to the point where I can move it a little bit, I have a little
bit of grip."
Still, McCarthy said
Jackson must take part in Thursday's contact-filled, in-pads practice
to gauge how realistic it is for him to play against the Falcons.
for him to go through team work, especially (Thursday). He needs to go
through the half-line drill and the full physical team," McCarthy
said. "That will obviously give us direction on how we proceed
If the Packers have
both Davis and Jackson at their disposal against the Falcons, they
won't have to rely as heavily on Aaron Rodgers. He threw 56 passes -
five fewer than his single-game career high - and finished with a
career-best 39 completions against the Bears.
It would also allow
McCarthy to pick and choose how he uses receiver-turned-halfback Ty
Montgomery, who carried nine times for 60 yards and caught 10 passes
for another 66 yards against the Bears.
The Packers are in
such dire straits at running back because they lost starter Eddie Lacy
for at least eight weeks (ankle/foot). Green Bay has been without No.
2 running back James Starks because of a knee injury that required
arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 16. It's unclear how soon he'll return.
and Don spent some extra time with me the night before (the Bears
game) talking about different things, and I'm sure that will happen
this week. Maybe we'll get Knile in on it as well this time to make
sure he's ready to go," Rodgers said. "We've got to go with
the guys we've got and make sure they're ready to play."
NOTES: Despite their
mini-bye after their Thursday night victory, the Packers had a
whopping nine players on their injury report. In addition to the
players not expected to play against Atlanta - Starks, tight end Jared
Cook (ankle) and cornerbacks Damarious Randall (groin) and Quinten
Rollins (groin) - three other players were slight surprises:
linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring), wide receiver Randall Cobb
(hamstring) and Montgomery (illness). . Matthews did not practice
Wednesday and apparently injured his hamstring against the Bears.
Montgomery spoke with reporters after practice and is expected to
play, while Cobb was a limited participant. . The Packers added rookie
center Jacob Flores to the practice squad. He spent the offseason and
training camp with the Packers after signing with the team, but was
cut at the end of camp.