Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy looks up at the
scoreboard during the first half of an NFL football game
against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore, Sunday, Oct. 13,
GREEN BAY —
Stiff upper lip, Packers fans.
injuries aren't going to keep coach Mike McCarthy down. Worried,
yes. But he will press on.
And just to add
emphasis, McCarthy turned to a British motto used during World War
II to motivate his team during this rough patch.
"No one is
over-reacting," he said Wednesday after practice. "Our
theme is, 'Keep Calm and Carry On.' So, you historians probably
The Packers would
probably more appreciate a smaller injury report. But it only grew
Neal watched practice with a bruised shoulder. The emerging Neal,
converted from defensive end, had been starting for pass-rushing
specialist Clay Matthews, who is out at least a few more weeks
with a thumb injury.
Green Bay also
lost Nick Perry this week for a few weeks to a foot injury.
Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks for an opening
to pass during the first half of a NFL football game against
Green Bay Packers in Baltimore, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013.
As of now, that
left them with two rookies — Andy Mulumba and Nate Palmer —
taking first-team snaps Wednesday on the outside.
"It was not
a lot of fun, so something we had to adjust," McCarthy said
about having to install game plans Wednesday with uncertainty at
outside linebacker. "It's been a busy 48 hours."
Just as much on
offense, too. Receiver Randall Cobb went on injured reserve this
week with a designation to possibly return to practice after six
weeks, and back into a game after eight weeks.
Jones, who left the 19-17 win over the Ravens last week with a
knee injury, didn't practice Wednesday, though McCarthy said Jones
was "very positive about where he is, how he feels."
that Jones is gearing up for a possible test in his rehab
schedule, and that he should know more about whether or not Jones
and Neal will be available on Friday.
linebacker Brad Jones' status also remains in question after he
missed last week with a hamstring injury. Also, backup tight end
Ryan Taylor had procedure on his knee Wednesday that may keep him
out a few weeks.
All of which
makes for a lot of contingency planning for the Browns, who will
be at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
personnel groups on both sides of the ball are stressed,"
McCarthy said, though he added that "we feel like we have a
good plan and we'll be ready to go."
Going for the
Packers are two big improvements this year: Run defense and the
emergence of a running game. Green Bay has had three 100-yard
rushers in its last four games, and rookie Eddie Lacy came a yard
shy two weeks ago against the Lions.
Ravens running back Bernard Pierce (30) is tackled by Green
Bay Packers free safety M.D. Jennings as defensive end Mike
Neal (96) lies on the ground during the first half of an NFL
football game in Baltimore, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013.
And don't count
out the Packers so long as Aaron Rodgers is calling the signals at
still like to throw the football around here. Injuries to guys
running routes (are) never a good thing, but I think that it gives
guys opportunities," Rodgers said.
Nelson and tight end Jermichael Finley are what's left of what
once was a top-notch receiving quartet with Cobb and James Jones.
and Myles White, signed off the practice squad this week, will be
relied on to help fill the void. White, undrafted rookie out of
Louisiana Tech, is one of 14 rookies now on the Packers roster. He
understandably had a smile on his face during his first practice
as a full-fledged Packer that didn't disappear once he got to the
White said he's
glad he had been getting a few snaps at practice the last few
weeks with Rodgers "so it's not like I'm trying to spark
something right now."
The attitude from
White is part of the upside from all the injuries — the drive of
younger players to contribute when the opportunity arises.
And if the team
needs any more motivation, they can draw it from the McCarthy's
He borrowed the
framed "Keep Calm and Carry On" sign from his wife, who
he said had an appreciation for arts and history. A team assistant
held it up during a meeting with the players.
"I eat those
things up, man. I love it. I think it's a good. it's true,
too," linebacker A.J. Hawk said. "Things happen week in
and week out. You can't ever panic."
Note: The Packers
brought undrafted rookie WR Tyrone Walker back to the practice
squad Wednesday. Walker was with Green Bay during the preseason
and spent one game this year on the Seahawks practice squad.