Bay Packers' Clay Matthews waits to get introduced at the
start of the Green Bay Packers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars NFL
football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Green Bay,
GREEN BAY —
The Green Bay Packers can read a schedule as well as anyone else.
Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, and the Packers have a
bye. A week to park themselves on the couch and prop up their bum
ankles, aching feet and sore hamstrings — of which there are
plenty. Seven days to recuperate and recharge for the final stretch
of the regular season.
Just don't let
coach Mike McCarthy catch them peeking at the calendar.
tell you, the players have a clear understanding (about) the
importance of this game. I think we've made the mistake of maybe
looking forward to the bye week in the past. We're not going to make
that mistake this week," McCarthy said Wednesday. "Our
focus is on the Arizona Cardinals. We made a big point as a staff
and as a football team to make sure the urgency is heightened.
a game to play," he added. "Who wants to talk about things
that have nothing to do with Sunday? I want to talk about
victories have put the Packers (5-3) back in contention in the NFC
North, but they're in sorry shape these days. There were 13 players
on the injury report Wednesday including Aaron Rodgers, his top two
receivers, Charles Woodson and B.J. Raji.
forget about workhorse running back Cedric Benson, who is on the
injured reserve, eligible to return list.
part of the game, and the Packers have managed to make do. But it's
going to be tough to get to the playoffs, to say nothing of making a
deep run, if they have to continue holding their lineups together
with Band-Aids and surgical tape. All but two of the Packers' games
in the second half are against division rivals, and another is
against the NFC East-leading New York Giants.
need a break, and they need it badly.
help," Raji acknowledged. "Just being able to rest, not
necessarily always banging or running on it and doing things that I
have to do in practice or lifting and everything like that. Anytime
you can get rest on an ankle — or any type of injury to your body
— it can only help."
have a history of being able to maintain their focus under McCarthy.
They are 4-2 in the week before the bye, and they rebounded from the
loss-that-wasn't in Seattle with a victory. But after last week's
lackluster effort against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, McCarthy
isn't taking any chances. He has let his players know that any extra
time off next week has to be earned with a victory over the
definitely has us focused on the Cardinals because he threw us a
little bone if we win," James Jones said. "We know a lot
of guys are hungry and ready to get the win so we can get a couple
more days off."
record (4-4) might not look all that impressive, and their offense
is ranked near the bottom of the NFL. But the Cardinals are not the
West Coast version of the Jaguars. It wasn't all that long ago that
they were on a four-game winning streak, which included a victory at
New England. With the exception of Monday night's 24-3 rout by San
Francisco, their losses have been by 14 points or less.
saying this is a championship game for us," said Cardinals
guard Daryn Colledge, who is in his second year in Arizona after
spending his first five seasons in Green Bay. "But with this
being the last game before our bye week, these guys are going to be
all in for this week.
can go on a nice little run here at the end like we did last year,
we got a chance to get ourselves to the playoffs," Colledge
said. "But we need to make that decision right now, or we can
be the team that just lets it slip away and make excuses for
ourselves and call it a season."
circumstances might not be nearly as dire for the Packers. But they
are well aware of what is ahead of them, whether McCarthy wants them
thinking about it or not.
a big game," Bryan Bulaga said. "Just to finish halfway
through the season at 6-3 is going to be huge. And after the bye
week, we have a lot of division games. So it's going to be big for
us to finish strong here and get in the bye week, get healthy and
then get ready for these big division games we've got coming
Jordy Nelson (hamstring) didn't practice Wednesday, and McCarthy
said he hopes to know more about his status Friday. ... WR Greg
Jennings' surgery to repair a torn abdominal muscle was delayed
because of Superstorm Sandy. The procedure was supposed to be done
Tuesday in Philadelphia. ... DE Jerel Worthy, who suffered a
concussion in Sunday's game, was better Wednesday, McCarthy said.
"He's still going through the process, the protocol for
concussions," McCarthy said. ... The Packers have to make
decisions by Nov. 7 on TE Andrew Quarless and LB Frank Zombo, who
have returned to practice from the physically unable to perform
list. "We're going to start working them into some of the
game-plan stuff and see where they are," McCarthy said.
Capsule: Cardinals at Packers
ARIZONA (4-4) At GREEN BAY (5-3)
Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX
OPENING LINE — Green Bay by 10 ½
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Arizona 3-5; Green Bay 3-5
SERIES RECORD — Green Bay leads 44-23-4
AP PRO32 RANKING — Cardinals No. 20; Packers No. 6
LAST MEETING — Cardinals beat Packers 51-45 OT, Jan. 10, 2010
LAST WEEK — Cardinals lost to 49ers 24-3; Packers beat Jaguars 24-15
CARDINALS OFFENSE — OVERALL (31), RUSH (31), PASS (24)
CARDINALS DEFENSE — OVERALL (6), RUSH (21), PASS (4)
PACKERS OFFENSE — OVERALL (21), RUSH (26), PASS (12)
PACKERS DEFENSE — OVERALL (13), RUSH (12), PASS (19)
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Green Bay and Arizona share NFL
lead for sacks with 26 each. Clay Matthews second in league with
nine while Daryl Washington is third with eight. ... Green Bay
averaging 30.2 points over last five games after scoring total of 57
in first three games. ... Arizona allowed more than 21 points for
first time this season in Monday night's 24-3 loss to San Francisco.
... Arizona has allowed only 14 touchdowns this year. ... Arizona WR
Early Doucet's only multiple-touchdown game came against Green Bay
in 2009 wild card playoff. Doucet finished that game, teams' last
meeting, with six receptions for 77 yards. ... Arizona WR Andre
Roberts has had career-high seven receptions in each of last two
games. ... Packers are only team to have three wide receivers with
35-plus receptions: Randall Cobb (42); Jordy Nelson (40); and James
Jones (36). ... Arizona TE Rob Housler has had two-plus receptions
in six straight games. ... Green Bay has seven turnovers this year,
one fewer than NFL leaders Houston and Pittsburgh. ... Packers have
won last six games between teams at Lambeau Field. ... Packers and
Cardinals first played in 1921, making it NFL's second-oldest
continuing rivalry. Cardinals and Bears began playing in 1920. ...
Green Bay has won 22 of last 24 regular-season games at home.
Woodson donates $100K to storm relief
GREEN BAY, Wis. - Green Bay Packers star Charles Woodson says he's
donating $100,000 to the Red Cross to assist families hurt by
superstorm Sandy in recent days.
He says he's grateful for the sense of community that allowed the
Packers to thrive in Green Bay, and he wants to give back to other
similar communities that are hurting.
Woodson made his comments Thursday at the Austin Straubel
International Airport, at a Democratic rally ahead of a campaign
stop by President Barack Obama.
Woodson praised Obama for setting politics aside to help with storm
relief. He noted that Obama teamed up with Republican New Jersey
Gov. Chris Christie to tour affected areas.
Also appearing at the rally were U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, Senate
candidate Tammy Baldwin and former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold.
Jennings' surgery to fix torn muscle 'went
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings
has had surgery to repair the torn abdominal muscle that has
sidelined him for much of the season.
Jennings said on Twitter on Thursday that "surgery went well tweeps!!"
and posted a picture of himself in a hospital bed. No return date
has been given, though Packers coach Mike McCarthy says it would
probably be a minimum of a few weeks.
The surgery was originally scheduled for Tuesday in Philadelphia,
but had to be postponed because of Superstorm Sandy.
Jennings has missed the last four games with the injury, which
occurred in the season opener. Green Bay's No. 1 receiver has 12
receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown this season.