GREEN BAY– Although Morgan Burnett, Davante Adams and Bryan Bulaga are all officially listed as questionable on the Green Bay Packers’ injury report, there probably should be an asterisk alongside those first two names.
For while optimism reigned on Bulaga’s chances of returning after missing three games with a knee injury, coach Mike McCarthy’s comments hinted at the likelihood that the team would take a continued cautious approach to Adams and Burnett, both of whom are missing time for the second time this season with their injuries.
“All these injuries, they're a little different,” McCarthy said. “[But] the fact of the matter is, this is the second time, so that's part of the evaluation. Just the fact that it's the second time, same injury [is a factor].”
Adams initially sprained his ankle Sept. 20 against Seattle, played the second half on it. He then started against Kansas City on Sept. 28 but lasted only three plays before exiting the game.
Burnett, meanwhile, missed the regular-season opener Sept. 13 at Chicago, played against the Seahawks, then re-injured his calf in practice before the Chiefs game.
Neither player has practiced since, and it’s unclear whether they’ll be able to do anything Saturday, when the Packers hold their last, light practice of the week.
Here is the full, official injury report from Friday:
Meanwhile, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that Richardson, who was added to the team’s injury report as limited on Thursday, suffered a herniated disc in his neck and is out for the year. Richardson, who came back after having spinal fusion surgery after an initial herniated disc suffered during his rookie season of 2012, may not be able to resume his NFL career because of the injury.
GREEN BAY– Where his career would have gone from there, Mike McCarthy doesn’t know.
But the Green Bay Packers head coach knows this much: He was so impressed with Jeff Fisher during his 1999 interview with the then-Tennessee Titans head coach, he would have passed up the opportunity to coach one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history to work for him.
McCarthy, who’d spent the previous six seasons as an assistant in Kansas City under Marty Schottenheimer, was out of work that offseason following Schottenheimer’s resignation after a 7-9 season. That led to two interviews for McCarthy: One in Green Bay with new head coach Ray Rhodes, who was replacing Mike Holmgren; and one with Fisher, whose newly-named Titans – after playing the previous two years as the Tennessee Oilers following their move from Houston – were a team on the rise and building a new stadium in Nashville.
After the two interviews and before getting any job offers, McCarthy spoke with his father, Joe, back in Pittsburgh. He couldn’t stop talking about Fisher, the former Chicago Bears safety who’d become the team’s interim coach during the 1994 season and was seen as one of the NFL’s best young head coaches.
“[If] you’re talking about building a program, Jeff Fisher emulates that to the highest,” McCarthy recalled Thursday, as his Packers prepared to play Fisher’s St. Louis Rams Sunday at Lambeau Field. “I just marveled at the job he did there [with the Oilers/Titans].
“[I] really left there with a very strong impression. I’ll never forget, Jeff picked me up at the airport, we spent the whole day [together] – [I was] just really impressed with him and everything about his program.
“I can remember telling my father when I got back. He said, ‘How’d it go?’ I said, ‘Dad, you always talk about trusting your gut. If Jeff offers me the job, I think I should go to Tennessee.’
“He says, ‘You’re not going to go Coach Brett Favre in Green Bay?” I said, ‘I’m just telling you based on the way the interviews went.’
“He obviously told me I was nuts and I had to go to Green Bay to coach Brett Favre.”
That’s what McCarthy ended up doing. He didn’t say Thursday whether Fisher actually offered him the job or not.
“Ironically, ‘99 I do come to Green Bay and we all know what happened after that season,” McCarthy said, referring to Rhodes and his entire staff being fired after going 8-8 in their only season. “And Tennessee played in the Super Bowl. Go figure.”
GREEN BAY– Bryan Bulaga was thrilled to be back on the practice field Wednesday – the same practice field where three weeks ago he twisted his knee and wound up missing three games as a result – but the Green Bay Packers veteran right tackle wasn’t getting too excited about the possibility that he’ll return to game action Sunday against St. Louis.
“I think we come into tomorrow, see how it feels and just kind of take it day by day and move on from there,” Bulaga said after doing primarily individual drill work during Wednesday’s practice. “I wasn't ready a week ago. Believe me, if I feel ready, I'm going to go. I'm not really one to hold back. If I feel ready to play, I'm going to do my best during the week to show the coaches that I'm ready and play.
“But it's going to be a day-by-day deal. I'm just trying to get feedback every day from how it's feeling and watching the tape to see if I like the way I'm moving. I think that's a big key is, if you can get out there and you can feel good and move good but when you watch it on tape, how does it look? Every day is going to be an evaluation.”
Even quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was sacked three times last Sunday at San Francisco – all by the man fill-in right tackle Don Barclay was supposed to block – wasn’t getting his hopes up.
“It was a light practice – just helmets. I don’t know what his status will be, but it’s great to see him out there,” Rodgers said. “He’s a great player for us, he was a big [re-]signing for us in the offseason. [I’m] not sure what his status will be but it was nice seeing him out there.”
Here is the full, official injury report from Wednesday.
Bulaga played in the Packers’ Sept. 13 opener at Chicago, then twisted his left knee – the one that was surgically repaired in 2013 after he’d torn the anterior cruciate ligament on Family Night – during the Thursday practice before the team’s Sept. 20 game against Seattle.
“It was just kind of a weird deal. [My] foot got caught in the ground and my body weight was going in a different direction,” Bulaga said of how the injury happened.
Bulaga did many of the same drills on Wednesday that he was doing at the time of the injury, but he said Thursday’s in-pads practice will be a much more accurate gauge of his improvement.
“It wasn't a heavy workload day like it is tomorrow. But I was able to participate in everything that we did,” Bulaga said. “Tomorrow, it's going to be a bigger test, putting pads on, going against bull-rushes and different moves and seeing how it reacts. Again, we'll see how it feels tomorrow morning, see Doc (Dr. Pat McKenzie), see the trainers and re-evaluate and go from there.”
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Burned once by trying to come back too soon from his sprained left ankle and making matters worse, Davante Adams plans to take a wait-and-see approach to his return.
The Green Bay Packers second-year wide receiver sat out Sunday’s 17-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium and said afterward that he’s not putting any sort of timetable on coming back – even though he’d love to play next Sunday against St. Louis.
“I’m just trying to pretty much take it day-by-day,” Adams said after watching the game from the sideline. “You want to be smart on it. The last thing I want to do is [come back too soon]. I came back last time and re-aggravated it so I’m just trying to be smart.”
Adams was downgraded from questionable to doubtful on Saturday after not practicing all week. He initially injured the ankle against Seattle on Sept. 20, returned to play in the second half of that game, then started on Sept. 28 against Kansas City but lasted only three plays before exiting. Adams said during the week that the injury is not a dreaded high-ankle sprain but rather a run-of-the-mill sprain.
Asked what the approach will be this week, Adams replied, “Just wait and see how I’m feeling. I’m trying to be smart more than anything. I don’t want keep messing up. It’s a long season.”
Without Adams and Pro Bowl wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who was lost for the year when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in a preseason game at Pittsburgh on Aug. 23, the Packers’ wide receiving corps consisted of Randall Cobb, James Jones, Ty Montgomery and Jeff Janis Sunday. No. 5 receiver Jared Abbrederis, called up from the practice squad on Saturday, was active but did not play.
SAN FRANCISCO – With No. 2 wide receiver Davante Adams downgraded to doubtful and unlikely to play in Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, the Green Bay Packers promoted former University of Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abbrederis from the practice squad to the 53-man roster Saturday.
To make room for Abbrederis, the Packers released defensive tackle Bruce Gaston.
Earlier Saturday, the Packers downgraded both Adams (ankle) and safety Morgan Burnett (calf) from questionable to doubtful. That likely means that neither player, despite making the trip to California with the team, was able to practice during Saturday morning’s light workout. Although coach Mike McCarthy would not disclose the practice location before the team left Green Bay on Friday, several players said the team was planning to practice at San Jose State, the alma mater of wide receiver James Jones.
It’s hard to imagine Adams not only playing without having practiced all week, but also that the team would promote Abbrederis if there was much hope of Adams playing.
With Adams likely out, the Packers’ will have Randall Cobb, Jones, rookie Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis and Abbrederis as their five wide receivers. McCarthy has had five receivers active for each of the three games so far this season, so it’s likely that Abbrederis will be active.
With Burnett unlikely to play, Micah Hyde is expected to start in his place. If Burnett does not play against the 49ers, it’ll mark the third game this season that he’s missed with his calf injury, which initially occurred during the preseason and he aggravated in practice before the team’s Week 3 game against Kansas City last Monday.
Meanwhile, although the team never made a formal announcement, it appears defensive end Letroy Guion has been moved back onto the 53-man roster after his three-game NFL suspension. He is now listed on the team’s roster instead of in a separate section devoted to suspended players.
Guion appears to have taken the roster spot of tight end Andrew Quarless, who was placed on injured reserve with the designation for possible return. Quarless suffered a left knee injury against the Chiefs.
SAN FRANCISCO – The Green Bay Packers aren’t giving up hope on wide receiver Davante Adams or safety Morgan Burnett playing on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, but their injury report may be a bit more optimistic than realistic.
Although neither player practiced Wednesday or Thursday before the team’s charter flight departed for California on Friday afternoon,
Here’s the full, official injury report from Friday:
Adams said he’s still giving himself a chance to play even though he initially injured his left ankle against Seattle on Sept. 20, came back to play in the second half, then started in the Packers’ victory over Kansas City on Monday night only to leave after three plays after aggravating the ankle.
“We’re just going to see how it’s feeling. I’m not quite sure yet. So we’re just going to keep feeling it out and then get a feel for it for tomorrow,” Adams said. “Obviously, if I’m going to sit out, then it’s going to be in pain. Yeah, it was painful, but just trying to be smart about it for the most part.”
If Adams can’t go, the Packers’ top four receivers will be Cobb, James Jones, Ty Montgomery and Jeff Janis.
Asked if he had any hope for Adams, Packers coach Mike McCarthy replied, “Slight. He’s going to have to jump around [Saturday], jump through some hoops. We’ll see how it goes.”
McCarthy did say that Burnett, who has missed two of the team’s first three games this season with the calf injury, is “definitely closer,” but that may not be close enough to play.
According to McCarthy, the only player who was not going to make the trip to San Jose, where the team flew into Friday evening, was Bulaga.
GREEN BAY – Even after limiting Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch and Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles to less than 100 yards combined over the past two weeks, the Green Bay Packers’ run defense is happy to welcome run-stuffing defensive tackle Letroy Guion back to the rotation this week.
Guion, sidelined for the first three games of the season by an NFL suspension for his February arrest in Starke, Fla., had been allowed to work out with the team and attend meetings but could not practice or play while suspended. He took part in his first practice of the regular season on Wednesday, and the Packers have a roster exemption through Friday, when they must put him on the 53-man roster.
“He brings physicality, but he also brings the energy, another energetic body that's going to run around and help you,” nose tackle B.J. Raji said. “I think just his presence and his understanding of the defense and what they're going to do is going to help us.”
The Packers do have an opening on their roster after putting tight end Andrew Quarless on injured reserve Wednesday with the designation to return, but Guion was not officially added to the roster yet.
Even with their improved play against the run the last two weeks, the Packers still rank 27th in the 32-team NFL against the run. Guion, who joined the team as a free agent a year ago, re-signed on a one-year deal this offseason following his arrest.
“It feels great to get back out there with my teammates and start playing some football,” he said after practice. “It’s pretty tough sitting back watching, but this is my team. Just going out there taking care of business.
“They did a good job of preparing and getting ready for [Lynch and Charles]. They did a good job with those guys. So whatever I put out there is what I add out there.”
GREEN BAY – Davante Adams likes to consider himself a bit of a clotheshorse, so the Green Bay Packers’ second-year wide receiver did his best to view his newest accoutrement – a silver, ultra-modern orthopedic walking boot – as a good look for him.
“Pretty fashionable,” Adams said Wednesday.
Whether the boot allows Adams’ injured left ankle to heal sufficiently before Sunday’s game at San Francisco remains to be seen, and considering he went into Monday night’s game with the injury and then aggravated it against the Chiefs, it’s probably not a good sign that he’s wearing such footwear.
Nevertheless, Adams said he hasn’t given up hope of playing and said that the injury is not the high-ankle sprain that has been reported by some outlets.
“It’s low. It’s just a regular one,” Adams said.
As for the boot, Adams said the medical staff is “just trying to keep it stabilized and make sure I don’t hurt it any more. It got a little tweaked [in the game], but it’s day-to-day. It’s preventative for the most part. I don’t want to do anything worse to it.”
Adams originally injured the ankle Sept. 20 against Seattle during the first half. He ended up returning to the game in the second half but was clearly hobbled. He did not practice Wednesday and is one of 12 players listed on the team's injury report.
GREEN BAY – Ready or not, Kennard Backman is up.
The Green Bay Packers rookie tight end and sixth-round draft pick will be active for the first time this season when the Packers play at San Francisco on Sunday, as the team placed veteran tight end Andrew Quarless on injured reserve Wednesday with the designation to return.
Quarless suffered a knee injury during the Packers’ 38-28 victory over Kansas City on Monday night and now will be out for the next eight weeks. NFL rules on the IR-DTR stipulate that players can practice after six weeks and play in a game after eight weeks.
Quarless spent most of the first three games as the Packers’ blocking tight end behind second-year man Richard Rodgers. He caught two passes for 14 yards against the Chiefs and was hit low on the second catch, taking a direct hit on his left knee.
It will be interesting to see how the Packers use Backman, whose pass-catching is well ahead of his blocking.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy also suggested that he could other players – like fullbacks John Kuhn and Aaron Ripkowski – as tight ends, too.
“We’re pretty multiple in our personnel groups. That’s something that we go into each and every week,” McCarthy said. “That’s the diversity of our offense. Really, it’s the beauty that Aaron Rodgers gives us [as the quarterback]. We can always be creative, and our assistant coaches are very aggressive in the game plan part of it.”
Quarless’ IR-DTR designation leaves only two tight ends on the 53-man roster, although the team does have Justin Perillo and newly signed Blake Annen on the practice squad.
As for Backman, he got off to a slow start in training camp but came on late.
“I feel pretty ready, pretty confident. Just trying to do everything they ask of me,” Backman said. “I’ve definitely made strides. I feel like I’ve been getting better each day just practicing and being around and still being here and doing everything that everyone else is doing. That also gives me confidence, as well.
“I think toward the end of training camp I probably hit my better stride and I feel like I’m continuing to do the same thing now.”
GREEN BAY – Datone Jones isn’t a neurologist, but the Green Bay Packers defensive end was certain Monday night that he had not suffered a concussion during his fourth-quarter collision with teammate Joe Thomas.
And as it turned out, Jones’ diagnosis was right. Although that didn’t stop him from joking about it.
“I can’t remember,” he replied with a laugh when asked what happened on the play.
Jones was cleared as not having a concussion and was able to practice on Wednesday instead of having to go through the league’s extensive concussion protocol.
Jones said his shoulder and neck bore the brunt of the collision with Thomas, and that he never felt dazed or confused after the hit.
“I was straight. I was trying to tell the trainers, ‘I’m all right, man.’ I just had to catch my breath. But I guess it looked bad, so they were like, ‘We’ve got to test you for a concussion,’” Jones said. “I thank them, because they were looking out for my best interests.
“But for the most part, I was solid. No head trauma, no headache, nothing. I’ve got a thick head and a thick neck to take the blow.”
Jones, who said he has never suffered a concussion dating back to his career at UCLA, is fortunate that he did pass all the initial tests so he didn’t have to go through the protocol. If he had, there’s a good chance he would not play Sunday at San Francisco, and having missed the opener serving a one-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, missing another game would have been less than ideal.
“The last thing I needed was a setback,” Jones said. “