GREEN BAY – Not only will Green Bay Packers No. 3 wide receiver Jarrett Boykin miss Thursday night’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, Boykin’s groin injury may force him to miss the team’s Oct. 12 game at Miami as well.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after Wednesday’s short practice that Boykin’s injury is more significant than first thought. Boykin sat out last Sunday’s victory at Chicago as well.
Not only that, but on a short week, the Packers will likely be without inside linebacker Sam Barrington and defensive lineman Josh Boyd, too. Both players saw action on defense in a reserve role against Chicago.
Here’s a look at the full, official injury report from Wednesday:
McCarthy said he didn’t have a timeline on Boykin’s injury, and when approached in the locker room by a reporter, Boykin declined comment.
“I don’t know if he’s going to be ready for Miami,” McCarthy said. “Obviously that’s a long time away, but it’s a little worse than they thought it was.”
Neal was added to the injury report Wednesday after not practicing but is expected to play. Lang was added after he missed practice Wednesday to attend the funeral of his cousin, who died over the weekend.
In Minnesota, Viking coach Mike Zimmer listed Bridgewater, who injured his ankle while leading the Vikings to victory over Atlanta last Sunday in his first NFL start, as questionable
GREEN BAY – Even though they have had an opening on their 53-man roster for nearly two weeks, the Green Bay Packers lost cornerback Jumal Rolle from their practice squad on Wednesday, as Rolle signed with the Houston Texans, according to the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain.
Rolle had a strong training camp but was released by the Packers on the final cutdown. He then re-signed with the practice squad and had been there until Wednesday. The Packers kept sixth-round pick Demetri Goodson over Rolle at cornerback on the 53-man roster.
Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt loved Rolle’s potential – Whitt likened him to starting cornerback Sam Shields last year because he was making make the jump from little Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C. – and after a year on the practice squad, he stepped forward in camp.
“He has a skill set that I like and he should be a guy that should be able to get the ball – zone-aware guy, so I’m pleased with him and it’s about time that he started to come on. He wasn’t where I wanted him early on but he’s starting to get there,” Whitt said during training camp. “He’s a guy that’s from a smaller school, so the learning curve is still there.
“The thing I’m not going to do with any of these young guys, that have a limited defensive background, the mistake I made with Sam in 2011 was taking him too fast. I’m going to make sure that the progression and the development of the player is proper, that I hit every angle before he’s thrown out there and I’m not making that mistake with another player again.”
Now, it’ll be the Texans developing Rolle, even though the Packers’ roster stands at 52 players after outside linebacker Andy Mulumba was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Sept. 19.
It’s unclear why the Packers are holding that roster spot open or whether Rolle gave the Packers a chance to promote him to the 53-man roster before signing with Houston. Although the Packers are stacked at cornerback with Shields, Tramon Williams, Davon House, Casey Hayward, Jarrett Bush and Goodson, three of those players – Williams, House and Bush – are set to become free agents next spring.
GREEN BAY – Even on a short week, Mike McCarthy isn’t ruling out any of his injured players – even the ones who weren’t practicing on Tuesday.
The Green Bay Packers coach said Tuesday that the three players who were unable to practice will still have a chance to work Wednesday in advance of Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field.
“Absolutely,” McCarthy said.
Here’s a look at the full, official injury report from Tuesday:
If Boyd, who left Sunday’s game at Chicago but later returned, can’t go, the Packers would have only four healthy defensive linemen available to them. They do still have a roster spot open from putting linebacker Andy Mulumba on season-ending injured reserve, so they could promote undrafted rookie free agent defensive lineman Luther Robinson from the practice squad if necessary. The Packers did play with only four active defensive linemen to open the season at Seattle, however.
Meanwhile, McCarthy had said on Monday that the Packers were preparing as if Bridgewater will start. On Tuesday, he backed off that position slightly, saying they will prepare just as they did for an injured Christian Ponder in a 2012 NFC Wild Card Playoff game. Ponder ended up not playing and Joe Webb made the start instead.
“Definitely, it’s part of the preparation,” McCarthy said of trying to discern who’ll play QB. “It’s not the first time it’s happened to us, not the first time it’s happened to us versus the Minnesota Vikings, so we’ll continue our preparation and be ready to go regardless of who plays quarterback.
“They’ve played four games in a new system, so I’m sure they have things that they prefer to do with each quarterback. But I think the conceptually that’s what you have to stay focused on.”
GREEN BAY – Josh Sitton didn’t leave much room for interpretation in his comments about Thursday Night Football.
He hates it.
The Green Bay Packers veteran guard, speaking during Tuesday’s open locker room session, took the NFL to task for what he believes is a money-grab by the league that puts players in a difficult position having to play twice in five days.
“It sucks, man. I hate it,” Sitton said after practice Tuesday. “[I] felt like crap today. Probably feel like crap on Thursday. I think it’s stupid. I think it’s all about money for the NFL, obviously. That’s what this league is about, is about making money. Which is fine. I like to make money as well. But, yeah, it’s tough on your body, tough on your head.
“Tuesday is typically the day that your body feels the worst. I know for us, in the offensive line room, that’s what we always talk about. The second day [after a game], you always feel like crap. It’s tough getting out there on the practice field today. But, like you said, everybody’s got to do it. I’m glad we got it in Week 5 instead of Week 11 or 12, or whatever.”
The party line in the Packers locker room on Monday had been that while playing twice in a five-day span wasn’t anyone’s favorite thing to do, it was what it was. After all, while following up their Sunday victory over the Chicago Bears with a Thursday meeting with the Minnesota Vikings isn’t ideal, at least it means a long weekend off.
Sitton may very well have said what his teammates were too polite to.
“Thursdays are usually the days we get back and pound it on a regular week [in practice], right when your body is getting back healthy from the previous game. So it’s not terrible, but it’s definitely difficult,” Sitton said. “It sucks.
“As you get older, you learn you have to do more things. I used to be able to not do anything and just come out on a Thursday and be fine, whether it’s a practice or a game. Now I spend a lot more time getting warmed up. I do a lot of things on my own that I used to not do, take certain things home and use them. I spend a lot of time in the cold tub, which I’m supposed to be doing right now, but I’m talking to y’all.”
GREEN BAY – Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews might not know Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon’s names, but the two Green Bay Packers outside linebackers certainly know what the two Minnesota Vikings running backs did on the film they watched.
“They definitely pop out on the tape. We notice them,” Peppers said at his locker Tuesday. “I’ve been pretty impressed with 31 (McKinnon). I’m sorry I don’t even know [his name], but I definitely notice him on the field. He’s made plays. They have some guys that can make plays, so we’re on alert.”
Considering the Packers enter Thursday night’s game against the Vikings at Lambeau Field dead last in the 32-team NFL in rushing defense – allowing an astronomical 176.0 yards per game – they have no room to be disrespecting any NFL running backs. And it didn’t sound as if Peppers or Matthews was doing that Tuesday.
After years of preparing for Adrian Peterson – Matthews in Green Bay, Peppers with the Chicago Bears the past four years – they simply didn’t know who McKinnon and Asiata were.
McKinnon carried 18 times for 135 yards and Asiata ran 20 times for 78 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings’ victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
“They’ve got that one guy who can run really hard, ran for over 100 yards. And the little guy, he was really quick, too,” Matthews said at his locker Tuesday, knowing how it sounded that he didn’t know either player’s name. “That’s no disrespect. They put up some running yards last week, and that’s what I mean. You think [from] AP that there would be a dropoff, but there really isn’t. We’re going to have our hands full, especially with what we put on film last week, this past weekend [as a defense].”
Indeed. The Packers gave up a whopping 235 rushing yards to the Bears on Sunday, and probably would have ceded even more had it not been for interceptions by Matthews and Sam Shields that gave the Packers the lead and forced the Bears to abandon the run.
“[The Vikings] have got to be coming in here thinking that they’re going to run it on us,” Matthews said. “It’s just a great opportunity for us to showcase that that’s not the case.”
GREEN BAY – Mike McCarthy says he’s no longer visiting the training room, which seems like an odd thing for an NFL head coach to stop doing considering how important a football team’s health is to its success.
Nevertheless, the Packers coach said Monday that despite being on a short week and coming off Sunday’s victory over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, he had not set foot in the training room to find out about the health of the five players listed on the team’s injury report.
“I don’t really have a handle on any of our guys from a medical situation. Frankly, I haven’t even been in the training room today,” McCarthy said. “[I’m] kind of starting a new trend this year; I don’t go in there pretty much unless I have to. I’ll know more tomorrow after our medical meeting in the morning.”
Asked during his day-after-the-game press conference why he’s not going in the training room, McCarthy replied, “We always used to come in here and check on everything and this and that. We’re actually just finishing up our STAA program (which consists of massages, Pilates and other health-conscious activities).”
“I try not to go in there as much as I have in the past. I’m trying something different. I’m trying to stay healthy. Changing it up.”
McCarthy has changed many other facets of the health and medical aspects of the team, focusing on using technology to improve performance, adding a full-time performance nutritionist to the staff and altering the practice schedule. It’s not clear if staying away from the training room is something he’s doing as a superstition or so he can honestly say he doesn’t have any information about injured players.
GREEN BAY – Mike McCarthy wasn’t limiting Clay Matthews’ snaps Sunday because he’d be playing in another game four days later.
Rather, the Green Bay Packers coach said Monday that the plan with his four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker was to keep Matthews on a snap count but allow the player to have a say in how much he played.
As a result of that management, Matthews should be good to go Thursday against Minnesota – even if that wasn’t the reason for having him play only 52 of the team’s 77 defensive snaps in Sunday’s 38-17 victory.
“We’ve done this in the past, and in hindsight it was wrong. We’d try to calculate and save this guy and it was part of our diagnosis on if this guy was going to play,” McCarthy explained Monday. “I mean, every game is important. You get 16 games to play. So if you’re healthy, you’re playing. And if you’re not 100 percent healthy, then like Clay was, Clay communicated very well and we set a good plan based on a lot of it was his input.
“He’s a veteran. He knows his body better than anybody. … I’m not saving players for the next week. That’s not the way we operate now.”
Here’s a look at the full, official injury report from Monday, with the Packers’ participation as an approximation since they did not practice:
McCarthy said he had not gone into the training room to get an update on Matthews or any of the other injured players listed. The team announced no new injuries after the game Sunday.
Matthews made it through the game unscathed and even had a critical interception off a Jay Cutler pass that was deflected by cornerback Tramon Williams. It appeared Matthews slowed up late in the 40-yard return to protect the groin that he initially injured against Detroit on Sept. 21.
“I thought we were smart in the way we utilized him,” McCarthy said. “Obviously [Matthews] made a huge play in the game with the turnover. I thought it turned out pretty good.”
GREEN BAY – Clay Matthews is good to go – which is bad for the Chicago Bears.
The Green Bay Packers four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker, who left last week’s game at Detroit with a mild groin injury, pronounced himself ready to play in Sunday’s game at Soldier Field after practicing on a limited basis Wednesday and Thursday and going through non-practice walkthrough work Friday. The Packers will practice on Saturday for about an hour before departing for Chicago.
“Provided there’s no setbacks, I expect myself to be out there on Sunday,” Matthews said during a lengthy stay in the locker room during the media availability period Friday. “It feels good, progressively getting better throughout the week and more confident and comfortable being out there.
“[Thursday] was a big step in the right direction from Wednesday, and today I’m sure would have been [if the Packers had practiced]. As you know, what we’re doing with our schedule, I think it’s good for me. And then tomorrow we’ll fly around, break a sweat and feel good going into Sunday. I don’t anticipate there being any problems.”
That’s bad for the Bears. Matthews has 7.5 sacks in eight career games (seven of them victories) against the Chicagoans.
Here’s the full, official injury report from Friday:
Packers coach Mike McCarthy was also encouraged by Matthews’ progress.
“So far, so good," McCarthy said. "The medical review, the report today was good on Clay. We still have 48 hours, so we're confident that he'll be ready to go. But like I said, he's still working through it."
The news wasn’t as encouraging on Boykin, who started the week on the injury report with a knee injury but apparently suffered a groin injury in practice on Thursday. Had the Packers practiced on Friday, he would not have been able to go, McCarthy indicated, which was not a good sign. If Boykin can’t practice Saturday, the Packers would activate rookie seventh-round pick Jeff Janis for the first time this season and could call up one of their practice-squad wide receivers, Myles White or Kevin Dorsey. The Packers would have to make that roster move by Saturday.
“Jarrett was injured yesterday, so we’ll give him to Sunday to see if he can go,” McCarthy said.
With Jones questionable, Jamari Lattimore is expected to make his third straight start at inside linebacker.
GREEN BAY – Clay Matthews’ timing might have been a little off – another 30 seconds, and he wouldn’t have had a threesome of reporters talking ot him as they were being ushered out of the Green Bay Packers locker room Thursday afternoon – but the Packers outside linebacker’s mind was made up: He plans on playing Sunday against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
“I’ll be out there,” Matthews said with a smile after mulling his brief soundbite.
Matthews, who left last week’s game at Detroit with a groin injury, practiced for the second consecutive day Thursday, although he was listed as a limited participant. He seemed to be in a good mood as he joked with three reporters about why he hadn’t been in the locker room for his usual Thursday media availability session.
Here’s a look at the full, official injury report for Thursday:
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Matthews went through the individual drill portions of practice Thursday but didn’t say how much 11-on-11 team work he received, if any.
“He’s moving good,” McCarthy said.
In Chicago, the only change to the team’s injury report was with Mundy, who was able to practice in full after being limited on Wednesday. Given the injuries in the secondary, having Mundy would certainly help the Bears in the back end.
Coach Marc Trestman told Chicago-area reporters that he was "not optimistic" about Garza and Slauson, and while Marshall is expected to play, it's reasonable to wonder how effective he will be after catching only one pass for 6 yards on Monday night against the New York Jets.
Meanwhile, the Bears released fullback Tony Fiammetta (hamstring) following an injury settlement.
GREEN BAY – While the Green Bay Packers are still skating a man down following Andy Mulumba’s move to the injured reserve list, they had their full complement of players practicing on Wednesday.
That’s right, all 52 players on the roster – including the guy who wears No. 52, outside linebacker Clay Matthews – took part in practice at least on a limited basis. Whether that means Matthews will be ready for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears is unclear, but it certainly was a good sign.
Here’s the full, official injury report from Wednesday:
Matthews spoke only briefly after practice but he said he “felt good” during the workout, in which he was limited to only individual drill work, apparently.
“I think it was encouraging to be out there in light of it being a few days out [from the injury],” Matthews said. “Hopefully tomorrow we’ll take another step, and that’s that.”
Packers coach Mike McCarthy didn’t share any meaningful information about the other injuries. A club spokesman said Perry’s wrist injury is not to the same wrist that ended his rookie season in 2012.