GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers’ overtime timing sure is impeccable, isn’t it?
Of all the weeks an NFL team would want to play an extra full quarter – as the Packers did in their 26-26 tie with the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at Lambeau Field – the week before their designated Thursday game is the worst possible time.
“I know that it’s a short week, and that opens up a whole new can of challenges in getting ready – especially after playing five quarters [against Minnesota],” quarterback Matt Flynn said Monday. “There’s a lot of guys who are going to be extra tired, extra sore after all the football they played. So we’ve got to do a good job of making sure we get our bodies right.”
Every team in the NFL, thanks to the NFL Network’s Thursday night package, has to play one game on such a short week. This week, the Packers get theirs, with a Thanksgiving Day date with the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Thursday.
“We definitely didn't pick a very good week to play an extra 15 minutes going into a Thursday game,” Packers right guard T.J. Lang said Monday. “You really have to move your mind past that, you have to do anything you can to take advantage of the treatment time.
“The older guys that have played in this game – this will be my third thanksgiving game – we know it's tough to go on a three-day break. You just have to rest up and get into the ice tub and get yourself ready to go on Thursday. That game yesterday wore me down a little bit, but you just have to take it upon yourself to get yourself ready.”
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he has already altered his practice plan because of the overtime session. He had planned on having Tuesday’s practice be the heavier workload of the two, but now that’ll happen on Wednesday, which is challenging since it’s the day before the game. Lang said he doesn’t expect either practice to be overly rigorous. The Packers figure to be in helmets and no pads both days.
“Usually it takes until Tuesday or Wednesday to get myself ready (physically). Obviously having a short week, I don't think coach is going to be beating us up,” Lang said. “The biggest thing is resting your body and making sure you do what you have to do to get yourself ready mentally. Studying extra film, take advantage of the walk-throughs. You have to rest up, you have to get ice, you can't let any little thing go because it will carry over until Thursday.”
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