Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji informed reporters he was fined by the NFL for throwing a punch during Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. “The NFL announces most player fines on Fridays, but they inform the players in writing early in the week,” writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “Most likely, Raji’s fine will match the $7,875 that Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner was hit with last week for his shot on Packers receiver Greg Jennings.” Raji said he did not plan on appealing the fine.
Center Jeff Saturday will make his return to Indianapolis this weekend when the Packers face the Colts, a reunion Saturday thinks could be “awkward.” “Saturday returns to face the Colts only five weeks into his first season on another team’s roster,” writes Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette. “The Colts have said they’ll pay tribute to Saturday’s 13 seasons with them, including the final 12 years as the starting center, with a video they’ll show the fans before the game.” Saturday hasn’t been a dominant force in Green Bay, but he has been a solid, steady and reliable contributor. The offense, while not up to last year’s level, doesn’t seem out of sync with Saturday manning the center position, and that’s really all the Packers can ask.
Defensive lineman Mike Neal practiced for the first time on Wednesday after coming back from his four-game suspension. “Neal, suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, came back in outstanding physical condition, according to coach Mike McCarthy, and was able to take part fully in practice,” writes Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel. “The Packers have a weeklong roster exemption for Neal if they want it, so they have time to decide when to activate him.” Whether or not the Packers activate Neal this week is up for debate. The guess is that they’ll wait until next week, but that’s based upon nothing but a hunch.
Following Sunday’s game in which he was poked in the eye by a Saints defender, quarterback Aaron Rodgers expressed no interest in wearing a visor in an interview on Wednesday. “I don’t want anything between my eyes and . . . I would never,” Rodgers is quoted as saying by Paul Imig of Fox Sports Wisconsin. “Nope. I won’t.” Certainly understandable. For a player who relies so much upon his vision, it makes sense that he would never wear a visor. I can’t imagine why any quarterback would unless it was absolutely necessary.
Wide receiver Greg Jennings talked to reporters on Wednesday about his recent setback to his groin injury, but he didn’t say anything unexpected. “Frustrated, extremely frustrated honestly, trying to not let it completely overtake me and let it become overwhelming,” Jennings is quoted as saying by Tyler Dunne of the Journal Sentinel. “Again, seven years playing this game at this level I’ve never experienced what I’ve experienced this year.” Jennings did not practice whatsoever on Wednesday, and while he hasn’t been ruled out of Sunday’s game, it’s looking highly, highly unlikely he’d play this week.
Mike McCarthy apparently contacted the referee from the Seattle game, according to Showtime’s Inside the NFL.
Wide receiver James Jones is taking part in a charity fundraiser on Saturday at Lambeau Field. More from NBC 26 in Green Bay.
A column on the Packers rookies helping the defense is written by Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal.
In the same vein, Jude Wilbers of Fox 11 looks at the defense and its inability to force turnovers so far.
Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck are compared in an article by Kareem Copeland of NFL.com.
In his weekly column at JSOnline, Cheesehead TV’s own Zach Kruse touches on the improvement by the Packers offensive line.
A gameplan for beating the Colts is shared by NFC North blogger Andrew Garda of Bleacher Report.
Some game analysis comes from Thomas Hobbes of AllGreenBayPackers.com.
Video: Mike McCarthy talks about the Packers with Brian Billick of Fox Sports…
Brian Carriveau is the author of “It’s Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America,” a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and an editor at Cheesehead TV. To contact Brian, email email@example.com.