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Neither Hawk Nor Bishop Will Play Against Giants

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Neither Hawk Nor Bishop Will Play Against Giants

The Packers won't have their usual starting inside linebackers against the New York Giants, head coach Mike McCarthy announced at his Friday press conference.

Neither A.J. Hawk nor Desmond Bishop will play in Sunday's game, both of them officially ruled out.

"It's a doctor's decision," said McCarthy. "We didn't feel that they'd be ready to play by Sunday. How close? I don't really have a measuring stick for you. They'll be evaluated again on Monday, and we'll see where they stand next Wednesday."

Both Hawk and Bishop were pulled out of the Packers' last game on Thanksgiving against the Detroit Lions with calf injuries.

D.J. Smith and Robert Francois will presumably step in for the incumbent starters when the Packers travel to New York. Smith and Francois filled in Hawk and Bishop in Detroit and played well, Smith notching four tackles and Francois grabbing an interception.

Typically Hawk and Bishop would wear the helmets equipped with headsets to receive play calls from the Packers coaches. By rule only two players on defense can wear the headset.

McCarthy said Smith would wear one headset, but they were still deciding who would wear the other one. It will come down to a choice between cornerback Charles Woodson and safety Morgan Burnett.

The coaching staff will make that decision in their upcoming game management meeting. McCarthy said all three players practiced wearing headsets this week during practice.

"It's really different if you've never done it," McCarthy said of wearing the headset. "To have A) a voice in your helmet and B) the volume of it. It's a lot louder than I think people realize, especially if you're going on the road."

With no other true inside linebackers on the roster, Brad Jones will likely be the top backup to either Smith or Francois. Jones, whose natural position is outside linebacker, practiced some on the inside this week.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (13) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

CSS's picture

Herzlich and Umenyiora are out; Manningham doubtful; Boley and Bradshaw questionable.

The Giants could have no legitimate NFL linebacker playing on the field Sunday. Finley will either be running wide open all day or dragging a corner and safety over the top, meaning Nelson/Jones will be running wide open all day.

Death by crossing routes and YAC.

John R.'s picture

Might as well be safe with all their banged up players. After all, they can lose Sunday and still have a 1 game lead for the no. 1 spot in the NFC.

It will be interesting to see how Rodgers responds the Fewell's comments about getting after him. Giants can preassure with only 4 men, but they better hope for wind if they think they're going to slow down this offense.

NoWayJose's picture

Going to be interesting to see how the Giants try to exploit the ILBs. Ballard could have a big days for targets, and if they get Bradshaw back, we'll probably see a lot of screens and checkdowns to him. Probably a little more play action than usual as well.

Still love the Packers in this one. I think the offense makes it rain on Sunday.

T's picture

I wonder if Aaron Rodgers can play linebacker.

calipackfan's picture

Of course Rodgers can play linebacker he can do anything he is semi godly.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Semi???

Oppy's picture

He doesn't mean "semi" as in 'partially' or 'quasi', but rather, "Semi" as in "Built like a Mack Truck" semi.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Ignorance really can be bliss, I think these two just go out, do what they've done since they were kids and ball their asses off. I'm looking forward to watching it.

GBP 4 LIFE

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Just read the Q and A with Smith over at the P.G... I LIKE this kid!

PackersRS's picture

Yeah, that gave me a much better impression than some of his tweets...

Football-wise, I've been on board with this kid since day 1. Height, strenght, whatever, this kid was born to play linebacker, he is simply all over the ball all the time. Very instinctual. Reminded me of Bishop when he was the preseason champ.

bryce's picture

next man up. i hope we see the manning face early and often.

Nononsense's picture

Very impressed with DJ Smith, have been since the preseason. I see him having a big day against the Giants, double digit tackles and a sack or forced fumble.

The kid is instinctive and a good tackler. I also think hes a good blitzer so if he has any trouble in the coverage department than just blitz him more

Robert Francois is the LBer version of Charlie Peprah, hes been around a while and is ready for this opportunity.

I expect both guys to make some mistakes but hopefully they can also make some plays for the Pack.

As for the Giants, WR Victor Cruz is the guy on offense that worries me most. On defense it is DE Jason Pierre Paul.

This will be a tough game, they have some good players on both sides of the ball and are fired up to get a win.

Still pick the Pack but it will be a battle.

Glorious80's's picture

Very tough! Worried about the weather. Winds can be unpredictable in that stadium (Jets last year) and looks like a system is headed there. It's a 4:15PM Eastern start.
Also, Manning may be on fire, knows the field conditions.
Hope GBP doesn't underestimate NYG. NYG want this one.

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