There's reason to believe the play of defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins will improve. "During practice, Jenkins was not wearing a cast on his left hand for the first time since breaking it in Week 1," reports Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "His fingers are now mobile and able to help him shed blockers and tackle quarterbacks." Jenkins has missed a couple sacks this season, because he couldn't grasp the quarterback.
The production of wide receiver Greg Jennings has increased the past couple weeks with Donald Driver limited by injury. "Jennings has responded well, catching 25 passes for 368 yards and three touchdowns over the last four games," writes Gary D'Amato of the Journal Sentinel. "That compares favorably with his totals (14 catches, 183 yards, 3 touchdowns) over the first five games."
As for Driver, the wide receiver is "optimistic" he'll be able to play against the Vikings on Sunday. "The injury began as a bruise but Driver then strained the quadriceps muscle against the Jets and had to leave the game," writes Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin. "Driver called it a muscle 'tear' when asked about it Wednesday." That should help take some pressure off Jennings and make the Packers more versatile at the same time.
The Packers are preparing to deal with the noise of the Metrodome in Minnesota. "(Head coach Mike) McCarthy will try to replicate the headache-inducing din of the Metrodome by blasting canned crowd noise into the Don Hutson Center during practice Thursday and Friday," writes D'Amato, "but the coach admitted there was no way to match the volume or intensity of Vikings' fans at their full-throated loudest." Aaron Rodgers called it the loudest dome he's ever played in.
Rodgers also admitted to being troubled by his past few performances against the Vikings. "What bothers Rodgers the most about his performance against the Vikings this season and the one in Minneapolis last year is turnovers," writes Silverstein. "He was responsible for three interceptions and a fumble that arguably took points off the board on all four occasions." The quarterback's 9 interceptions this season are surprising given that he threw only 7 all of last season.
The team's third-down conversion rate had been very poor heading into the last Dallas game but improved greatly against the Cowboys. "A big reason was better execution of a shortened third-down menu, meaning the players took more snaps on fewer plays during the practice week," writes Bill Huber of Packer Report. Rodgers' seemingly being out-of-synch with his receivers might have been a telltale sign that they needed a lighter workload.
Packers cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt made quite the proclamation about rookie Sam Shields. “Write this down,” Whitt told Jason Wilde. “Sam is going to be one of the top corners in this league in two years.” Whitt is not afraid to laud praise upon his group, so anything he says should be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, it's hard not to agree based upon the early returns from Shields.
Mike McCarthy said defensive coordinator Dom Capers is worthy of another head coaching job in the NFL. "McCarthy said if he was an NFL owner he would hire Capers, whom he called an outstanding football coach," writes Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. It's hard to deny the fantastic job Capers has done with the Packers defense allowing the fewest points in the NFL.
Teammates are saying running back Brandon Jackson is playing quicker. “He’s playing less tentative,” right guard Josh Sitton told Press-Gazette. “Not thinking as much about the hole or the play, or whatever. He’s just hitting the hole downhill and making one cut." Jackson has seemingly improved week by week this season. If he could put together a couple 100-yard rushing games, it would really take some of his critics away.
The practice report is provided by Kareem Copeland of the Press-Gazette. "Chad Clifton (knee), Driver, Clay Matthews (shin), Ryan Pickett (ankle), Andrew Quarless (shoulder) and Charles Woodson (toe) were limited in practice," writes Copeland. Even though they may have been limited, there's a good chance all of them will be able to play on Sunday, however.
Jason Wilde discusses "sticking a fork" in the Vikings.
Is Clay Matthews more than just a defensive player of the year candidate and really an NFL MVP hopeful?
Vikings receiver Sidney Rice wants to play against the Packers.
The Packers are elite at developing their own talent says Zach Kruse at Bleacher Report.
The world premiere of an HBO Sports and NFL Films documentary on Vince Lombardi is tonight at Lambeau Field.
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