Punter Tim Masthay was honored as the NFC's Special Teams Player of the Week. "With five punts dropped inside the 20, Masthay tied a single-game franchise record (stat kept since 1976), tying David Beverly, who accomplished the feat on October 8, 1978 against Chicago," according to a release on the Packers official website. He's the first Packers punter to receive that distinction since Craig Hentrich in 1994.
The Packers organization is conscious of staph infections in the wake of news that tight end Jermichael Finley's incurred his own infection this week, the second of the season for the Packers including one by linebacker Brady Poppina earlier this year. “Our medical staff has been definitely on top of Jermichael and the rest of our players,” head coach Mike McCarthy told the Green Bay Press-Gazette on Wednesday. “Staph infection is a very serious matter. There are different types, and we’re very fortunate that we haven’t had the serious staph infections. Our training staff is incredibly conscientious.” Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin pens a similar article and says they're not concerned about an outbreak.
Wide receiver James Jones remains an enigma. He said in an interview with Wilde he wants to be more consistent but in the same breath complained about opportunities. “If I come out and have four catches for 107 yards like I did against Minnesota, and then come out the next game and have one ball thrown my way, then it looks like, ‘Shoot, he was good, then he was bad.’ But it’s not necessarily all me. Have I dropped a couple balls? Sure. I’m not going to say I’ve been playing flawless football. But it comes with opportunities, to be able to show what I can do."
Focus is on the Cowboys and getting to the bye week so the team can get healthy. "Combined with the return of two defensive backs (Al Harris and Atari Bigby) likely to be activated off the physically unable to perform list by Monday, the Packers have a chance to weather their unusually bad injury storm with a 6-3 record, provided they beat Dallas, and a relatively healthy roster for the final seven games," writes Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette. The Packers should get a boost from the return of several players after the bye.
The tight end position is a little thin with rookie Andrew Quarless sidelined by a shoulder injury. "On Wednesday, coach Mike McCarthy had only Lee and Tom Crabtree available for practice, and it's looking as if they'll be the only ones active against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday," according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. McCarthy said on Monday that the doctors didn't seem concerned about Quarless' injury, so it's worth watching how he progresses the rest of this week.
The good play of linebacker Desmond Bishop has the coaching staff looking a little foolish says Monty McMahon of Total Packers. "Bishop has made the most of the opportunity, filling in admirably for Barnett," writes McMahon. "In four starts, Bishop has 41 tackles, a sack and an interception, which he returned for a touchdown. To say Bishop has performed better than anyone expected would be a slight understatement, even considering his perennially strong preseason play." It begs the question, is McCarthy a little too hestitant to make changes in the starting lineup due to performance and not injury?
Bishop is also featured in an article by Rob Reischel of Packer Insider at JSOnline (subscription required). "Bishop has also been stout against the run, highlighted by a 16-tackle effort against Miami in Week 6," writes Reischel. "If Bishop keeps this up, and the next collective bargaining agreement returns to the four-year requirement for unrestricted free agency, he could be a wealthy man." Bishop is slated to be a free agent along with Tramon Williams, Cullen Jenkins and others. It will be interesting to see if the Packers can get them all back.
Clay Matthews is a leader for the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award according to interviews with football experts in USA Today. "Clay Matthews single-handedly makes four plays a game that change the outcome," said Joe Theisman.
Wide receiver Donald Driver's streak of playing in 115 consecutive games when healthy is coming to an end on Sunday. “He is on crutches, and just playing the last two weeks has made it worse,” McCarthy is quoted as saying by Bill Huber of Packer Report. “But just speaking with Donald again this morning, I think he’ll be ready once we come off the bye. That’s what we’re shooting for. It’s something that he has been dealing with the past month and it is best to shut him down.”
A unique experience in the Packers locker room is relayed by Kareem Copeland of the Press-Gazette when James Jones interviewed Greg Jennings.
Aaron Rodgers can turn the Packers offense around says Mike Vandermause of the Press-Gazette.
Jordy Nelson and James Jones are featured in the Journal Sentinel as they try to fill in for Donald Driver.
Jermichael Finley is ranked No. 1 as the worst injury among all those whose season has ended by Ol' Bag of Donuts.
Josh Sitton is interviewed by the Packer Ranter.
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