After aggravating a hamstring that gave him trouble earlier in the season, wide receiver Jordy Nelson looks unlikely to play in the Packers' upcoming game against the Lions. Head coach Mike McCarthy said in a Monday press conference that Nelson will be "pressed hard" to play on Sunday, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com and added, "Jordy actually felt something in pregame, so he went back into the training room and then tried to play through it. It’s part of where we are in our season. Our roster has been stressed. The receivers, some of their numbers are up as far as the reps they’re playing. Jordy is a very durable player. But I’m not concerned about it. It’s kind of the way our season has gone so far.” As for guard T.J. Lang who also left this past Sunday's game against the Vikings, McCarthy said he felt better about Lang than Nelson and that he didn't think either injury was serious in nature.
A realistic timelime for return has emerged for injured Packers safety Charles Woodson. "On Monday, coach Mike McCarthy indicated that Woodson could be ready for Green Bay's Dec. 16 game at Chicago," writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He has missed five games with a broken collarbone." It could be a case where Woodson plays strictly safety upon his return, but the Packers could certainly use his experience and savvy at that position. Playing the slot cornerback position ahead of Casey Hayward, however, doesn't appear as if it would be in the Packers' best interests any more.
Offensive lineman Don Barclay was praised by Mike McCarthy on Monday, and now speculation turns to whether the rookie could stick in the starting lineup with the Packers. "Indications were that Lang’s injury wasn’t as serious as first feared, although coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday he didn’t have enough medical information to say for sure," writes Rob Demovsky of the Press-Gazette. "What McCarthy did say was that Lang’s replacement, rookie Don Barclay, played well enough, especially in the running game, for the offensive coaches to consider leaving him at right tackle — a move that would allow them to return Lang to his natural position, left guard." Obviously the Packers have to make sure Lang is fully healthy to return first and foremost. Assuming he is, it makes sense that they'd let Barclay to stay in the starting lineup and return Evan Dietrich-Smith to his backup role.
The platoon at running back between James Starks and Alex Green will continue, said Mike McCarthy on Monday, but the Packers head coach did seem to prefer one back more than the other. "I liked the combination of the running backs and, more important, I liked what James Starks did," McCarthy is quoted as saying by Paul Imig of Fox Sports Wisconsin. "I thought he stepped up. I thought James was a little cut above today and that's why I went with him in the fourth quarter." The timeshare at running back is working. It keeps the backs fresh and motivated. And if the coaching staff errs on the side of Starks for the time being, few would probably have a problem with that.
More on the situation at running back comes from ESPNMilwaukee.com.
The decision to give extra help to Don Barclay in pass protection is emphasized in an article by Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel.
Remarks by Jerron McMillian on former college teammate Jovan Belcher, who was the member of the Kansas City involved in a weekend murder-suicide, appear at Fox Sports Wisconsin.
John Kuhn joined host Tom Crabtree on Clubhouse Live.
A video on the Packers' playoff chances is posted at JSOnline.
Speaking of the playoffs, the possibility of qualifying for the second seed is broached at Lombardi Ave.
Turnovers have sparked some defensive improvement by the Packers, according to Packer Report.
Video: Ryan Pickett led a group of Packers that went shopping with underprivileged children in Green Bay...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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