With injured outside linebacker Frank Zombo returning to practice on Wednesday, fellow linebacker Erik Walden said there's a good chance a rotation would happen at the position. “Probably so," Walden told Ty Dunne at JSOnline. "Coach hasn’t said yet. But there will probably be a rotation between me and Frank. So we’ll get back accustomed to that. Just need to go out and make plays.” It couldn't hurt the Packers' pass rush, which has been only adequate so far this season.
Following his hyperextended knee injury in Week 6, Frank Zombo was a full participant at practice yesterday. "Now, two weeks later, he's back," writes Tyler Dunne. "Again, the second-year player has returned sooner than expected. After missing the Packers' first five games with a broken scapula - a pregame injury he played through an exhibition game with - Zombo is back." Zombo was only a limited participant in Monday's practice, so he's making progress.
After news came Wednesday that defensive lineman Mike Neal could return to practice next week, Neal talked to reporters about his road to recovery. "I went through an all-time low," Neal told Paul Imig of Fox Sports Wisconsin. "Why is this happening to me? I called my mom crying, crying on the phone with her and trying to understand what I did to deserve this." But Neal says he's at peace with himself now and that he's feeling better.
Head coach Mike McCarthy said there's no plan to leave early for this week's longer than usual trip to San Diego like his predecessor Mike Sherman. "Sunday’s game at San Diego is the first West Coast trip for the Packers since consecutive games at Arizona to end the 2009 season, but coach Mike McCarthy isn’t deviating from the itinerary he uses whether his team is playing at St. Louis or Seattle," writes Rob Demovsky of the Press-Gazette. "The means the Packers will leave Austin Straubel Airport at their usual time, 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, about 27 hours before kickoff." McCarthy noted that he'll stress hydration and also that daylight savings time ends Sunday morning, which could help the team.
Backup quarterback Matt Flynn discussed his impending free agency after the season with Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. “It’s not fair to my teammates, my coaches, all these people that I’m so close with, it’s not fair for me to look ahead. Because I’ve got to prepare myself in case something happens to Aaron,” Flynn is quoted as saying. “I have to be prepared to step in.” With the Packers likely candidates to receive a compensatory draft choice if Flynn leaves, it's hard seeing him in Green Bay next season.
Starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers talked about improving his game yesterday. "He has been sacked 16 times, hardly the problem it was during the 2008 season when he was sacked 31 times in the first seven games on the way to 50 for the season," writes Rob Demovsky. "Still, he said on Wednesday he deserves some of the blame for this season’s sacks and identified that as the number one thing he’s hoping to improve on in the second half." In the grand scheme of things, the sacks are pretty minor, but it's good to see the team keeping its focus and trying to improve.
More on Aaron Rodgers comes from the Associated Press, ESPNMilwaukee.com, the Packers official website, Fox Sports, Fox Sports Wisconsin and the Journal Sentinel's Packer Insider section (subscription required).
Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel looks at the Packers coming back from the bye and its possible effect on the team. "Some people might just chalk this one up for the Packers, but before doing so they might want to consider that going into last weekend teams were 3-9 coming off the bye, including 1-7 on the road," writes Silverstein. I don't think there's much to be made of the bye week's impact. Some teams do well coming off a bye, some do poorly and some do both over a number of years. It mostly averages out, though the Packers have done well under McCarthy post-bye.
More on the bye week comes from PackersNews.com.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers gets some attention at Fox Sports Wisconsin.
In a column at the Wisconsin State Journal, Tom Oates says the Packers aren't perfect.
Former Packers president Bob Harlan is featured in a column at the Appleton Post-Crescent.
Nick Barnett's departure from Green Bay is covered in an article at the Buffalo News.
An article on Jermichael Finley and Antonio Gates is at Packer Report (sub required).
The Packers' playoff DVDs from last season will be available by the end of the month.
An article on last night's episode of Man Vs. Food Nation in Green Bay appears in the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter.
The Associated Press previews the Packers, Chargers game.
One Minnesota columnist says Vikings fans could turn to the Packers if their franchise leaves.
Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Maple Street Press Packers Annual. To contact Brian, email [email protected].
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