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Packers Daily Links: Walden Fined for Hit on Cutler

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Packers Daily Links: Walden Fined for Hit on Cutler

Packers linebacker Erik Walden was fined $15,000 for his hit this past week on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler that was penalized for roughing the passer. "Walden disputes that the play should have been penalized or fined," writes Dougherty. "It came on a hit just after Cutler had released a throw that cornerback Tramon Williams intercepted.  Walden’s shoulder hit what appeared to be Cutler’s shoulder while outside linebacker Clay Matthews was tackling the quarterback." In my opinion, Walden had the opportunity to hit Cutler lower and chose not to.

Defensive lineman Mike Neal finally gave an explanation for his absence that has lasted since mid-training camp. “I took three MRIs that showed absolutely nothing, no damage to my knee whatsoever,” Neal is quoted as saying by Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. “My kneecap was swelling up, and then it would go down, and then it would swell up and go down again. (Dr. McKenzie) said, ‘There has to be something else in there that’s bothering you.’ So he went in there and found two huge cartilage chunks that they had to take out that chipped off in the area of my knee.” Neal's surgery was reportedly performed on Sept. 13. He hopes to be back by the bye week.

More on Mike Neal comes from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Press-Gazette and Fox Sports Wisconsin.

Coaches and teammates are saying Clay Matthews is playing outstanding football even without the sacks so far this year. “I told Clay today he just needs to continue to play like he’s playing,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers told Kareem Copeland of the Press-Gazette. “Those things will come. He’s playing outstanding football right now. You get into games, and the Bears were very protection conscious, looking for a lot of pressure out of us. When teams do that, we drop a lot. We dropped a lot. If you’re three-man rushing a lot, Clay’s always going to have two guys blocking him. Again, it comes down to doing the things that you feel are going to help you win a football game." He might be known for his sacks, but Matthews has been very good against the run this year.

The "hard count" by Aaron Rodgers is examined by Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel. "Last Sunday, Rodgers pulled off a pretty impressive feat when he used the hard count to draw the Chicago Bears offside four times," writes Silverstein. "That wasn't even the impressive part, either." The downside is that the Packers also had five false start penalties, which the article also addresses.

Linebacker Frank Zombo appears closer to a return. "The Green Bay Packers second-year linebacker said that he had an x-ray of his fractured shoulder blade scheduled for 3:30 Thursday afternoon and, if it checked out, he hoped to be back practicing next week," reports Jason Wilde. Zombo said he feels 100% and has been doing football drills while his teammates practice.

Jermichael Finley responded on Thursday to a recent critique by Aaron Rodgers of the tight end made to the media. “He’s the quarterback," Finley told JSOnline. "What he said was maybe one or two plays. … That’s his job. He’s the quarterback of this team and if he sees something, it’s his job to express it.” No controversy here.

More on Jermichael Finley's response comes from PackersNews.com.

Running back Ryan Grant is eager to play, according to an article by the Associated Press.

More on Ryan Grant comes from Packer Report (subscription required).

Running back James Starks is hoping for a bounce back performance this week, writes Tyler Dunne of JSOnline.

More on James Starks is at Packer Report (sub required).

Head coach Mike McCarthy says five sacks is too many in an article at the Packers official website.

Rookie Derek Sherrod is making progress, according to Bill Huber of Packer Report.

The Packers are fans of the Brewers, who will be competing in the MLB playoffs.

Clay Matthews and Pat Lee returned to practice on Thursday reports PackersNews.com, JSOnline and ESPNMilwaukee.com.

Aaron Rodgers was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month.

Fox Sports Wisconsin has news on the Packers No. 1 ranked run defense and Brandon Underwood's suspension.

An interview with Alex Green appears at JSOnline.

The Packers will recognize the 1961 championship team at halftime of Sunday's game.

The team is also working on a domestic violence prevention initiative.

The Broncos defense is preparing to face Aaron Rodgers.

Video: The Packers are part of a pretty good year for Wisconsin sports says Fox 11 News in Green Bay...

Best year ever for Wis. sports?: fox11online.com

Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Maple Street Press Packers Annual. To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (7) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

John R.'s picture

Pickett, Raji, Neal and Wynn all have the potential to be healthy? Offenses beware...

MarkinMadison's picture

Finley taking a little public criticism like a man. Very well done sir. Respect level trending up.

tony's picture

When McCarthy said "significant time" to be missed for Neal, i assumed it would be him lingering around until he goes on the IR in November. Having him back for the second half will be huuuuge.

packsmack25's picture

I actually think Walden tried to pull up and not hit him at all, but his momentum carried him into Cutler.

Mojo's picture

I saw it the same way packsmack. IMO the penalty and fine are both ridiculous. While technically Walden committed the penalty, brushing Cutler did him no harm.

Jeremy's picture

The same thing that happened to Neal happened to me. I had an MRI that showed no damage whatsoever, but when I saw the pictures from my knee surgeons camera the damage was considerable. An MRI also showed damage to my step bothers ACL that didn't exist. When he had surgery, his problem ended up being a cartilage tear.

CSS's picture

Pro Football Focus just graded out pass-pro efficiency, Packers are top 5. Sitton (#5), Bulaga (#5), Wells (#1) and Lang (#9) graded out incredibly well according to the article. They could be number 1 if not for Cliffy's #28 ranking.

Oh, for reference they have Daryn College graded as one of the worst pass blocking starting guards in the league at #51.

Interesting conversation starter at least:
http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2011/09/30/signature-stats-snapshot...

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