Packers CB Rollins dodges serious injury
A scary situation Sunday night took a turn for the better in less than 24 hours. Head coach Mike McCarthy said starting cornerback Quinten Rollins returned to Green Bay on Monday. The second-year pro was hospitalized overnight in Detroit with a n...
A scary situation Sunday night took a turn for the better in less than 24 hours.
Head coach Mike McCarthy said starting cornerback Quinten Rollins returned to Green Bay on Monday. The second-year pro was hospitalized overnight in Detroit with a neck injury he sustained on an awkward landing out of bounds while defending a completed deep ball by the Lions in the Packers’ 31-24 win Sunday night.
“Everything is progressing in a positive manner,” McCarthy said Monday afternoon. “We still have some things we have to test, but everything, so far, is going very well.”
McCarthy noted that Rollins was walking around the team’s facilities at Lambeau Field after his return. That was promising news after Rollins had to be taken off the field on a stretcher and promptly transported to a Detroit hospital after he tumbled hard to the turf.
His status for the Packers’ first-round playoff game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on Sunday won’t be known until later in the week.
The loss of Rollins in the regular-season finale that decided the NFC North title capped a sequence of tough breaks for Green Bay’s cornerbacks late in the third quarter. The Packers also lost young starter Damarious Randall and rookie Makinton Dorleant, a contributor on special teams, to knee injuries.
They had to play the final quarter Sunday with LaDarius Gunter and versatile defensive back Micah Hyde as the cornerbacks on the boundary and starting safety Morgan Burnett as the nickel back in the slot.
“That’s what we practice,” Hyde said. “We rotate guys a lot. Kudos to myself, kudos to Morgan - he went in and played inside. That’s just stuff that we practice all of the time. We know what each other’s supposed to do. That was just a great defensive effort.”
Despite the ongoing attrition at cornerback, the Packers kept the pass-fueled Lions offense out of the end zone for nearly the entire second half. Matthew Stafford’s up-for-grabs deep throw of 35 yards into the end zone wound up in the hands of receiver Anquan Boldin with 13 seconds left to cut Green Bay’s 14-point lead to 31-24.
A short time earlier, with 1:30 remaining, Hyde picked off a Stafford pass intended for Golden Tate at the goal line as the Lions were driving toward a touchdown.
“Guts, resiliency,” McCarthy lauded about the play of the short-handed defense down the stretch. “I thought it was tremendous, just the whole operation, (defensive coordinator) Dom Capers all of the way through - the coaches, the players on the sideline. There was no panic.”
Randall wouldn’t speculate on whether he will be well enough to play the wild-card playoff game against the visiting New York Giants on Sunday. He tried to return to the game at Detroit after hurting his knee earlier, but he couldn’t continue.
“I’m just taking day by day, just getting prepared for the game this Sunday, just taking it day by day,” Randall said Monday.