Packers confident Rodgers won’t miss time
The Sports Xchange GREEN BAY -- Though saying a bye comes at the right time is a well-circulated phrase among all NFL teams, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy was paying more than just lip service Monday by agreeing with the saw. "We're 5-3, ...
The Sports Xchange
GREEN BAY - Though saying a bye comes at the right time is a well-circulated phrase among all NFL teams, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy was paying more than just lip service Monday by agreeing with the saw.
“We’re 5-3, and we have time to heal as a team,” McCarthy said.
Green Bay experienced a few notable injuries during a 44-23 road loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night.
Right guard T.J. Lang was lost for the rest of the game after just five plays. He hurt his left ankle while trying to hold a block on an improvised 70-yard touchdown throw from quarterback Aaron Rodgers to wide receiver Randall Cobb.
Then, early in the third quarter, Rodgers came up noticeably limping after he scrambled away from the Saints’ pass pressure for a 7-yard run to the sideline. Turns out Rodgers tweaked his left hamstring.
Rodgers remained in the game and wasn’t lifted until the waning minutes of the final quarter with the outcome already decided. He acknowledged afterward that his limited mobility forced McCarthy to junk some of potential play calls.
“It definitely grabbed on me a little bit,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers, who threw for a season-high 418 yards, clearly wasn’t the same after the injury. His first interception in 213 passes going back to the season opener came three plays after his fateful run, as a pass was tipped away from tight end Andrew Quarless in the end zone.
Rodgers had another pass picked off on the second play of the fourth quarter.
“If it would’ve been detrimental to my health for the season, I probably would have told Coach to take me out (after the injury), but I felt like I could still go,” Rodgers said. “If I felt (the hamstring), then I had to back off a little bit. We had to do a little more in the shotgun, but it wasn’t a big deal, ultimately.”
Players were back in at the team’s Lambeau Field headquarters Monday, but McCarthy said he hadn’t visited with Rodgers. However, an update provided by the medical staff to McCarthy was encouraging.
“So far, so good, I would say is how we’re looking at it,” McCarthy said. “They’re very confident with where Aaron is today.”
The players have the rest of the week off for the bye on the schedule. They are to report back the morning of Nov. 3 ahead of the next game, a Sunday night matchup against the rival Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on Nov. 9.
Rodgers does not anticipate being in jeopardy for that game.
“I’m not going to miss any time,” he said Sunday night.
The Packers, who had their four-game winning streak end and also dropped into second place in the NFC North, went into the game against the Saints without the starting duo of cornerback Sam Shields (knee) and safety Morgan Burnett (calf).
McCarthy expressed optimism Monday that Burnett and Shields, who missed the past two games, will be OK next week.
As for Lang, McCarthy wouldn’t speculate about the veteran’s status for the Bears game. Untested second-year player Lane Taylor replaced Lang and had a key missed block on the Saints’ fourth-and-1 stop of halfback Eddie Lacy in the third quarter.
“He’s not doing very good today,” McCarthy said of Lang on Monday, “but I think he’ll feel better as the week goes on. ... It’s a little too far out there for me, really, to give you an accurate reading.”