Starter Pack: Opportunity for Richardson

A roundup of what’s happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.

Safety Sean Richardson has played 11 snaps on defense in each of the past two games since coming off the physically unable to perform list.

He could see even more playing time on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field.

An increased role for the promising second-year pro might have been one of the things coach Mike McCarthy had in mind when he hinted earlier this week that there could be some changes in some of the Packers’ personnel groups.

“Sean may get some more opportunities this week,” McCarthy said Thursday. “I like what he’s done in his limited opportunities.”

Richardson played sparingly last year as a rookie before he sustained a season-ending neck injury that required fusion surgery. He missed the entire offseason program, all of training camp and the first 10 games of the season.

Richardson, an undrafted free agent, entered the league in the same class with safety Jerron McMillian, a fourth-round pick who the Packers released on Tuesday.

The Packers have been searching for another safety to play alongside Morgan Burnett. M.D. Jennings has played the majority of those snaps, but defensive coordinator Dom Capers also has worked in Chris Banjo.

Now, Richardson may get his chance.

In case you missed it on ESPN.com:

  • Capers has come under fire for the defense’s inability to make up for the absence of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but several players have come to his defense.

  • Rodgers took another small step in his return from the broken collarbone by practicing in pads for the first time since his injury, but he still has not been cleared for game action.

  • Cornerback Tramon Williams said he received notice from the league that he was fined $26,250 for shoving back judge Dino Paganelli in the Thanksgiving loss at the Detroit Lions. He plans to appeal.

  • Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure and I broke down the matchup and made our game predictions in this week’s Double Coverage preview.

  • Speaking of predictions, most on the ESPN panel of experts picked the Packers over the Falcons.