Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Packers are battling injuries
By Matt Ehalt
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Packers coach Mike McCarth said linebacker Clay Matthews is doubtful for Sunday's game, while receiver Greg Jennings will be evaluated throughout the week. Matthews (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday while Jennings (groin/abdomen) was limited.
"Greg is chomping at the bit, but you obviously have the surgery," McCarthy said.
Matthews missed last Sunday's game against Detroit with the hamstring injury and is in line to miss his second straight game. He's perhaps Green Bay's best pure pass rusher, as he has nine sacks on the year, and had an interception return for a touchdown in Green Bay's 38-35 win at MetLife Stadium last year.
Jennings underwent surgery for a torn abdominal muscle on Nov. 1 and has only played in three games this season. He's still trying make his way back to the field, but it's unknown at the moment if he'll be able to return vs. the Giants. He has 12 catches for 78 yards on the year.
Packers safety Charles Woodson also did not practice Wednesday as he recovers from a broken collarbone. The Packers will likely be without two of their best defensive players in Woodson and Matthews when they play the Giants.
"They're obviously two of our best players on defense and two of the better players on our whole football team, but that's the game of football," McCarthy said. "That’s why it takes a team. They're both playmakers, impact players, and it’s important for us to try and create other opportunities for the other guys on our defense. I’ve been very pleased with the last four weeks with the way our defense has responded to those guys being out."
FINLEY DISAPPEARS: After emerging as one of the top tight ends in football, Packers Jermichael Finley has disappeared this year, catching just 32 balls for 337 yards and two touchdowns. He's caught less than five balls in nine of the team's 10 games, and his season-high in receiving yards is 66.
McCarthy believes the slip in production is a product of what the offense is doing as a whole, compared to one player not posting certain stats.
"Jermichael’s individual situation ... he’s overcome a significant shoulder injury that he played with going into the Houston game. I really appreciate the way he’s been battling," McCarthy said. "Being a perimeter player is about opportunities, he hasn’t had as many opportunities as he may have had in the past, but when he’s had them, he’s definitely been very productive, like this past week in Detroit."
SOME CREDIT: While Matthews said in August that the Packers beat themselves in last year's playoffs, taking credit away from the Giants, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers paid respect to the Giants for the upset last January.
"I think you learn that it’s all about playing the right way at the right time and we didn’t play our best football and they did," Rodgers said. "They were the better team and they won, and that’s why they moved on."