NFC North: Jamari Lattimore

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers might have solved their two biggest problems on defense with one move.

Or maybe it was just a one-week wonder that caught the Chicago Bears off guard.

But on Sunday night, they filled their need for a playmaking inside linebacker and fixed their leaky run defense all at once.

Matthews
Yes, that was No. 52 lined up next to A.J. Hawk in the middle of the defense at a spot where defensive coordinator Dom Capers has tried -- and moved on from -- Brad Jones, Jamari Lattimore and Sam Barrington.

Meet the Packers' new inside linebacker, Pro Bowl outside linebacker Clay Matthews.

In a defense cooked up during last week's bye, Matthews opened the game at inside linebacker and stayed there during most of Sunday's 55-14 victory against the Bears, except when Capers used his dime package on third-and-long situations. The rest of the night, Matthews played next to Hawk in a nickel alignment that served as the primary defense. Nick Perry started in Matthews' place at right outside linebacker.

Producing a team- and career-high 11 tackles (including nine solo stops) later -- and one sack, which came from his old outside linebacker spot -- Matthews' move was an instant success that took half a season to discover. He had never had more than eight tackles in a game, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

"We'll see what it means moving forward," Matthews said. "Obviously it's a little premature to say there's a switch to middle linebacker or whatever you want to call it, but I think as we've shown throughout the years, throughout this season as well, we try to find a little more versatility for myself."

The Packers came into the game ranked last in the NFL in rushing defense, giving up 153.5 yards per game. They held the Bears, who rushed for 235 against them in Week 4, to just 55 yards on 24 attempts. It was the first time all season the Packers have held anyone to less than 100 yards in a game.

Now, for just the second time in seven weeks, they are not ranked last in the league in rushing defense. They climbed two spots to 30th, matching their highest ranking of the season.

"During the bye week, it's like everything, you have a chance to kind of reboot, to reset yourself for the second half of the season," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "Playing Clay at different areas, a different position, to create targeting problems for the offense was something that we spent the whole offseason highlighting it, and this was kind of the next step. Great job by our defensive staff with the creativity, and Clay stepped in there and played at an extremely high level. I thought he was outstanding."

And what kind of inside linebacker does Hawk think his new partner made?

"Tonight, obviously, a pretty good one," Hawk said after the game. "I think being on the move, different times rushing off the edge or coming back and being in the box, that adds something that the offense hasn't seen until tonight, really."
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers will have their entire starting offensive line and their starting secondary intact for Sunday night's game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field.

Guards T.J. Lang (ankle) and Josh Sitton (toe) along with safety Morgan Burnett (calf) -- all of whom were listed as questionable on the injury report -- will start.

Burnett was downgraded from probable after Saturday's short practice. He has not played since the Oct. 19 game against the Carolina Panthers.

Both Lang and Sitton were injured in the Oct. 26 loss at the New Orleans Saints. Lang left the game after the first series because of a sprained left ankle and did not return. Sitton's injury -- a torn ligament in his left big toe -- was discovered after the game.

The Packers prepared most of the week for the possibility that Lane Taylor and JC Tretter would start at guard. Then on Saturday, the Packers signed another offensive lineman, veteran Jamon Meredith. But with Sitton and Lang active, Meredith was not needed.

One surprise on the inactive list was linebacker Jamari Lattimore, who was not listed on the injury report all week. Lattimore was the dime linebacker against the Saints but apparently has been benched.

Here's the full inactive list:

The Film Don't Lie: Packers

October, 28, 2014
Oct 28
11:00
AM ET
A weekly look at what the Green Bay Packers must fix:

The Packers have started three different players at the inside linebacker spot next to A.J. Hawk this season, and they have not gotten enough production out of any of them.

During this week's bye and before the Packers return to action on Nov. 9 against the Chicago Bears, defensive coordinator Dom Capers will have to decide whether to continue using both Sam Barrington and Jamari Lattimore in the spot that actually belonged to Brad Jones to start the season. Jones played poorly in Week 1 against Seattle and then went down with a quad injury. Although he has returned to action, he has not reclaimed a regular role on defense.

In Sunday's loss to the New Orleans Saints, Barrington made his second straight start and played in the base and nickel packages alongside the veteran Hawk. But in the dime package, which used only one inside linebacker, Lattimore got the call.

It's unusual for the dime backer not to play in the other defensive packages. If the Packers had a player like they truly liked at that spot, they would play him on all three downs.

If the Packers could get more impact plays from their inside linebackers, perhaps it would help their struggling run defense, which has fallen back to last in the league after giving up 193 yards to the Saints.

"We've got different packages, and we'll constantly look at what we feel is going to give us the best chance to get things stopped," Capers said. "So obviously after a game like [Sunday] night, you go back and you're going to look at your run defensive stuff and try to make sure you get that corrected."
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers won't have to play without both of their starting cornerbacks Sunday against the Carolina Panthers because Tramon Williams was declared active.

That was in question all week after Williams sprained his ankle last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. And when fellow starting cornerback Sam Shields (knee) was declared out on Friday, the Packers faced the possibility of starting a pair of backup cornerbacks against Cam Newton and Co.

On Friday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy listed Williams as questionable but said he would give his veteran cornerback every chance to play.

Williams, who has missed only one game in his eight-year NFL career, took part in Saturday's practice -- his first on-field work of the week -- on a limited basis and did not experience any setbacks.

Linebacker Jamari Lattimore (neck), who also was listed as questionable, will play and is expected to start.

Davon House will start at Shields' right cornerback spot, and Casey Hayward is expected to be the third cornerback in the nickel package.

Receiver Jarrett Boykin is active after missing the last three games because of a groin injury.

Here's the Packers' full inactives list:
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Tramon Williams has a better chance to play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers than Sam Shields does, but the Green Bay Packers are preparing to play without both of their starting cornerbacks on Sunday.

And that might not be as disastrous it sounds, considering the depth they have at the position.

If there's a spot where the Packers can afford to lose two starters, it's at cornerback. Davon House and Casey Hayward finished Sunday's win over the Miami Dolphins after Shields (knee) and Williams (ankle) went down on consecutive plays late in the third quarter. House and Hayward have been regular contributors on defense for most of the season.

House and Hayward have combined for almost as many interceptions this season (one each) as Shields and Williams (three combined) despite playing less than half as many snaps, splitting time as the third cornerback in the nickel package.

"A lot of other teams, if two of their starting cornerbacks go down, they're starting to panic," said House, who has played 178 snaps on defense this season. "Here, there's no panicking if Tramon or Sam don't go. It seems like nothing is going to change."

If neither Williams nor House plays, the Packers could use either Jarrett Bush or safety Micah Hyde as their third cornerback in the nickel package.

"Me and House and J.B., we'll take care of things we need to take care of," said Hayward, who has played 152 snaps on defense this season and had his interception last week against the Dolphins. "We're going to prepare like we’re going to be starting, so I think we'll be pretty similar. I think [defensive coordinator] Dom [Capers] is going to call the game like he's going to call it."

Williams has not missed a game since Week 2 of the 2011 season, coincidentally also against the Panthers. He has played in 117 of 118 games since he first made the Packers' roster in 2007.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy would not rule out either Shields or Williams and indicated either could play even without practicing this week.

"We'll give them every opportunity to get ready," McCarthy said. "I think Tramon is closer than Sam."

Here’s the full injury report:

Did not practice
CB Sam Shields (knee)
CB Tramon Williams (ankle)

Limited participation
WR Jarrett Boykin (groin)
DE Datone Jones (ankle)
LB Jamari Lattimore (neck)

Full participation
LB Sam Barrington (hamstring)
DT Josh Boyd (knee)
videoMIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Mike McCarthy's defense was wilting in South Florida heat. The Green Bay Packers coach had just watched the Miami Dolphins put together three straight touchdown drives of 80, 80 and 79 yards in the second half of Sunday's game at Sun Life Stadium.

Injuries and a long afternoon in the 86-degree heat – the hottest weather the Packers have played in since their last visit here in 2006 – had seemingly worn out defensive coordinator Dom Capers' troops.

McCarthy
McCarthy
Yet when it came time to decide whether to put the game in the hands of his defense, McCarthy did not flinch.

Rather than try to tie the game by going for it on fourth down from the Dolphins' 12-yard line with a shade over four minutes left in Sunday's game, McCarthy sent Mason Crosby out for a 30-yard field goal that still left the Packers behind by four points.

"Well, just the fact of the matter is I obviously had confidence in our defense," McCarthy said after the Packers' 27-24 comeback victory. "There's some other things that were going on that factored in my decision. I think a defensive-minded decision-maker would agree with that and an offensive-minded decision-maker probably would not."

And a defense that had lost three starters – both starting cornerbacks Sam Shields (knee) and Tramon Williams (ankle) plus linebacker Jamari Lattimore (neck) – rewarded McCarthy for his loyalty.

"We had to get this stop to win the game and get the offense out there to win the game," Packers safety Micah Hyde said.

With help from some questionable play-calling by the Dolphins, who surprisingly threw on second down with 3:05 remaining when the Packers did not have any timeouts left (the subsequent incompletion stopped the clock) and then ran on third-and-9 to come up well short of a first down, the Packers forced a punt to set up their game-winning drive.

"What was it, second down? And they threw it," Hyde said. "That was surprising. They tried catching us off guard, but I think he ended up throwing it away. That was huge. That was an additional 30 seconds because we didn't have any more timeouts."
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Observed and heard in the locker room after the Green Bay Packers' 27-24 victory Sunday over the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium:

Shields
Nothing torn: Cornerback Sam Shields limped out of the Packers' locker room in pain but was relieved that the initial diagnosis on his left knee is that nothing was torn. The weird thing about Shields' injury was how it happened. He was lining up in coverage when he went down before the first snap of the Dolphins' final drive of the third quarter. "It just gave out," Shields said. "I felt like a little pinch. They say nothing's torn, but it hurts." Two plays later, the Packers lost their other starting cornerback, Tramon Williams, to an ankle injury. So the Packers finished the game with Casey Hayward and Davon House as their top two cornerbacks and Jarrett Bush as their nickelback. Coach Mike McCarthy had no updates on their injuries or the neck injury that Jamari Lattimore sustained in the first half. Shields was expected to undergo more tests Monday.

Lang's big save: Right guard T.J. Lang's eyes opened wide when he was asked what he saw when quarterback Aaron Rodgers fumbled on the Packers' final drive. That's probably what his eyes looked like when he saw the ball on the ground. Packers president Mark Murphy came by Lang's locker and told him it was "the play of the game." It's a drill the Packers' offensive linemen used to do in practice all the time until JC Tretter broke his ankle while doing it last season in organized team activities. They have since curtailed it.

Fake spike: When Rodgers saw former Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino on the field at halftime, he surely had no idea he was going to replicate one of Marino's most famous plays. But that's what Rodgers did when he pulled off the fake-spike play, just like Marino did for the Dolphins in a 1994 playoff game against the New York Jets. Rodgers faked the spike and hit receiver Davante Adams for a 12-yard gain to set up the game-winning, 4-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Quarless. "That was kind of some freestyling right there," Rodgers said.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Coaches and players alike say it all the time, that the bye week comes at just the right time.

They usually say so because of their injury situation.

This past weekend wasn't the Green Bay Packers' bye -- that comes Nov. 2 -- but they had what coach Mike McCarthy called a "mini bye" after playing last Thursday against the Minnesota Vikings.

And given the Packers' relatively low injury count at this point, maybe the mini bye was not even needed.

"I don't know why we've got to talk about that,” said McCarthy, ever leery of discussing injuries.

Here's a look at the few lingering injury issues the Packers are dealing with heading into Sunday's game at the Miami Dolphins:
  • Datone Jones: The starting defensive end left the game against the Vikings with a sprained ankle and did not return. After the game, Jones appeared to be walking fine on his way out of the locker room. He said someone rolled on his ankle during a second-quarter screen pass. "Obviously you can see I'm not hurt, so it was just one of those scary situations," Jones said after the game. "I don't really know what happened, but I'm OK." However, on Friday, McCarthy said he was unsure whether Jones would be able to practice when on-field preparation for the Dolphins begins Wednesday.
  • Josh Boyd: The defensive end was inactive against the Vikings after he sustained a knee injury against the Chicago Bears Sept. 28. His injury prompted the Packers to promote rookie Luther Robinson from the practice squad the day of the Vikings game. McCarthy said he was hopeful Boyd would be able to practice Wednesday.
  • Brad Jones: The inside linebacker actually returned against the Vikings but did not reclaim his starting spot from Jamari Lattimore. Jones, who missed three games because of a quadriceps injury, played just nine snaps on defense, and all but one came during the late stages of the blowout victory. Said McCarthy: "We're going to need more than 11 [players on defense]. It's good to have Brad back out there, and Jamari's doing an excellent job."
  • Jarrett Boykin: McCarthy was less optimistic about the No. 3 receiver's chances of practicing Wednesday. Boykin missed the last two games because of a groin injury he sustained in practice leading up to the Bears game. Boykin also had been listed on the injury report with a knee injury that week. Rookie Davante Adams has taken over as the No. 3 receiver, and in those two games he has three catches for 39 yards and one touchdown (the first of his career).
  • Sam Barrington: The backup linebacker missed Thursday's game because of a hamstring injury, which is especially concerning because his rookie season last year ended because of the same injury in Week 9.
  • JC Tretter: The projected starting center remains on the temporary injured reserve list but is eligible to begin practicing Oct. 13 and could return to play following the bye week. Tretter sustained a fracture in his knee during the Aug. 22 preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. However, it's not a given that Tretter would get his starting job back considering how well rookie Corey Linsley has performed.
GREEN BAY, Wis. – The adage that you don't lose your starting spot because of injury apparently doesn't fit with Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy's philosophy.

Jones
Lattimore
Lattimore
How else to explain the fact that Jamari Lattimore has retained a starting job despite the fact that the linebacker he replaced three weeks ago, Brad Jones, has returned from his quadriceps injury?

Jones, the opening-game starter, was declared active for Thursday night's game against the Minnesota Vikings but will not return to the starting lineup, the team announced before the game. He will be available for backup and special-teams duties.

Lattimore ranks third on the team in tackles with 26 (according to the team's official count, which is based on the coaches' film review) despite not playing a single snap from scrimmage in Week 1.

The Packers also activated defensive tackle Luther Robinson, who was promoted from the practice squad a few hours before the game.

With the Packers back at 53 on their roster for the first time in two weeks, they had to declare seven players inactive. They were receiver Jarrett Boykin, quarterback Scott Tolzien, cornerback Demetri Goodson, linebacker Carl Bradford, linebacker Sam Barrington, center Garth Gerhart and defensive end Josh Boyd. Three of the inactives – Boykin, Barrington and Boyd – were injury-related scratches.

The Vikings' inactives included quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, meaning Christian Ponder will make his first start of the season.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers had a full house -- from Clay Matthews to Brad Jones to Davon House -- at practice on Wednesday, when they hit the field for the first time in preparation for Sunday's game at the Chicago Bears.

All 52 players on the roster (they remain one short after placing linebacker Andy Mulumba on injured reserve last week) were on the field and practicing.

The news was especially good for Matthews, who on Monday said he was unsure whether the groin injury he sustained in Sunday’s loss to the Lions would allow him to return this week The Packers outside linebacker finished Sunday's game on the bench after feeling a strain.

House also returned after being unable to finish the game because of a knee injury. He had a protective sleeve on his left knee at practice. The fourth-year cornerback is coming off perhaps his best career game. He played well in coverage against Lions star receiver Calvin Johnson and had an interception.

Wednesday also marked the return of Jones, the team's opening-day starting inside linebacker. He missed the past two games because of a quadriceps injury. However, given that Jamari Lattimore has been solid in relief of Jones, there is no guarantee that Jones will get his starting spot back.

Bryan Bulaga returns for Packers

September, 21, 2014
Sep 21
12:10
PM ET
DETROIT -- With the Detroit Lions' secondary in tatters, the Green Bay Packers should be able to move the ball through the air if they can protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Bulaga
Having right tackle Bryan Bulaga should help that.

Bulaga was declared active for Sunday's game at Ford Field after missing last week's game against the New York Jets because of the knee injury he sustained in Week 1 at the Seattle Seahawks. In Bulaga's absence, Derek Sherrod allowed three sacks in six quarters of action.

On Friday, Bulaga appeared to be on track to play despite being listed as questionable for the second straight week.

The Lions are not only without safety James Ihedigbo but also may have to use Danny Gorrer, who was signed by the Lions this week, as their third cornerback behind starters Rashean Mathis and Darius Slay. They also promoted cornerback Mohammed Seisay from the practice squad Saturday.

Packers cornerback Casey Hayward, who also was listed as questionable because of a glute strain, will be available for the game. However, that does not necessarily mean he will have a role on defense. Last week against the Jets, the Packers went with Davon House as their No. 3 cornerback in the nickel package over Hayward.

For the second straight week, Jamari Lattimore will start at inside linebacker for the injured Brad Jones (quadriceps).

With only 52 players on the roster after they placed outside linebacker Andy Mulumba (torn ACL) on injured reserve Friday, the Packers had only six inactives for Sunday's game. Mulumba's injury opened the door for rookie outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott to be active for the first time.

Here are the Packers' inactives:
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Although Mike McCarthy said earlier this week that he's more optimistic about Bryan Bulaga's chances of playing Sunday against Detroit than he was last week against the Jets, the Green Bay Packers coach listed his starting right tackle as questionable for the second straight week.

The Packers practice on Saturday instead of Friday this year, so McCarthy will have one more chance to look at Bulaga before making a final determination. The same goes for cornerback Casey Hayward, who also was listed as questionable because of a glute strain.

 "Bryan Bulaga, and really Casey is in the same boat, they're progressing well," McCarthy said Friday. "Yesterday went well. Obviously they're having treatments today, extended treatments. But they have to get through the whole thing tomorrow, so that's the only hurdle left."

Bulaga did not play against the Jets because of the sprained MCL he sustained in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks. With Sunday's game on artificial turf at Ford Field, that also could be a consideration for whether Bulaga plays.

"We're going to practice on turf tomorrow, so that's part of our decision-making process," McCarthy said.

If Bulaga can't play, Derek Sherrod will make his second straight start. For Sherrod, it marks the return to a stadium in which he played his first offensive snaps (he finished the Thanksgiving 2013 game by playing six snaps in the blowout loss). Before that, Sherrod had not played a snap on offense since he broke his leg on Dec. 18, 2011.

Sherrod allowed two sacks against the Seahawks and another against the Lions, but the Packers feel like he has settled into the role.

"He's getting better," McCarthy said of the former first-round pick. "I feel good about Derek, the direction he's going."

Jamari Lattimore will make his second straight start at inside linebacker in place of Brad Jones (quadricieps).

Here's the full injury report:

Out
LB Brad Jones (quadriceps)
OLB Andy Mulumba (knee)

Questionable
RT Bryan Bulaga (knee)
CB Casey Hayward (glute)

Probable
S Micah Hyde (knee)
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The way Mike McCarthy talked on Friday, it was almost as if the Green Bay Packers coach wants Jamari Lattimore to never relinquish the starting spot he will occupy Sunday against the New York Jets in relief of the injured Brad Jones.

It would not be the first time a Packers linebacker won a job that way.

Desmond Bishop was an injury replacement for Nick Barnett early in the 2010 season and did not give up the job until he was injured in the 2012 preseason. And midway through the 2012 season, Jones took over that spot after an injury to D.J. Smith.

Could it be Lattimore's turn?

Jones has a quadriceps injury that may or may not have contributed to his poor play in the season-opening loss to the Seattle Seahawks and has been ruled out for Sunday's home opener.

"I would think anytime you get a chance to go and perform, if you perform at a high level, you don't want to give that spot back," McCarthy said Friday. "I think that's the part of injury. You look at the history of the National Football League, some of the greatest careers were started because of an injury in front of that particular player. This is a big opportunity."

But it's not Lattimore's first shot.

He started four games last season -- three in October plus the regular-season finale -- while Jones had hamstring and ankle injuries. Lattimore played well early in the season, including a career-high 14 tackles (with a sack) against the Browns on Oct. 20, but was not as effective in Week 17 against the Bears.

What no one outside the Packers knew until Friday was that Lattimore was dealing with an illness the entire time. Although the fourth-year pro did not disclose all the details, he said Friday that it was stomach-related and also had to do with allergies. He said he was on medication all of last season.

"I don't like to talk because it was bad for me," said Lattimore, who has no lingering problems from the illness. "So I don't really like to bring it back up."

The illness, which he said he still doesn't know exactly what it was, never kept him out of a game. The only game he missed was because of a quad injury. Other than the four starts, most of his action came on special teams, where he was voted as a team captain for the playoffs.

"I had no choice," he said. “It's my job. I've got to go and play. But I didn't feel good. But you just have to suck it up."

In the offseason, he was tendered as a restricted free agent at the lowest rate, $1.431 million, with no promises that another shot at the starting job would come with it. But here he is, a week into the regular season with that shot again, even if he's not quite looking at it that way.

"It's not a break," said Lattimore, who came into the league in 2011 as an undrafted free agent. "Every play is important to me because when I'm on the field I get to make a play. For me, yes, it's an opportunity, but it's just doing your job. What they brought you in here for, for you to do your job, for you to play that position. It's all up to the player to be accountable. It's not necessarily a big stage or first time. It's doing your job."
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers might have erred last week when they decided to play linebacker Brad Jones, who was nursing a hamstring injury.

Jones
It sounds like that decision will be much easier to make this week. Jones did not practice again on Thursday, making it unlikely he will play Sunday against the New York Jets. Jones had one of his worst games in last week's loss to Seattle, tying for the team lead with three missed tackles.

It opens the door for Jamari Lattimore to move into Jones' spot in the starting lineup but also likely means more snaps for fellow starter A.J. Hawk.

Jones played all 70 snaps against the Seahawks and served as the signal caller on defense. Hawk did not play in the dime package but likely will take over that role this week rather than putting too much on Lattimore, although it's possible the Packers could use Sam Barrington as the dime linebacker.

"The game this week's going to be a game where they switch personnel groups almost every down and they use every one in the books, I think experience is the one of the key factors there," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. "You want your signal caller to be a confident guy, so experience factors into that as opposed to putting a guy out there that really hasn't done a lot of it against a team that's going to give you multiple personnel groups and a fast-paced tempo."

That would seem to indicate Hawk will take on that role.

Jones was the only player who did not practice on Thursday.

Right tackle Bryan Bulaga practiced in pads on Thursday on a limited basis, but the Packers weren't ready to pronounce him ready to start against the Jets after he left the opener with a sprained MCL in his left knee. Bulaga appeared to move better than he did on Wednesday, when his gait seemed off.

"The biggest thing is just the movement," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after Thursday's practice. "I'm not really looking for him to take the whole team drills or anything like that, because he's not ready for that. How he feels tomorrow and if he can go on Saturday will be the final test."

Details on the Jets' injury situation, including an update on cornerback Dee Milliner, can be found here.

Here is the Packers' full injury report:
  • TE Brandon Bostick (fibula, limited participation)
  • RT Bryan Bulaga (knee, limited participation)
  • CB Demetri Goodson (concussion, full participation)
  • LB Brad Jones (quadriceps, did not practice)
  • RB Eddie Lacy (concussion, full participation)
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Two years ago, the Green Bay Packers started the season with veteran Jarrett Bush as their right cornerback. After an uneven performance in the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers, he was benched in favor of Sam Shields.

Could veteran linebacker Brad Jones meet the same fate after struggling in Thursday’s opener against the Seattle Seahawks?

Jones
Or could other defensive adjustments be in the plans after just one week?

If there's a lineup change in the works -- something defensive coordinator Dom Capers would not rule out on Monday -- then it might be at the inside linebacker position, where Jones' poor performance -- especially against the Seahawks' running game -- hampered the Packers’ defense in their 36-16 loss.

With another rush-heavy team, the New York Jets (who rushed for 212 yards to lead all 28 teams who have played so far in Week 1) next up on the Packers' schedule, perhaps it's at Jones' spot where the Packers might look to shake things up a la 2012.

"Tomorrow, we'll come back and look at it, and as we get ready each week as we game plan, we go through and look at personnel and how can we get our best people on the field and pick up and move forward," Capers said Monday. "Because I told the guys in the meeting today, that's what this game is all about."

Jones was listed as probable last week because of the thigh injury that kept him out for the preseason finale. He was one of the Packers’ players most culpable for their tackling problem.

Third-year pro Jamari Lattimore is waiting in the wings for an opportunity and could get the call if the Packers decide to reduce Jones’ role. Jones played all 70 snaps against the Seahawks. That meant he was the lone inside linebacker in the dime defense, a role A.J. Hawk has played in the past. Lattimore filled in for Jones while he was injured late in the preseason.

However, it's possible the only thing that will change this week against the Jets is what defensive packages Capers uses. After unveiling a 4-3 look against the Seahawks, Capers admitted his plan to use more personnel groupings but fewer schemes did not go as expected because of difficulty deciphering what the Seahawks were doing pre-snap. He could be streamlining that this week.

"There were two or three times that they affected us because they were guys holding around the huddle out there, so the 12 guys, and it made me late getting the call on the field because I was trying to match the personnel up," Capers said. "We had a number of different personnel groups. Because we were late, there were two or three calls there, so we went into halftime and adjusted and played one personnel group a little bit more consistently in the second half than we did in the first half."

It was a factor, for example, on Marshawn Lynch's 9-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, when the Packers had only 10 defenders on the field.

"I think that the coaches, they're trying to take the responsibility," Packers safety Micah Hyde said. "But I feel like as a player it's definitely on us to go out there and compete against the other team no matter what personnel they're in, no matter what defense we're in."

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