NFL Nation: Davon House

GREEN BAY, Wis. – No offense to Eric Dickerson, but Eddie Lacy would rather not wear goggles on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Green Bay Packers running back has an irritated left eye that he said was from his contact lens. He's had to go with just one contact this week but hopes to be able to wear both for Sunday's game. He said Thursday that there's no way he's wearing goggles.

"I refuse," Lacy said before backtracking slightly. "I don't want to say I refuse because I might, because I think it will be better than wearing contacts, but that's kind of old school."

And when Lacy thinks of goggles …

"That's what I get, Eric Dickerson," he said.

Lacy needs something to help his vision. As he leaned against a table in the middle of the Packers' locker room, he closed his right eye and tried to make out quarterback Scott Tolzien's nameplate across the way.

"Let's just say I'm very blind," Lacy said. "I can't see Scott's name over there."

Lacy needs just 60 yards to top the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight season. He's coming off a 15-carry, 97-yard game in Sunday's loss at the Buffalo Bills, a game in which he touched the ball only five times in the second half.

When asked whether he thought coach Mike McCarthy should have stuck with the running game more, Lacy said: "That ain't none of my business, bro. I do what's called."

Here's the full injury report from Thursday:
GREEN BAY, Wis. – There were plenty of names – including some big-name players – on the Green Bay Packers injury report, but the concern level remained low about a majority of the eight players on Wednesday's list.

Even right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who remains in the concussion protocol after he dropped out of Sunday's loss at the Buffalo Bills, appears to have a good chance to play this Sunday at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Although Bulaga did not practice Wednesday, he was able to work out and attend meetings, which is a sign he has passed through the early stages of the concussion program.

"Looks great," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday of Bulaga. "Saw him in the weight room, in the meetings this morning. Making progress."

Outside linebacker Clay Matthews was added to the injury report with a biceps injury and running back Eddie Lacy, who last week had a hip injury, was listed this week with an eye issue.

"Eddie's just a situation he has going on with his eye that's not game-related," McCarthy said. "I think we'll be fine there. I don't think Clay's is of serious nature. I think we'll be OK there."

Both Lacy and Matthews finished Sunday's game against the Bills. Lacy rushed for 97 yards and Matthews had one of his best games of the season with two sacks.

Here's the full injury report:
  • T Bryan Bulaga (concussion, did not practice)
  • CB Davon House (shoulder, did not practice)
  • RB Eddie Lacy (eye, limited participant)
  • G T.J. Lang (ankle, limited participant)
  • LB Clay Matthews (biceps, limited participant)
  • OLB Mike Neal (abdomen, limited participant)
  • OLB Nick Perry (shoulder, limited participant)
  • G Josh Sitton (toe, did not practice)
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- They said it Sunday in Buffalo and reiterated it back at Lambeau Field on Monday: Sunday's loss, while seemingly more than just a pothole on their road to the No. 1 seed in the NFC, was not a major roadblock.

"Nothing’s changed," Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels said Monday. "We've still got to go out and win football games."

Oh, but it has changed.

While the NFL won't release the official Week 16 playoff scenarios until Tuesday, it's easy to see that the Packers (10-4) have a more difficult, if not impossible, road to the top seed than they did a week ago.

This much is known: if the Packers win out, which would require them to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in South Florida and the Detroit Lions at home in the finale, then they would win the NFC North and be no worse than the No. 2, which is right where they were before the loss to the Bills.

Still, anything short of the top seed makes it more difficult to reach the Super Bowl, especially considering the Packers' mediocre road record (3-4).

"I wouldn't say more difficult," Packers safety Micah Hyde said Monday. "We knew that even with the win yesterday we were going to need to win it. That's just the way we feel. We didn't lose sight of any of our goals or anything like that. We're still looking forward, and I wouldn't say it's more difficult because we already had the mindset that we needed to win out."

As things stand now, the Packers currently have the No. 6 spot, which is the final playoff position, but have yet to clinch a playoff spot. A win at Buffalo combined with a Philadelphia Eagles' victory over the Dallas Cowboys would have taken care of that. Neither happened.

"If we win [out], we get a bye," cornerback Davon House said. "I don't think we'll get the No. 1 seed, but we'll get the bye. At the end of the day, as long as we get to the dance, the records are 0-0, and all that other stuff doesn't matter."
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Maybe Eddie Lacy's hip injury will be more of an issue than originally thought. The Green Bay Packers running back did little to nothing in the portion of practice that was open for viewing Thursday.

Lacy, who was officially listed as a limited participant in Wednesday's practice, was uniform Thursday but spent a good portion of the individual drills watching his teammates go through the workout.


Lacy did not finish Monday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons, but on Tuesday coach Mike McCarthy said he did not have a high level of concern about Lacy's availability for this Sunday's game at the Buffalo Bills.

Cornerback Davon House (hip), linebacker Jamari Lattimore (ankle) and guard Josh Sitton (toe) all were on the sideline during practice Thursday. Defensive tackle Bruce Gaston was not in attendance. The rookie, who was signed off the Arizona Cardinals practice squad Monday, was not listed on Wednesday's injury report.

The full injury report plus an update from McCarthy will be available after Thursday's practice.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- If you were in search of a detailed explanation for why the Green Bay Packers' defense unraveled in Monday night's 43-37 win over the Atlanta Falcons, then coach Mike McCarthy's news conference on Tuesday was the wrong place to look.

"I'll tell you what, I'm not going to sit here and talk about defense all day," McCarthy said Tuesday. "We're on to Buffalo. That's where we are. We'll have time to correct our things tomorrow with our players, and we'll learn from it. And, obviously, you always want to make corrections after a win."

[+] EnlargeJulio Jones
AP Photo/Tom LynnThe Packers' Sam Shields mostly struggled in trying to cover Atlanta's Julio Jones on Monday night.
That's not to say McCarthy is burying his head instead of taking a long, critical look at the film after Atlanta's Julio Jones had the best game ever by a receiver against a Packers defense with 259 yards and a touchdown on 11 catches.

He just had no interest in rehashing it.

And because of the short turnaround following the Monday night game, the man in charge of the defense, Dom Capers, and the other Packers coordinators did not hold their usual day-after-game sessions with reporters. That will have to wait until Thursday.

The only detail McCarthy provided was that he believes they did change coverages in response to a question about why they did not commit more defenders to stopping Jones.

"It isn't like we played one coverage," McCarthy said. "Hey, they had a big day. Julio had a huge night. They got hot in the second half. I think you first have to give the Falcons credit. They're a very good offense. Winning in December is important, and winning in December is difficult."

And for that, McCarthy saw no need to apologize.

But in their film sessions and game-planning meetings in advance of this Sunday's game at the Buffalo Bills, the coaches will have to find answers for where things went wrong.

Things went downhill for Capers' unit from the outset of the second half, when Jones caught a 79-yard pass on the Falcons' first play from scrimmage of the third quarter.

Cornerback Sam Shields, who practiced only one day last week after sustaining a concussion against the New England Patriots, spent most of his time trying to cover Jones until the Packers finally pulled him after 45 snaps in favor of Davon House, who fared much better while playing the final 22 snaps.

McCarthy said Shields did not have another injury and that the change was part of a predetermined rotation, but Shields never played another snap after he gave way to House, who was credited with two pass breakups against Jones (who couldn't finish the game because of a hip injury).

Maybe the Packers should have yanked Shields earlier, when it became evident he was not on top of his game.

"I thought he obviously wanted to be out there Monday night [and] appreciate him being there," McCarthy said of Shields. "He's a young player, and he's our guy."
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Sam Shields still has time to make it through the concussion protocol, so the Green Bay Packers have not ruled their starting cornerback out of Monday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Officially, the Packers listed him as questionable on Saturday's injury report.

Shields
"The medical staff has told me he still has a chance to play," coach Mike McCarthy said Saturday. "He'll be given the opportunity to play in the game if everything goes right."

The Packers did not practice on Saturday, but if they did, Shields would not have taken part. They will hold their final practice of the week on Sunday morning.

"Sam Shields is a starter, so I'm going to give him every opportunity to play," McCarthy said.

Shields was injured in the first half of last Sunday's win against the New England Patriots. Davon House replaced him and finished the game. He would start along with Tramon Williams if Shields isn’t cleared. Cornerback is perhaps the Packers' deepest position on defense, which bodes well against Falcons receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White.

White, however, was listed as questionable on the Falcons injury report, although he insisted he will play.

Safety Micah Hyde has been a fixture into the nickel spot, and cornerback Casey Hayward has been settled into the dime spot.

"It's definitely a very good receiving group," McCarthy said. "We've been practicing all week without Sam, so Davon, Casey and Tramon, they'll be ready to go."

Defensive tackle Mike Daniels, who hasn't practiced all week because of a sore back, looks on track to play.

Here's the full injury report:

Out
LB Jamari Lattimore (ankle)
DE Luther Robinson (calf)

Questionable
CB Shields (concussion)

Probable
DT Josh Boyd (knee)
DT Daniels (back)
G T.J. Lang (ankle)
OLB Nick Perry (shoulder)
G Josh Sitton (toe)
G Lane Taylor (illness)
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields left Sunday's game against the New England Patriots in the second quarter and was being evaluated for a concussion. He was ruled out and did not return.

Shields left after missing a tackle on a 12-yard gain by running back Brandon Bolden that set up the Patriots' first touchdown of the game.

Davon House replaced Shields.

Earlier in the game, quarterback Aaron Rodgers had his left hand stepped on by Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins at the end of a 17-yard scramble. Rodgers appeared to have a gash that ran the length of his hand but did not miss a play.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers have a new playmaker in Micah Hyde.

Steady as he goes for the first year and a half of his NFL career, the second-year pro has come up big each of the last two games.

[+] EnlargeMicah Hyde
Benny Sieu/USA TODAY SportsMicah Hyde returned a first-quarter punt for a touchdown that helped the Packers blow the game open against the Eagles.
A week after his first professional interception, the safety returned a punt 75-yards for a touchdown in the first quarter Sunday that helped blow open the Packers' 53-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field.

Hyde has split punt-return duties with receiver Randall Cobb, who fair caught the first one Sunday. Hyde's turn came on the Eagles' second series. On a ball that some returners might have fair caught, Hyde split a pair of Eagles' cover men -– cornerback Nolan Carroll II and receiver Josh Huff -- made one cut to his right and then outran punter Donnie Jones to the end zone.

No one would have blamed Hyde for fair catching it because while Davon House had Carroll blocked, no one had Huff.

"In the locker room at halftime, House said, 'I knew you weren't going to fair catch it,'" Hyde said. "I have trust in him and whoever the other jammer is and the guys up front to block and get their guys."

It was the Packers' first punt return for a touchdown in more than a year. Their last was Hyde's 93-yarder against the Vikings last year on Oct. 27.

"To be honest with you, going back to the Tuesday game plan meetings, we just felt Micah, his particular style versus their unit and what we had called is really what we talked about all week," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Sunday. "He did a great job of catching and getting north and south and finishing it. Great return. I haven't seen the video of it so I can't comment on the particulars of the blocking, but Micah's straight-ahead style we felt was a good way to go today."

Not bad for a guy who was knocked coming out of college for his lack of speed.

"I'm just a slow guy from Iowa," Hyde said after the game.

However, it was not an all-around stellar day on special teams. Tim Masthay had a punt blocked for the second time this season. Mason Crosby had an extra point blocked and missed a 50-yard field goal (his first miss that wasn't blocked this season) and on another extra point, a problem with the hold prevented Crosby from even attempting it.

"Some weird stuff happened on special teams," Crosby said. "But the defense played great, the offense played great and we did some things on special teams well with that return and our coverage teams played well on kickoff."
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- You can't accuse the Green Bay Packers' 64-year-old defensive coordinator of being averse to trying new things.

On Sunday, after a week of questions about why Clay Matthews' production had slipped this season, Dom Capers unveiled another new defensive package. This one, called "NASCAR" presumably because it employed more speed on the defensive front, may not have led to a breakout for Matthews, but it proved useful in what was perhaps the Packers' best defensive showing of the year in their 38-17 win over Carolina.

[+] EnlargeClay Matthews
Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY SportsClay Matthews was able to put steady pressure on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on Sunday.
And, oh yeah, Matthews managed to get a shared sack with Julius Peppers, although it came out of a different package.

In "NASCAR," Capers went without any traditional defensive linemen in what was a dime (six defensive back) secondary alignment. Instead, he lined up Matthews and Peppers -- his starting outside linebackers -- as defensive tackles on the interior of the line and flanked them with Nick Perry and Mike Neal as outside linebackers.

"It gets all four of our elephant types on the field at the same time," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "Yeah, it's been very productive."

Capers used it only in third-down situations. The first five times he employed "NASCAR" on Sunday, the Packers came up with third-down stops on four of them, including Perry's sack of Cam Newton on third-and-5 to end the Panthers' second series. Carolina converted just 4-of-12 third downs.

"We like that a lot because you put me, Pep, Mike Neal and Nick Perry out there; that's a pretty good pass-rushing group," Matthews said. "When we put that in there, we're thinking that's a pass-rushing down, and we turn loose a little bit. You always love that."

The Packers sacked Newton just three times, but Matthews missed on two others. He shared one of the sacks with Peppers, who had another by himself. Still, through seven games this season, Matthews has just 1.5 sacks. After getting shut out in the tackle category a week ago at Miami, Matthews was credited with two stops against the Panthers.

"In all honesty, I don't have to prove it to anyone but myself," said Matthews, the four-time Pro Bowler. "I'm a good player, and I know that I am. And it's just about putting together performances."

The Packers didn't feast on turnovers like they had the previous four games (when they had 11 takeaways), although cornerback Casey Hayward picked off his second pass in as many games. But the defense was borderline dominant early in the game. At first quarter's end, the Panthers had just 5 total net yards.

"You wish every quarter was like that," Packers cornerback Davon House said. "We only got, what, 12 plays of defense, and the offense scored every single time they got the ball. That was probably as close to perfect."
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Observed and heard in the locker room after the Green Bay Packers' 38-17 victory Sunday over the Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field:

Cobb
Ketchup with your touchdown, sir: If Randall Cobb keeps catching touchdown passes at this rate -- he tied his career high with his eighth touchdown (in just the seventh game of the season) -- who knows what else he'll see on his future Lambeau leaps? But he was quite surprised to come out of the stands with ketchup all over his No. 18 jersey after his 3-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. "I apologize to whoever's hot dog that was," Cobb said. "It was fresh. I know that because I had all of the ketchup on me." Cobb said he likes hot dogs, even ones with ketchup. "I wasn't expecting one to get on my shoulder pads, though," said Cobb, who caught six passes for 121 yards.

Matthews' taunting penalty: Outside linebacker Clay Matthews was close to having a big day with at least two near sacks only to see Panthers quarterback Cam Newton escape, but he did share a sack with Julius Peppers (1.5 sacks) in the fourth quarter. However, he was flagged for taunting on the play. "I think just my body posture was a little too mean-looking," Matthews said. "You know how it is nowadays, we've got to be best buds out there, you can't show any aggression." Of course, Matthews said something, too. "But nothing bad," he added.

Dislocated finger: Packers cornerback Davon House, who started in place of the injured Sam Shields, knew something was wrong with his right ring finger when he deflected a pass in the second half, but "I didn’t want to look at it," he said. House said he dislocated it. He squirmed on the bench when it was popped back in place. "I panicked a little bit," House said. The only other injury announced was to running back James Starks (ankle).
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:
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.

Good news for Packers' Clay Matthews

September, 26, 2014
Sep 26
1:30
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Clay Matthews has progressed as he had hoped since leaving Sunday's loss at Detroit with a groin strain.

 After he took part in practice on a limited basis on Wednesday and Thursday, the Green Bay Packers on Friday listed their star linebacker as probable for Sunday's game at the Chicago Bears.

That came a day after Matthews said: "I'll be out there."

There's still one hurdle for Matthews to clear before kickoff. Under coach Mike McCarthy’s new schedule, the Packers hold a light practice on Saturdays before Sunday games. The Packers did not practice on Friday but estimated that Matthews' participation level would have been limited if they would have practiced.

"Yeah, so far, so good," McCarthy said Friday. "The medical review, the report today was good on Clay. We still have 48 hours, so we're confident that he'll be ready to go. But like I said, he's still working through it."

Perhaps the biggest injury concern is to No. 3 receiver Jarrett Boykin, who had previously been on the injury report with a knee injury. However, the team added groin to the list of his ailments so he's questionable.

That could open the door for rookie Jeff Janis to get his first shot. The seventh-round pick has been inactive the first three games.

Here's the full injury report:

Questionable
WR Jarrett Boykin (knee, groin)
LB Brad Jones (quadriceps)

Probable
RT Bryan Bulaga (knee)
CB Davon House (knee)
OLB Clay Matthews (groin)
OLB Nick Perry (wrist)
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.
DETROIT -- It's hard to hold Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers and his troops responsible for Sunday's 19-7 loss to the Detroit Lions.

Not when you consider they picked off two passes, recovered a fumble after a strip-sack and gave up just 10 points.

Peppers
"They basically kept us going there for the first two-and-half, three quarters," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of the defense.

But that was little consolation to those on the defensive side of the ball after Sunday's game. Even though the Packers' offense gave the Lions almost as many points (seven on Eddie Lacy's fumble that the Lions returned for a touchdown and two on a safety), the Lions managed to keep things going in the second half, officially converting 6-of-8 third downs plus two more by penalty.

Rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix gave the Packers their first interception by a safety since Dec. 2, 2012, and cornerback Davon House added a second pick of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, although after House was ruled down at his own 1-yard line rather than in the end zone for a touchback it led to the safety.

In the third quarter, with the Lions threatening to increase their lead, Julius Peppers registered his first sack as a Packer, forced a fumble on the play and recovered it on his own.

"I think statistics show that anytime you're able to come up with three turnovers, we've been shown the numbers before [but] I can't recall off the top of my head, but usually the games tilt in your favor," Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said. "Unfortunately, it didn't."

The stat Matthews was referring to: The Packers were 31-7 when registering three or more takeaways since McCarthy took over as head coach in 2006.

The problem was the Packers' offensive ineptitude forced the defense to stay on the field for more than 38 of the 60 minutes.

"We definitely took a step in the direction of getting pressure on the quarterback and getting turnovers," Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels said. "There were a lot of plays where we could have even got more pressure and more sacks. There were a lot of plays where we had some more turnover opportunities. We need to take advantage of those opportunities when they come."

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Roster Advisor

NFL SCOREBOARD

Thursday, 12/18
Saturday, 12/20
Sunday, 12/21
Monday, 12/22
WEEKLY LEADERS