The Green Bay Packers got an unwelcome surprise on Thursday at practice. Nickel cornerback and return man Micah Hyde was held out of practice with a groin injury, leaving the team with even more questions in the secondary and the special teams than already exist.
First, to the full injury report before we break down Mike McCarthy's and Hyde's comments on the injury.
C Evan Dietrich-Smith, OLB Mike Neal, DT Ryan Pickett
OLB Clay Matthews, OLB Andy Mulumba
Coach McCarthy discussed Hyde in his press conference, saying that it was a groin injury that "might have been a little carryover from the game (against the Giants)" and that it had "bothered him at practice (on Wednesday)."
Of course, learning of Hyde's absence sent the Packers Twitterverse into a frenzy. If both Hyde and Shields were to miss Sunday's game, that would leave Jarrett Bush as the likely nickel back with Jerron McMillian as the likeliest candidate to play in the dime package. Then that would leave a major question mark at punt returner and kick returner, where Johnathan Franklin would likely get the first crack.
Hyde downplayed the injury, however:
Micah Hyde says "I'll be back out there tomorrow."— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) November 21, 2013
Let's hope so. In the meantime, we'll be closely watching practice tomorrow to see for sure.
McCarthy did address other players and factors to consider for the upcoming game against the Vikings. As for Clay Matthews, McCarthy said "He's definitely improved (with the new cast)...he's working through it." Sam Shields' availability is still cloudy, however, as McCarthy said he doesn't know if he'll be ready by Sunday and called it "50/50" on the odds he would play.
Finally, McCarthy addressed the play of the offensive line, which has given up just one sack in the past two games.
Our guys have done a good job...especially on third down, and teams are being aggressive on us...it really starts with the declarations, the assignments, things they're recognizing pre-snap...We've talked about sacks in the past. Statistics are (just) identifiers and you have to go further...when a sack does occur, it's not just a reflection on the protection unit, it goes deeper than that.
He was also asked which player handles the adjustments to the pass protection at the line of scrimmage with Aaron Rodgers sidelined, but would not answer, just saying "I can't tell you that."
Keep it at APC for more injury updates as they come along.
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