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Packer Notes: On Injuries, Penalties, Technique, The Refs, and Goodbye Al Harris

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According to Mike McCarthy, it doesn't sound like either S Atari Bigby (hamstring) or S Anthony Smith (ankle) will be available next week for the Green Bay Packers. Smith plays only on special teams, but Bigby actually got some snaps on defense, until his hamstring injury knocked him out early in the game. Will Bigby ever remain healthy for any stretch again? The bigger concern might be C Scott Wells (arch) but it doesn't sound like he'll miss any time.

They've been great at avoiding penalties over the past few games. They've done a very good job at limiting mental penalties (i.e. false starts) and emotional ones (i.e. personal fouls). But the two big problem areas (in the past) have been on special teams and in the secondary. It's really good to see their special teams playing smarter, but the defensive backs (even CB Charles Woodson) have always drawn some penalties due to their aggressive style. I'm not sure if they've really turned over a new leaf, or just had a good streak.

CB Sam Shields did not have a good game against the Vikings. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers told the Journal-Sentinel that Shields has to work on his technique. It's not surprising that the rookie, sometimes plays like a rookie, and hopefully he continues to improve.

Did WR James Jones really have both feet down on this touchdown pass? As I've written before, I'm not trying to figure out the subjective whims of the referees. Turning that touchdown into three points wouldn't have mattered in that blow out anyway.

Wow. That's one classy thank you advertisement taken out by former CB Al Harris. It reminds me of this one ran by former DE Aaron Kampman back in March. Thinking back on both players, a couple of years ago I might have said they were the two best players on the defense. It's amazing to realize that they've both moved on.