On Friday, the Green Bay Packers got some unfortunate news on the injury front. Two starters on defense were ruled out for Sunday's week seven game against the Carolina Panthers, and another pair were listed as questionable for the game. What may be surprising, however, is that instead of both injured corners out, defensive end Datone Jones is one of the players who will be a guaranteed inactive this week due to his ankle injury.
Mike McCarthy said that Jones "had a setback" this week and that he's "struggling (to move) laterally." Sam Shields, who is also out, is apparently improving. However, McCarthy said he had no idea if Shields would be ready for next weekend's game against the New Orleans Saints.
Here's the full injury report from both the Packers and Panthers, and we have a few more quotes from McCarthy afterwards.
Packers Injury Report
Probable: ILB Sam Barrington, DL Josh Boyd
Questionable: WR Jarrett Boykin (groin), ILB Jamari Lattimore (neck), CB Tramon Williams (ankle)
Out: CB Sam Shields (knee), DE Datone Jones (ankle)
Panthers Injury Report
Probable: CB Josh Norman (concussion)
Questionable: WR Kelvin Benjamin (concussion), RB Darrin Reaves (calf)
Doubtful: CB Bene Benwikere (ankle), LB Chase Blackburn (knee), G Amini Silatolu (calf), RB Fozzy Whitaker (thigh)
For the Panthers, Benjamin reportedly is still going through the concussion protocol and his status is still somewhat in question. Benwikere is a primary slot corner and will likely sit, while Norman sounds ready to play and would likely rotate in at cornerback as well.
McCarthy Press Conference
McCarthy discussed the decision to rule Tramon Williams as questionable for this week, saying "he's better today (Friday) than he was yesterday." Since the Packers do not practice on Friday's, the team estimated that Williams would have been limited if they had, and McCarthy said that Saturday morning's practice would be the "biggest indicator" of Williams' availability for Sunday.
Center JC Tretter, who is eligible to return from Injured Reserve in two weeks, continued to practice this week, and his coach had encouraging words for him. McCarthy said Tretter "looks good" and that he "did some really good things (Thursday) in the padded work." He would not get into the team's plans for the center position when Tretter does return, only saying that he thinks the second-year pro "has the ability to play multiple positions."
With the Panthers' read-option being a big topic of discussion this week, McCarthy was asked to address that: "We've had excessive reps against the read-option this week ... we took one period and that's all we did ... you have to prepare for their passing game too. There's a lot more to their offense than just the read-option." He was then asked whether Matt Flynn or Scott Tolzien took the reps at quarterback in that part of practice, and he stuck up for the athleticism of his quarterbacks: "They split (reps) ... I'm going to tell them you asked them about that." McCarthy also made a specific mention of Flynn's mobility when he was the starting quarterback at LSU.
Stay tuned at APC for more on Sunday's game.