Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy gave some insight into his team's litany of injured players on Wednesday when he spoke to the media prior to the team's practice session. With players of all experience and talent levels "banged up," the injury report will likely be a long one again this week when the Packers play the Vikings.
First, let's address the good news. McCarthy touched on running back Eddie Lacy's status first, saying that Lacy will participate in today's practice: "We'll see how he does coming off the groin injury ... we'll see how he is in today's practice." McCarthy did however, confirm that James Starks will continue to start, and that if both are active this week that Starks would get the first series with the offense while Eddie Lacy will get the second.
Next up was second-year receiver Jared Abbrederis, who had a bit of a breakout against the Lions with four catches for 57 yards. Unfortunately, McCarthy said that the former Wisconsin Badger will be out "several weeks" with the rib injury he suffered late in the game. The coach would not get into specifics, but he clearly is disappointed in the injury, saying "You feel bad for Jared ... (he) was obviously practicing very well last year when he was injured. Now this is his third injury, hopefully he'll be able to bounce back from this."
Now, someone will have to take over the snaps that Abbrederis took on the field last week. Unfortunately, Ty Montgomery might still be held out this week, as McCarthy said "He's medically not cleared" and that the medical staff "haven't cut him all the way loose." He did express hope that he would be cleared to practice this week, however.
UPDATE: Montgomery was a full participant in Wednesday's practice, which followed McCarthy's press conference.
If Montgomery does not get cleared, then that would leave Jeff Janis as the fourth wide receiver. While Abbrederis got more opportunities against Detroit and took advantage of them, McCarthy said "hopefully Jeff will be the next guy to do that."
When discussing a few of the Packers' veteran players, the phrase "banged up" came up regularly. McCarthy said that when describing both Aaron Rodgers and Micah Hyde, who was apparently injured on the Packers' onside kick recovery against the Lions.
Another thing to monitor with all these injuries is who will be returning kickoffs for the Packers. The top three options - Montgomery, Hyde, and Abbrederis - are all banged up, and if all three are unable to go this week that would leave a tough choice for the special teams staff. Would they send Randall Cobb back to return kicks, or would they use Jeff Janis there, as they have in preseason games past? It's a situation well worth keeping an eye on.
Stay tuned for more injury news as the day goes along.