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Cheese Curds, 10/31: NFL trade deadline excitement, Packers’ OL must lead the way

The NFL didn’t see a huge number of trades over the last few days, but the ones that did take place involved some big names.

Green Bay Packers v New England Patriots Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

The NFL’s trade deadline is coming up fast, with the end of the league day at 4:00 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday being the last time that NFL teams can make trades during the 2017 season. On Monday, we saw a pair of stunning trades, as a pair of NFC West teams added big pieces to their offenses.

The Green Bay Packers will likely stand pat at the deadline, which would be no surprise given the rarity with which Ted Thompson uses that method of player acquisition. The two trades he has executed in recent years (outside of trading draft picks, of course) were earlier this year, when he sent linebacker Jayrone Elliott to the Cowboys for a conditional 7th-round pick — the conditions of which were not met — and last season, when he acquired running back Knile Davis from the Chiefs, also for a conditional draft pick.

Meanwhile, the Packers had a chance to rest up over the past week and will get back to work today with a bonus day to prepare for a Monday night game against the Detroit Lions. The battered offensive line should be back near full strength on Monday, something which should make quarterback Brett Hundley thankful as the calendar clicks over to November.

Justin McCray getting it done as Packers' utility guy |
McCray wouldn't have believed that he would see the field as much as he has so far, let alone doing so with significant snaps at both tackle positions. Yet here we are, with McCray taking over Don Barclay's role as the do-everything backup for the Packers.

Key to Packers' success with Brett Hundley starts up front |
Although McCray has filled in admirably, he's not David Bakhtiari or Bryan Bulaga, and the starting five will need to be healthy down the stretch for Hundley to lead the offense effectively.

Bye week shows Packers miss Jared Cook, Julius Peppers, other free agents - ESPN
Point: the Packers should regret not re-signing some of last year's free agents, including Micah Hyde, who leads the NFL in interceptions with five.

Context important in evaluating Packers’ free-agent departures | Packers Wire
Counterpoints: Hyde is playing safety, a position he likely wouldn't have played in Green Bay; plus, Julius Peppers really wanted to return home to Carolina and it's difficult to evaluate the difference in blocking between Cook and Martellus Bennett.

Packers enjoy playing Lions following the bye week | Packers Wire
This will be the fourth time that the Packers have played the Lions after a bye week with Mike McCarthy coaching. They're 3-0 against Detroit, and in an added bonus, they're 4-0 at home after the bye under McCarthy.

The NFL trade deadline is suddenly exciting. What changed? -
The two big trades from Monday sent tackle Duane Brown to the Seahawks and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers, each in exchange for packages that included second-round draft picks.

Ezekiel Elliott suspension set to start again after ruling -
The suspension saga continues, and now Elliott is again scheduled to miss the next six games.