On Wednesday as the Green Bay Packers got their first practice underway to prepare for their week nine contest against the New England Patriots, the team was able to see 50 of the 52 players currently on their active roster suit up. However, the two who did not are both expected to be in the starting lineup on Sunday night.
First is outside linebacker Nick Perry, who was out on Wednesday. He had just 1.5 sacks in seven games so far this season, despite playing somewhere north of 50 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.
Second is safety Jermaine Whitehead, who has taken on a bigger role in recent weeks as a hybrid slot corner/safety/dime linebacker. His absence is notable because he is widely expected to start at free safety thanks to the departure of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in a trade with Washington on Tuesday.
Even if Whitehead were to play, he would likely split time with some other players, perhaps some combination of Josh Jones, Tramon Williams, and Bashaud Breeland. However, if his back issue becomes a bigger concern throughout the week and does force him to miss Sunday’s game, that would certainly rob the team of one of its most versatile defensive backs. Given the matchup against the Patriots and their host of talented receivers — a group that should include running back James White and tight end Rob Gronkowski — missing Whitehead would likely be a significant blow to the secondary.
Meanwhile, the Patriots, had five players miss practice on Wednesday, including a pair of starters on the offense: wideout Julian Edelman and right guard Shaq Mason. Keep an eye on New England’s reports on Thursday and Friday to see if any of them or the 13 other players who were out or limited on Wednesday continue to miss portions of practice.
Packers Wednesday Practice Report
Did Not Participate
- OLB Nick Perry (ankle)
- S Jermaine Whitehead (back)
- CB Jaire Alexander (groin)
- WR Geronimo Allison (hamstring)
- RT Bryan Bulaga (knee)
- WR Randall Cobb (hamstring)
- TE Jimmy Graham (knee)
- QB Aaron Rodgers (knee)
- WR Equanimeous St. Brown (back)
Patriots Wednesday Practice Report
Did Not Participate
- WR Julian Edelman (ankle/illness)
- TE Jacob Hollister (hamstring)
- RG Shaq Mason (calf)
- OG Brian Schwenke (foot)
- DL Deatrich Wise, Jr. (illness)
- P Ryan Allen (ankle)
- LT Trent Brown (ankle)
- RT Marcus Cannon (concussion)
- LS Joe Cardona (shoulder)
- WR Josh Gordon (hamstring)
- DL Geneo Grissom (ankle)
- TE Rob Gronkowski (ankle/back)
- LB Dont’a Hightower (knee)
- RB Sony Michel (knee)
- DE John Simon (shoulder)