Category Archives: ESPN

21

October

Packers Await News On Finley

Jermichael Finley neck injury

Finley’s status remains uncertain after he was taken off the field on a stretcher against the Browns

Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley suffered a neck injury and was taken off the field in a stretcher during Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns at Lambeu Field.

We don’t have any update on Finley’s status other than that the Packers have confirmed that it was a neck injury, he does have feeling in all extremities, and that he remains in a local hospital for more testing.  As of early Monday morning, ESPN is reporting that Finley remains in the intensive care unit at the hospital.

After catching a pass in the second half, Finley was met by Browns safety Tashaun Gipson.  Gipson appeared to hit Finley’s shoulder area with his helmet as Finley was ducking in anticipation of contact.

Immediately after, Finley lay motionless on the field as he was tended to by trainers.  He was carted off the field on a stretcher and the Packers will now await more information on the severity of the injury.

From here the Packers are once again faced with game planning to be without one of their top offensive weapons.  After losing starting receivers James Jones and Randall Cobb last week, the team bumped receiver Jarrett Boykin into the starting lineup and promoted practice squad receiver Myles White.

Both Boykin and White saw time with the team’s offense against Cleveland, but neither come close to replacing what was lost.  Boykin made a few nice catches and seems to improve with increased playing time.  White fumbled an onside kick attempt during the fourth quarter and that would have given the Browns the ball, were it not for a Cleveland penalty to negate the play.

Without Finley, that leaves the Packers with Jordy Nelson, Boykin, White, Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick and Jake Stoneburner at receiver and tight end.  It is possible  that James Jones could be available next week.  He was a game-time decision this week and was held out.  Tight end Ryan Taylor had knee surgery this past week and will be out at least a few more games.

It seems like a weekly theme around here as more and more is needed from the young and inexperienced on the Packers roster.  The team has to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

15

October

Myles White Promoted From Practice Squad, Van Roten Placed on Injured Reserve

Myles White

White was promoted from the practice squad after Cobb was placed on injured reserve

The Green Bay Packers continue to make roster moves today.  According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsy, the Packers placed wide receiver Randall Cobb on injured reserve-designated to return, placed offensive lineman Greg Van Roten on season-ending injured reserve and signed receiver Myles White from their practice squad.

With Cobb slated to be out until at least week 15, many questions have surfaced as to what the Packers would do to fill the void on offense.  While replacing a dynamic receiver like Cobb is difficult by itself, the team will also miss his play-making abilities all around.  In addition to his duties as a receiver, Cobb has also carried the ball out of the backfield and returned kicks this season.

The Packers appear content to look to some of their current players and options.  It has been speculated that tight end Jermichael Finley will see extensive time split out at receiver.  This was already a given but was further fueled by the news that the Packers signed another of their practice squad players in that of tight end Jake Stoneburner.

White was signed for depth purposes as without Cobb, the Packers were down to just three receivers on their roster in that of James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin.

With Van Roten’s placement on IR comes some speculation as to how well offensive linemen Derek Sherrod and J.C. Tretter are progressing in their rehab from injury.  Both are on the physically unable to perform list and are now officially eligible to begin practicing with the team.  The Packers have up to three weeks to allow each to begin practicing and up to another three weeks from their first practice to either activate them, put them on season-ending injured reserve, or release them outright.

Sherrod hasn’t seen any football action since December of 2011 while Tretter was injured early in training camp during a non-contact drill.  With Van Roten now out of the mix, the Packers have only rookie Lane Taylor and Marshall Newhouse behind the five offensive line starters.  If Sherrod or Tretter are unable to return this season, the Packers will likely look to add another lineman for added depth.

What the Packers do with Sherrod, Tretter and defensive lineman Jerel Worthy, who is also on PUP, will lead to more roster moves in the coming weeks.

 

 

22

August

Micah Hyde and Jeremy Ross Battling For a Roster Spot?

Micah Hyde Training Camp

Is Packers CB Micah Hyde pushing WR Jeremy Ross out of a roster spot?

Green Bay Packers rookie cornerback Micah Hyde and second-year wide receiver Jeremy Ross could be battling for the same roster spot, despite holding two different positions on two different units. The one thing they do have in common, however, is that they’re both getting looks as punt returners on special teams. In fact, according to JSOnline’s Wednesday camp report, both Hyde and Ross will be returning “most if not all the punts against Seattle.”

Micah Hyde has been making a lot of splashes this preseason. He has taken full advantage of the injuries to Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward by making the most of his reps during practice and exhibition games. While he has a couple things to refine in coverage, he has shown great things as a blitzing defensive back. Overall, his praise has been well-earned. ProFootballFocus.com (PFF) even highlighted his performance against the St. Louis Rams last week: “Leading that group (of young corners), in spite of being involved in Chris Givens’ 57 yard reception, was 5th round pick Micah Hyde (+2.4) who outside of that catch surrendered only six yards on five targets. He also broke up two passes and registered four stops including a sack.”

As a punt returner, Hyde has had only a few opportunities to make an impact; however, his 13-yard (and only) return against the Rams was the longest by a Packers player so far this preseason. Head coach Mike McCarthy likes his ability to field balls, too. According to Rob Demovsky at ESPN’s NFC North Blog, McCarthy recalled a drill from rookie orientation camp: “Just to see (Hyde’s) ability to catch the ball on the run and do different things, hell, I was tempted to put him on offense. I think he has that type of ball-skill ability.”

With the cornerback group as deep as it is with Williams, Shields, House, and Hayward, it might take some extra duties for Hyde to really lock down a significant role on the roster.

Then there’s Jeremy Ross. Not too long ago, I wrote about Ross’ problems with ball security, but since that time there have been few reports about dropped catches. After Jonathan Franklin’s failure to field the third-quarter punt against St. Louis that resulted in a turnover (according to special teams coach Shawn Slocum), Ross has one fewer competitor to take the main job.

9

August

Maybe Greg Jennings is jealous of Randall Cobb

If Greg Jennings is so happy in Minnesota, why does he keep talking about Green Bay?

If Greg Jennings is so happy in Minnesota, why does he keep talking about Green Bay?

Enough is enough.

Former Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings simply cannot stop talking about his former team. And despite his assertion that the grass is greener in Minnesota, his repetitive jabs at the Packers suggest otherwise.

The breakup between Jennings and the Packers wasn’t a “he dumped her,” or “she dumped him” situation. It was a mutual divorce that made sense for both sides.

Even without Jennings, the Packers still have one of the top receiving trios in the league in Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jordy Nelson. Extending Jennings likely would have resulted in the departure of someone else. Morgan Burnett was signed to an extension last month, and Jones, B.J. Raji and Jermichael Finley are scheduled to hit free agency next summer.

Jennings, on the other hand, wasn’t ready to give up his “go-to receiver” label. In Green Bay, he’d have to share targets with three talented receivers and an athletic tight end. In Minnesota, Jennings is the clear-cut No. 1 receiver and figures to be towards the top of the league in targets.

But throughout this mutual breakup, a cloud of jealousy is hovering over Jennings’ head.

After all, his ex (Green Bay) has continually replenished their receiving corps under the watchful eye of Ted Thompson, grooming potential replacements for players on the decline. After taking Jennings in 2006, the Packers drafted James Jones in 2007, Jordy Nelson in 2008 and Randall Cobb in 2011.

And now, it seems like Jennings is having trouble seeing his ex with a younger, prettier (and less costly) girl.

In October 2012, quarterback Aaron Rodgers made a bold statement about Cobb, telling Packers beat writer Jason Wilde on their weekly in-season radio show “Tuesdays with Aaron” that Cobb “is probably going to go down as one of the best picks in Ted Thompson’s career, if not the best.”

Thompson’s draft résumé boasts Rodgers, Nick Collins, Greg Jennings and Clay Matthews, among others. But still, Cobb, after appearing in just 21 games in the NFL, was already in the conversation, according to the 2011 league MVP.

Later in the season, in Week 17, Jennings’ sister Valyncia trashed Rodgers on Twitter during the Packers-Vikings game in Minnesota. On top of urging her brother to “go to South Beach and get paid” after the 2012 season, Valyncia suggested that Rodgers favors Cobb over the other receivers.

4

August

Surviving Sunday: News, Notes and Analysis from Packers Training Camp

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Another week of Packers training camp is in the books. Is it Sept. 8 yet?

Finley pipes down
I’ve never been one of those people who gets all bent out of shape whenever Jermichael Finley says something that stirs the pot — I’ll take honesty and candor over canned cliches any day. But it looks like Finley is at least trying the cliche route…for now. Will a boring Finley in front of the microphones lead to a more exciting Finley on the football field? I don’t think one has anything to do with the other. If Finley becomes a force at tight end, it won’t be because he zipped his lips during training camp. Besides, if he does finally break out, people would probably be more tolerant of whatever does come out of his mouth.

Hawk OK with pay cut
Calling it “more of an ego thing than anything that guys can’t get over,” LB A.J. Hawk spoke about taking a pay cut this offseason in order to stay with the Packers. After the slash in pay, Hawk is due to make $10.6 million over the final three years of his deal. That sounds like more than enough money for a guy who rarely makes impactful plays. It’s good to hear Hawk speak openly about taking a cut and being a team guy, but deep down, even he has to know that there probably wasn’t another team out there that would be willing to pay him over $10 million. It’s still a great deal for Hawk, and the Packers obviously think it’s a fair price for a LB that hasn’t made many flash plays, but is healthy and ready to go every Sunday.

Bakhtiari making a move
We’ve been hearing nothing but good things about David Bakhtiari. There are even rumblings that he might end up winning the starting right tackle job. The rookie from Colorado appears to be plenty athletic to be the kind of pass protector the Packers like. And with Marshall Newhouse being, well, Marshall Newhouse, and Don Barclay horsing around at backup center, perhaps the window is open for the rookie to win the job. But remember: We haven’t made it to the first exhibition game yet. All rookies are getting loved up right now because they’re new, they’re fresh, their ceilings are perceived to be high and we don’t know their shortcomings yet.

1

August

Puttin’ on the Pads: Packers Training Camp 2013 Day 7 Roundup

Today was the third straight day the Packers have practiced in pads, part of a runup that will total five straight days, culminating in the Family Night Scrimmage on Saturday. I’ve culled through the hundreds of tweets by Packers beat writers (so you don’t have to) to bring you what I consider the most important happenings and observations of the day: Enjoy!

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

1

August

2013 Packers: Who’s Returning?

Randall Cobb vs St. Louis Rams

Cobb remains the Packers top kick return man

The Green Bay Packers entered this year’s training camp with several position battles promising to stand out.  The running back competition, the battle for the starting safety position opposite Morgan Burnett and the defensive line, to name a few.

One of the battles that has taken a bit of a backseat is at kick returner.  It’s interesting because at face value, there should be no battle to begin with.  The Packers have a great return man in that of Randall Cobb.  The problem with that scenario is that Cobb is just as, if not more important as a wide receiver.  Some past players have had success in being both a returner and playing their natural position, but Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has made it known that he would like for someone else to emerge and take hold of the return duties.

With the loss of Greg Jennings, Cobb will be asked, along with Jordy Nelson and James Jones, to carry much of the load in the passing game this season.  Questions started to emerge last season as to how long the Packers could afford to keep Cobb on special teams.  Cobb was injured on a kick return in the week 16 game against the Tennessee Titans and he did not return to that game.  He also missed the following week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.  Many reports were that Cobb could have played in that game if he was really needed, but alas, he was held out and the Packers fell to the Vikes.  Suddenly those questions about the risk of hanging Cobb out there in a sometimes-vulnerable situation became more pronounced.

So far and between the team’s organized team activities in the spring and in the few training camp practices, the team has given some of Cobb’s usual return reps to others such as Nelson, Deangelo Pease, Sam Shields, Jeremy Ross, Omarius Hines, Loyce Means, Johnathan Franklin and James Nixon.  Ross spent some time returning kicks last season after Cobb was injured, including an appearance in the postseason as well.  Despite some of his ball-handling woes, many are hopeful that Ross can secure the job and relieve Cobb.  Even if not Ross, with some decent alternatives to Cobb, surely someone is bound to stand out, right?  Well, after today’s practice, McCarthy stated that if games started now, Cobb would still be the return man.