5

December

McCarthy: Quarless Out for Season, Optimistic on Woodson for Sunday

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed on Monday that tight end Andrew Quarless would be lost for the rest of the season due to a “significant” knee injury. Quarless was hurt on a kickoff in the second half on a horrific looking sequence that saw the second-year tight end’s knee buckle underneath him. He’ll have surgery in the upcoming weeks.

The injury is a tough break for Quarless, who was coming into his own as the Packers primary run blocking tight end this season. Quarless was also becoming a core cog in the Packers special teams coverage. To replace him, the Packers will likely lean more on Tom Crabtree in blocking sets and also rookies D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor.

There was a silver lining Monday, as McCarthy said that the medical staff felt good about Charles Woodson’s status for this week after suffering a concussion in the second half Sunday. Woodson banged helmets with Ahmad Bradshaw in the flats and didn’t return. An independent neurologist will still have to evaluate and clear Woodson for practice and game participation, but that’s an encouraging sign for the Packers’ upcoming game with the Oakland Raiders this Sunday.

James Starks was the last of the injury news, and McCarthy said that his ankle injury wasn’t serious or long-term. They need to get him healthy—Starks has come out in three straight games—but he could still play on Sunday. McCarthy said they’ll make a decision on Starks by Wednesday.

Other highlights from McCarthy’s press conference:

  • Announcement of winning the division title was made on the plane ride home. McCarthy said no body even blinked when the announcement was made. Winning the division was just a step towards a bigger goal.
  • Packers had two plays on defense where there were communication breakdowns.
  • Cobb was instructed to stay in the end zone on final kickoff because McCarthy wanted all 58 seconds and to start at least at the 20-yard-line on the final drive.
  • The final drive was as clean a 2-minute drive as he’s been a part of. Aaron did a great job on route adjustments on both of the first two completions. Last drive was managed well, McCarthy said.
  • McCarthy said he’s comfortable playing Jordy Nelson on offense and special teams.
  • Money quote of the presser: “We’re keeping our foot on the gas, playing to win games.”