The Green Bay Packers used a rotation in the secondary against San Francisco and they might do the same on Thursday night against Chicago.
During the portion of Tuesday’s practice that was open to reporters, the Packers used three combinations in their six-defensive-back dime package during a span of about 5 minutes.
Reporters are not allowed to get into specifics about personnel. However, what can be said is there was a rotation at cornerback opposite Tramon Williams in the base defense (and as the third cornerback in nickel with Williams and Chales Woodson). Against San Francisco, Jarrett Bush started and played in the base defense, with Sam Shields replacing Bush in the nickel package.
Plus, the safety position opposite Morgan Burnett remains unsettled after rookie Jerron McMillian replaced starter M.D. Jennings in the third quarter against San Francisco.
Judging by practice and coach Mike McCarthy’s words following practice, there seems to be no hurry pick a cornerback and safety to handle those roles on a full-time basis. McCarthy downplayed the possibility that the mixing and matching of personnel has stymied the secondary’s ability to build chemistry.
“It’s a competitive situation,” McCarthy said. “There’s competitive situations that go on throughout your football team all season. Some you’d like to see rectified earlier than others. We still don’t play with just 11 players on offense and defense. So, it’s really part of that. But, yes, as far as who’s the staring corner and who’s doing what and what package, there’s also another side to it. You’re playing to individual strengths and whether it’s experience or inexperience or skill-set. All those things are involved. I definitely don’t think its an inhibitor. All players would like to be on the field the full time the defense or offense is on the field. I understand that and maybe it would help them get in a rhythm. But, frankly, the players are responsible for their performance in a competitive situation and how much they’re going to play.”
Packers injury report
Did not participate: WR Greg Jennings (groin); LB Terrell Manning (concussion); RB James Starks (toe). Limited: CB Davon House (shoulder); LB Jamari Lattimore (ankle); DE C.J. Wilson (groin).
“I know his workout and his rehab went pretty good, so we’ll see how (he is),” McCarthy said of Jennings. “Tomorrow will be the big day. So, we’re dealing with the groin, and really how it responds to it, and I think it’ll be more of an endurance issue. (That) is the concern.”
McCarthy said he was “encouraged” after watching House do some bump-and-run work; he called Starks “doubtful” because of turf toe.
Bears injury report
Did not participate: CB Charles Tillman (shin); LB Brian Urlacher (knee; coach’s decision). Limited: TE Kyle Adams (shoulder). Full: LT J’Marcus Webb (thumb).
— Panic? Why panic? Of the last 10 Super Bowl champions, four of them lost their Week 1 games. That includes the 2003 Patriots, who were trounced 31-0 at Buffalo. New England rebounded with a season-ending 15 game winning streak that concluded with a win over Carolina in the Super Bowl.
— Aaron Rodgers was in the locker room but wasn’t wearing the jersey of 49ers quarterback Alex Smith for allegedly losing a bet. "There's nothing to that," Rodgers said. "That got blown way out of proportion. It was at best a joke between friends, and, unfortunately, the great reporting of TMZ blew another one."
— Cornerback Brandian Ross, who was released on Monday to make room for the return of suspended linebacker Erik Walden, was signed to the practice squad, according to a source. The Packers had to release someone to make room for Ross. We will update this story with that information.
— NFL Network’s coverage of Thursday night games will include cameras placed inside the pylons at the goal line. The hope is those cameras will debut with this week’s game at Lambeau Field.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.