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ESPN Wisconsin Blogs - Jason Wilde

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Packers promote Abbrederis, release Gaston, downgrade Adams and Burnett

Oct 03, 2015 -- 4:49pm
Photo/Getty Images 
Wide receiver Jared Abbrederis was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster Saturday.

SAN FRANCISCO – With No. 2 wide receiver Davante Adams downgraded to doubtful and unlikely to play in Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, the Green Bay Packers promoted former University of Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abbrederis from the practice squad to the 53-man roster Saturday.

To make room for Abbrederis, the Packers released defensive tackle Bruce Gaston.

Earlier Saturday, the Packers downgraded both Adams (ankle) and safety Morgan Burnett (calf) from questionable to doubtful. That likely means that neither player, despite making the trip to California with the team, was able to practice during Saturday morning’s light workout. Although coach Mike McCarthy would not disclose the practice location before the team left Green Bay on Friday, several players said the team was planning to practice at San Jose State, the alma mater of wide receiver James Jones.

It’s hard to imagine Adams not only playing without having practiced all week, but also that the team would promote Abbrederis if there was much hope of Adams playing.

With Adams likely out, the Packers’ will have Randall Cobb, Jones, rookie Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis and Abbrederis as their five wide receivers. McCarthy has had five receivers active for each of the three games so far this season, so it’s likely that Abbrederis will be active.

With Burnett unlikely to play, Micah Hyde is expected to start in his place. If Burnett does not play against the 49ers, it’ll mark the third game this season that he’s missed with his calf injury, which initially occurred during the preseason and he aggravated in practice before the team’s Week 3 game against Kansas City last Monday.

Meanwhile, although the team never made a formal announcement, it appears defensive end Letroy Guion has been moved back onto the 53-man roster after his three-game NFL suspension. He is now listed on the team’s roster instead of in a separate section devoted to suspended players.

Guion appears to have taken the roster spot of tight end Andrew Quarless, who was placed on injured reserve with the designation for possible return. Quarless suffered a left knee injury against the Chiefs. 

Packers-49ers Friday injury report: Adams, Burnett questionable

Oct 02, 2015 -- 6:23pm
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Davante Adams has a “slight” chance of playing on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

SAN FRANCISCO – The Green Bay Packers aren’t giving up hope on wide receiver Davante Adams or safety Morgan Burnett playing on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, but their injury report may be a bit more optimistic than realistic.

Although neither player practiced Wednesday or Thursday before the team’s charter flight departed for California on Friday afternoon,

Here’s the full, official injury report from Friday:

Out – RT Bryan Bulaga (knee).
Doubtful – CB Demetri Goodson (hamstring); LB Jake Ryan (hamstring).
Questionable – WR Davante Adams (ankle); S Morgan Burnett (calf).
Probable – WR Randall Cobb (shoulder); DE Datone Jones (head); RB Eddie Lacy (ankle); LB Mike Neal (groin); S Sean Richardson (ankle); FB Aaron Ripkowski (hamstring).
Doubtful –  TE Vernon Davis (knee).
Probable – LB Navorro Bowman (not injury related); CB Kenneth Acker (back); G Alex Boone (shoulder); LB Ahmad Brooks (shoulder); RB Reggie Bush (calf); WR Bruce Ellington (ankle); S L.J. McCray (hip); TE Vance McDonald (knee).

Adams said he’s still giving himself a chance to play even though he initially injured his left ankle against Seattle on Sept. 20, came back to play in the second half, then started in the Packers’ victory over Kansas City on Monday night only to leave after three plays after aggravating the ankle.

“We’re just going to see how it’s feeling. I’m not quite sure yet. So we’re just going to keep feeling it out and then get a feel for it for tomorrow,” Adams said. “Obviously, if I’m going to sit out, then it’s going to be in pain. Yeah, it was painful, but just trying to be smart about it for the most part.”

If Adams can’t go, the Packers’ top four receivers will be Cobb, James Jones, Ty Montgomery and Jeff Janis.

Asked if he had any hope for Adams, Packers coach Mike McCarthy replied, “Slight. He’s going to have to jump around [Saturday], jump through some hoops. We’ll see how it goes.”

McCarthy did say that Burnett, who has missed two of the team’s first three games this season with the calf injury, is “definitely closer,” but that may not be close enough to play.

According to McCarthy, the only player who was not going to make the trip to San Jose, where the team flew into Friday evening, was Bulaga.

Guion ready to return, help 27th-ranked run defense

Sep 30, 2015 -- 9:23pm
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Letroy Guion is eligible to return to the 53-man roster this week after a three-game suspension.

GREEN BAY – Even after limiting Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch and Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles to less than 100 yards combined over the past two weeks, the Green Bay Packers’ run defense is happy to welcome run-stuffing defensive tackle Letroy Guion back to the rotation this week.

Guion, sidelined for the first three games of the season by an NFL suspension for his February arrest in Starke, Fla., had been allowed to work out with the team and attend meetings but could not practice or play while suspended. He took part in his first practice of the regular season on Wednesday, and the Packers have a roster exemption through Friday, when they must put him on the 53-man roster.

“He brings physicality, but he also brings the energy, another energetic body that's going to run around and help you,” nose tackle B.J. Raji said. “I think just his presence and his understanding of the defense and what they're going to do is going to help us.”

The Packers do have an opening on their roster after putting tight end Andrew Quarless on injured reserve Wednesday with the designation to return, but Guion was not officially added to the roster yet.

Even with their improved play against the run the last two weeks, the Packers still rank 27th in the 32-team NFL against the run. Guion, who joined the team as a free agent a year ago, re-signed on a one-year deal this offseason following his arrest.

“It feels great to get back out there with my teammates and start playing some football,” he said after practice. “It’s pretty tough sitting back watching, but this is my team. Just going out there taking care of business.

“They did a good job of preparing and getting ready for [Lynch and Charles]. They did a good job with those guys. So whatever I put out there is what I add out there.”

Adams in walking boot, still hopes to play Sunday

Sep 30, 2015 -- 9:10pm
Photo/Getty Images 
Davante Adams reinjured his left ankle during Monday night’s game against the Chiefs.

GREEN BAY – Davante Adams likes to consider himself a bit of a clotheshorse, so the Green Bay Packers’ second-year wide receiver did his best to view his newest accoutrement – a silver, ultra-modern orthopedic walking boot – as a good look for him.

“Pretty fashionable,” Adams said Wednesday.

Whether the boot allows Adams’ injured left ankle to heal sufficiently before Sunday’s game at San Francisco remains to be seen, and considering he went into Monday night’s game with the injury and then aggravated it against the Chiefs, it’s probably not a good sign that he’s wearing such footwear.

Nevertheless, Adams said he hasn’t given up hope of playing and said that the injury is not the high-ankle sprain that has been reported by some outlets.

“It’s low. It’s just a regular one,” Adams said.

As for the boot, Adams said the medical staff is “just trying to keep it stabilized and make sure I don’t hurt it any more. It got a little tweaked [in the game], but it’s day-to-day. It’s preventative for the most part. I don’t want to do anything worse to it.”

Adams originally injured the ankle Sept. 20 against Seattle during the first half. He ended up returning to the game in the second half but was clearly hobbled. He did not practice Wednesday and is one of 12 players listed on the team's injury report.

Quarless placed on IR with designation to return; Backman next man up

Sep 30, 2015 -- 9:03pm
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Tight end Andrew Quarless, shown here after injuring his right knee in 2011, was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return.

GREEN BAY – Ready or not, Kennard Backman is up.

The Green Bay Packers rookie tight end and sixth-round draft pick will be active for the first time this season when the Packers play at San Francisco on Sunday, as the team placed veteran tight end Andrew Quarless on injured reserve Wednesday with the designation to return.

Quarless suffered a knee injury during the Packers’ 38-28 victory over Kansas City on Monday night and now will be out for the next eight weeks. NFL rules on the IR-DTR stipulate that players can practice after six weeks and play in a game after eight weeks.

Quarless spent most of the first three games as the Packers’ blocking tight end behind second-year man Richard Rodgers. He caught two passes for 14 yards against the Chiefs and was hit low on the second catch, taking a direct hit on his left knee.

It will be interesting to see how the Packers use Backman, whose pass-catching is well ahead of his blocking.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy also suggested that he could other players – like fullbacks John Kuhn and Aaron Ripkowski – as tight ends, too.

“We’re pretty multiple in our personnel groups. That’s something that we go into each and every week,” McCarthy said. “That’s the diversity of our offense. Really, it’s the beauty that Aaron Rodgers gives us [as the quarterback]. We can always be creative, and our assistant coaches are very aggressive in the game plan part of it.”

Quarless’ IR-DTR designation leaves only two tight ends on the 53-man roster, although the team does have Justin Perillo and newly signed Blake Annen on the practice squad.

As for Backman, he got off to a slow start in training camp but came on late.

“I feel pretty ready, pretty confident. Just trying to do everything they ask of me,” Backman said. “I’ve definitely made strides. I feel like I’ve been getting better each day just practicing and being around and still being here and doing everything that everyone else is doing. That also gives me confidence, as well.

“I think toward the end of training camp I probably hit my better stride and I feel like I’m continuing to do the same thing now.”

Jones avoided concussion, and protocol that comes with it

Sep 30, 2015 -- 8:51pm
Datone Jones was confident right away that he hadn’t suffered a concussion on Monday night.

GREEN BAY – Datone Jones isn’t a neurologist, but the Green Bay Packers defensive end was certain Monday night that he had not suffered a concussion during his fourth-quarter collision with teammate Joe Thomas.

And as it turned out, Jones’ diagnosis was right. Although that didn’t stop him from joking about it.

“I can’t remember,” he replied with a laugh when asked what happened on the play.

Jones was cleared as not having a concussion and was able to practice on Wednesday instead of having to go through the league’s extensive concussion protocol.

Jones said his shoulder and neck bore the brunt of the collision with Thomas, and that he never felt dazed or confused after the hit.

“I was straight. I was trying to tell the trainers, ‘I’m all right, man.’ I just had to catch my breath. But I guess it looked bad, so they were like, ‘We’ve got to test you for a concussion,’” Jones said. “I thank them, because they were looking out for my best interests.

“But for the most part, I was solid. No head trauma, no headache, nothing. I’ve got a thick head and a thick neck to take the blow.”

Jones, who said he has never suffered a concussion dating back to his career at UCLA, is fortunate that he did pass all the initial tests so he didn’t have to go through the protocol. If he had, there’s a good chance he would not play Sunday at San Francisco, and having missed the opener serving a one-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, missing another game would have been less than ideal.

“The last thing I needed was a setback,” Jones said. “

Rodgers on Jordan comparison: 'I'm not worthy'

Sep 30, 2015 -- 7:15pm
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Aaron Rodgers may not be on par with Michael Jordan, but he was named the NFC offensive player of the week on Wednesday, his 13th time winning the award.

GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers may not be Michael Jordan – the Green Bay Packers quarterback wanted to make that clear on Wednesday afternoon – but he is the NFC offensive player of the week for the 13th time in his career.

Rodgers completed 24 of 35 passes (68.6 percent) for 333 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions for a 138.5 passer rating in the Packers’ 38-28 win over Kansas City. Afterward, backup quarterback Scott Tolzien told, “It’s like watching Jordan in his prime. He’s at the top of his game.”

That quote – intended to describe how in-command Rodgers is right now – garnered national attention, with Rodgers’ worthiness of such a comparison being debated on several ESPN programs as well as on other outlets.

Rodgers, for one, would be in the group that says he isn’t there just yet.

“I appreciate the kind words [from Tolzien]. I don’t know if the comparison is … I’m not worthy of that comparison,” said Rodgers, who befriended Jordan during their time playing together at the annual American Century Celebrity Golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. “I enjoy watching Michael. I was a big fan as a kid. I remember going and seeing him at Arco [Arena, in Sacramento] back in ‘97. I loved the [Chicago Bulls’] championship runs as the Kings didn’t really become my favorite team until Vlade [Divac] got there and they started making some runs in the playoffs.

“It’s a nice comparison. I’m just trying to be a guy they can count on every week. I know my play is very important to this team but it takes all the guys that dress playing well for us to win.”

This is the sixth consecutive year in which Rodgers has been honored with a player of the week award. His 13 awards are the most in franchise history, passing Brett Favre (12).

Packers-49ers Wednesday injury report: Burnett still out

Sep 30, 2015 -- 6:45pm
Morgan Burnett remained sidelined with a calf injury at practice Wednesday, one of a host of players on the injury report.

GREEN BAY – Morgan Burnett remains sidelined by the calf injury that has already caused the Green Bay Packers veteran safety to miss two of the first three games this season.

With a short week in advance of Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers and the team departing for San Jose, Calif., on Friday, if Burnett doesn’t practice on Thursday, it would seem unlikely that he’d be able to play in the game.

“I’m just taking it day by day,” Burnett said during a very brief appearance in the locker room Wednesday.

With 12 players on the injury report, the Packers filed their longest injury report of the year.

Here’s the full, official injury report from Wednesday:

Did not participate – WR Davante Adams (ankle); RT Bryan Bulaga (knee); S Morgan Burnett (calf); CB Demetri Goodson (hamstring); TE Andrew Quarless (knee); LB Jake Ryan (hamstring).
Full participation – WR Randall Cobb (shoulder); DE Datone Jones (head); RB Eddie Lacy (ankle); LB Mike Neal (groin); S Sean Richardson (ankle); FB Aaron Ripkowski (hamstring).
Did not participate –  LB Navorro Bowman (not injury related); TE Vernon Davis (knee).
Full participation – CB Kenneth Acker (back); G Alex Boone (shoulder); LB Ahmad Brooks (shoulder); RB Reggie Bush (calf); WR Bruce Ellington (ankle); S L.J. McCray (hip); TE Vance McDonald (knee).

Jones had to be placed on the injury report because he was unable to finish Monday night’s game but a Packers spokesman said he did not in fact suffer a concussion, which Jones later confirmed. Ryan also left the game late Monday night and it was unclear just how serious his hamstring injury was.

Bulaga, Burnett, Goodson and Richardson were all inactive for Monday night’s victory over Kansas City.

Quarless was later placed on injured reserve with the designation to return, meaning he will be sideilned for the next eight weeks. He can begin practicing after six weeks and then can play in a game two weeks after that.

Packers will travel to San Francisco on Friday

Sep 29, 2015 -- 7:54pm
The Packers will head to San Francisco a day earlier than they normally travel to a road game.

GREEN BAY – A short week following Monday Night Football will be even shorter in terms of how much time the Green Bay Packers will be spending in Titletown.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday that the team will leave for San Francisco on Friday – a day earlier than the team has traditionally traveled for a Sunday game.

It’s not unprecedented under McCarthy – the Packers went to Seattle for the NFC Championship Game in January on the Friday before the game – and late in his tenure, McCarthy’s predecessor, Mike Sherman, started heading west a day earlier as well. The idea is to get players’ internal time clocks acclimated to the time-zone change and also give them a chance to shake off any jet lag created by the long flight.

“All of the above. Short week, long trip,” McCarthy said Tuesday, one day after his team improved to 3-0 with its 38-28 victory over Kansas City at Lambeau Field. “There’s two ways of doing most things in this league. Getting acclimated to the environment, crossing time zones, we look at all of those things in the offseason. I don’t want to get into specifics – everybody does it a little differently – but it’s part of our preparation.”
The Packers have two more trips west this season – they play at Oakland on Dec. 20 and at Arizona on Dec. 27 – but McCarthy wouldn’t say whether this is his plan for all the West Coast trips or just this one. The Packers have lost their last two games in San Francisco (albeit at old Candlestick Park) in the 2012 NFC Divisional Playoffs and in the 2013 regular-season opener.

“Everything’s evaluated. We have a schedule for the whole season laid out,” McCarthy said. “We do it that way every year but it does adjust.”

McCarthy did say that the Packers will not stay out west for the entire week between the Oakland and Arizona games. Some teams have simply remained out west when facing back-to-back games in that part of the country, and perhaps the Packers would have done that had Christmas not fallen between those two games.


Packers-Chiefs Saturday injury report: Lacy, Adams, Burnett questionable

Sep 26, 2015 -- 4:04pm
Eddie Lacy and Davante Adams visit with trainers before taking part in Friday’s practice.

GREEN BAY – Just when the Green Bay Packers were encouraged by the progress running back Eddie Lacy and wide receiver Davante Adams made during the week in their recoveries from ankle injuries, the team could be without veteran safety Morgan Burnett after he reinjured his troublesome calf early in Friday’s practice.

The Packers listed Lacy, Adams and Burnett as questionable on Saturday’s injury report in advance of Monday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field, but coach Mike McCarthy sounded much more hopeful about Lacy and Adams than he did about Burnett.

“I think Eddie and Davante are both progressing,” McCarthy said.

Burnett missed the Packers’ Sept. 13 regular-season opener at Chicago with an injury to the same calf, and the team surrendered 189 rushing yards. Burnett returned to action last week against Seattle and helped the defense hold Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch to just 41 yards on 15 carries. The Packers did not practice Saturday, but the team estimated that Burnett would not have been able to go if they had.

“I think anytime you’re coming off a previous injury and you feel something, I think this is a natural response,” McCarthy said.

When Burnett injured the calf midway through last season and missed the team’s Oct. 26 game at New Orleans, the Packers gave up 193 rushing yards to the Saints.

“Morgan means a lot. Just look at Week 1 and Week 2, just the communication, the productivity,” McCarthy said. “He definitely makes a difference when he’s on the field. He’s an excellent communicator, a heck of a football player, is involved in your matchup plans, things like that> He’s definitely one of our best players on defense.”

Here is the official Saturday injury report for both teams:

Out – RT Bryan Bulaga (knee); CB Demetri Goodson (hamstring).
Questionable –WR Davante Adams (ankle); RB Eddie Lacy (ankle); OLB Mike Neal (groin); S Morgan Burnett (calf); S Sean Richardson (ankle); FB Aaron Ripkowski (shoulder).
Probable –WR Randall Cobb (shoulder).
Probable –OL Jeff Allen (knee); T Eric Fisher (ankle); TE Demetrius Harris (foot); WR Jeremy Maclin (knee); LB Josh Mauga (Achilles’); T Donald Stephenson (ankle); WR De’Anthony Thomas (ankle); RB Charcandrick West (Achilles’); WR Albert Wilson (shoulder).

If Burnett can’t go, the Packers would start nickel back Micah Hyde alongside Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at safety.

Lacy said after Friday's practice that he did more than he was supposed to do and that his ankle was "cool."

"It felt better when I went out there and ran [Friday] for the first time since then and we have a few more days to the game," Lacy said. "I can continue to rehab, and hopefully I'll be able to get out there and play."

Asked about his ankle's progress, Adams replied, "I just try to make sure I do what I can and really take all that swelling out of there that’s going to keep me from putting pressure on it. I’m glad that we have a long week this week so I can take advantage of that with my teammates and just getting everything where it should be."

The Packers ruled right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) out, although McCarthy sounded optimistic that Bulaga, who was injured in practice before the Seattle game, would return relatively soon.

“From my conversation with him [Friday], he’s very positive. But he will not be able to play Monday night,” McCarthy said. “[It was] definitely a sigh of relief. Any time you come off the field just the way he did, you always think the worst. Particularly with his history. So we definitely feel good about where he is and his potential timeline.”

The Packers also added two of their core special-teams players, safety Sean Richardson (ankle) and fullback Aaron Ripkowski (shoulder) as questionable. Both players apparently suffered their injuries Friday after the media access portion of practice ended.

Cobb, meanwhile, said on Thursday that even though he’s taking all his reps in practice, his shoulder – injured Aug. 29 against Philadelphia – is not yet back to 100 percent.

“It's something I'm dealing with, but it's not where I want it to be,” Cobb said.

Neal had been listed as a limited participant in practice on Thursday but apparently had some sort of setback or didn’t feel as good as he’d hoped he would during Thursday’s session. He did not participate on Friday and was estimated as being a limited participant on Saturday.

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