Jennings surgery not a big ordeal

Greg JenningsEarlier Thursday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said that surgery was an option to help Greg Jennings get back on the field after a protracted absence. Jennings announced Thursday that he will be having surgery next week and Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that Jennings anticipates being back in the locker room the day after the operation. Jennings also said that he regrets returning for Week Three after getting hurt in the season opener.

Nothing much to do about that now, especially when the Packers may have another man down at receiver this weekend. Jordy Nelson missed practice on Thursday after hurting his hamstring on Wednesday, a development that has prompted the team to preemptively rule him out for Friday’s practice as well. McCarthy said that Nelson would test his hamstring on Saturday to determine whether or no it was well enough for him to play against the Jaguars.

Nelson has 17 catches for 243 yards and four touchdowns in the last two weeks, so there would obviously be a lot of slack for James Jones, Randall Cobb, Donald Driver and Jarrett Boykin to pick up in Nelson’s absence. If there’s any question about Nelson’s health, the Packers would probably be wise to take their chances against Jacksonville without him in hopes of ensuring his health for the final eight games of the season. Read more…

Are the Packers risking the health of Greg Jennings?

Greg JenningsOn Thursday, we shared Packers coach Mike McCarthy’s take on wide receiver Greg Jennings‘ status as he tries to return from a groin injury.

The word was fairly glum. McCarthy said Jennings didn’t feel great after practicing earlier in the week and that the receiver was still trying to get a “handle” on it. There wasn’t any discussion of Jennings’ status for Monday night’s game with the Seahawks, but the prognosis didn’t sound good on that front.
Jennings spoke to the media Friday and sang a different tune. While he admitted to being less than full speed, Jennings said that he was able to do what he needed to do in practice on Friday and plans on playing Monday.
“I’ll get through it,” Jennings said, via Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “I’m a positive guy. I’m not completely worried about it lingering too bad. It is what it is. It’s going to be something I’m going to have to push through right now. If I can get close to 100 percent, that’s all I’m looking for. I’m not looking to be 100 percent because that will never happen, ever, probably in my career. Ever.” Read more…

NFL Game Changers: NFC North

Join us as TTR Game Changers takes a tour through all 32 teams, identifying one player from every squad that I believe has a great chance of being a game changer in 2012.  To see the full series click here.

Green Bay Packers – The Packers very well could be the team to beat in 2012.  For the majority of the season they were a dominant team.  Aaron Rodgers play was the biggest reason for that as he was simply off the charts with his efficiency ratings.  He is in an offensive system that fits his skill set excellently and he has a host of weapons to take advantage of.  It is that group of weapons that really sets the Packers apart.  While smart money is going to be on Jordy Nelson to continue his ascent into super stardom, I think that Greg Jennings is also going to have a huge year.  I know he just suffered a concussion, but he appears to be completely healthy.  He also does not have a deal in place after this season.  For many players this would be a distraction, but the classy Jennings has vowed not to allow it to affect his play.  If anything, I believe that it could have a positive impact on him this season.  Jennings  will be 29 years old next season, and possibly looking for a new home.  The reality that it could happen means that Jennings needs to perform at the highest level this year, so he will remain focused this season.  I also believe that the increased attention paid to Jordy Nelson this season will actually benefit Jennings significantly, allowing him to see less coverage rolled his way.
Detroit Lions –  Many of the voices around the NFL say that the Lions will fail to meet expectations this year for a variety of reasons.  Some blame it on the lack of a running game.  Others blame it on discipline.  While some simply say that the Bears are just better.  I have looked closely at both organizations, and I still think that the Lions will end up in a better position when the dust settles.  I know all the attention goes to the Bears addition of Brandon Marshall, but the Lions offense is far more explosive.  I believe that Titus Young is going to surprise a lot of people this year, and he is just one of many talented weapons on this Lions squad.  With all the attention being paid to their offense, I have to shift my attention to the defensive side of the ball.  Naturally people would expect you to think about Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley or Cliff Avril when you talk about their defense, but not me.  Those guys are all going to have a major impact this season, but I want to highlight third year defensive end Willie Young.  Willie Young was a 7th round draft pick in 2010 bout of North Carolina State.  While not as heralded as his predecessor Mario Williams, Willie has quietly developed into a very dangerous edge rusher perfectly suited to Detroit’s wide 9 scheme.  He is quick off the ball with excellent burst and uses his long frame to disrupt the passing game.  Willie has shown a knack at making impact plays from sacks and strips to interceptions.  His strong showing this preseason is just another indicator that he is steadily improving, and I believe 2012 will be a break out year for the big fisherman. Read more…

Aaron Rodgers may be without Jennings in 2013

Chiefs Packers Football

On Tuesday, we heard that wide receiver Greg Jennings was thinking about the possibility that 2012 is his swan song with the Packers.

His quarterback has read the same writing on the same wall. Aaron Rodgers took a little walk down memory during a radio interview when he was asked about Jennings, before moving on to address the chances that this is the last year he’ll be throwing passes to Jennings.

“I think you have to be realistic about it and think that it might be. I have loved my time with Greg, Greg and I are going to be buddies whether he’s here or not,” Rodgers said, via “It’s been great throwing to him, but there’s a lot of guys who may or may not get paid the next few years, and obviously with Jordy (Nelson) and his contract situation, I think you have to think about whether or not there’s room for all of us. If there’s not, obviously you wish Greg the best. He’s a great guy and will be a great friend.” Read more…

2012 NFL Season Preview: Green Bay Packers

Clay Matthews

Al Bello/Getty Images

Just 18 months ago, the Green Bay Packers stood alone on top of the football world. In his third season as Green Bay’s starting quarterback, Aaron Rodgers had cemented himself as one of football’s elite quarterbacks. More good things were to come in Green Bay’s future, with the team finishing 15-1 in 2011, their sole loss coming as a fluke to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers looked like a strong bet to repeat, but they were suddenly surprised by the New York Giants – the team that would eventually go on to win the Super Bowl.

That one-and-done performance in the playoffs was enough to raise the eyebrows of some fans, but the 2012 Packers are in no real jeopardy. That is, they’re in no jeopardy until one considers how much the division has improved around them. The Chicago Bears have made tremendous upgrades on offense and have shored up their defense, so they figure to be a team that will be difficult to compete with. The Detroit Lions took the football world by storm last year, too. With their young nucleus improving every season and adding new players, they are another team that has the potential to cause problems for Green Bay. Having two divisional opponents that are of playoff caliber will be challenging despite the Packers having been rock-solid for the last several seasons.

As far as the Packers team itself, the biggest focus in 2012 will be on the team’s defense. The 2011 unit wasn’t just weak; they put up historically bad numbers. They allowed about 300 passing yards per game, and ended up allowing more passing yards than any other team in league history. Part of this is due to the fact that Green Bay scored so frequently that opposing teams had more possessions than usual. Even more credit is due to just how pass-happy the NFL has become over the last few years – with several quarterbacks shattering the single-season passing record, it should be no surprise that the worst defensive unit also put up some of the worst numbers ever.  Read More…