GREEN BAY—For now, Matt Flynn remains the starting quarterback for the Packers, but that could change within the next two days.
Mike McCarthy said on Monday that Aaron Rodgers will have another rehab workout on Tuesday and be evaluated on Wednesday morning, before the team’s first practice of the week. That means Rodgers has a chance to earn medical clearance to play based on that evaluation, but it’s not a given he’ll get it.
“They’re going to do some things tomorrow that they haven’t done last week,” McCarthy said of the pending Tuesday workout. “He’s progressing.”
As McCarthy and his assistant coaches game plan for Sunday’s matchup with the Dallas Cowboys, they’re doing so with Flynn as the starter.
“That’s the way you have to go about it,” McCarthy said. “It’s the same way we went last week. I visited with Aaron yesterday about where he is. He has hurdles to get over and medically he’s not cleared, so we’re planning for Matt Flynn.”
Other than the five sacks, McCarthy liked what he saw from Flynn running the no-huddle offense and keeping the chains moving. Flynn completed 75 percent of his passes (24 of 32) with a few drops sprinkled in.
The game plan was to run the ball to help Flynn find a rhythm and give him play-action opportunities, and the Packers ran it nine times on their opening, 18-play touchdown drive. Eddie Lacy had seven of his 20 carries in the game on that drive and then came back from a sprained ankle to carry the load in the second half as well.
“He played great. I was very impressed with him,” McCarthy said of Lacy, calling it “too early to tell” if the ankle will hold him out this week. “The run blocking, we weren’t at our best, but he broken a number of different tackles. I thought he ran hard.”
The offense’s biggest play, a 46-yard pass to Jordy Nelson, came off play-action, but the Packers were hoping for more than a combined 84 rushing yards on 27 carries from Lacy and James Starks. A pair of three-and-outs in the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter gave the Falcons two more cracks on offense.
The defense was up to the task, though, finishing a second-half shutout with their backs up against field-goal range multiple times. The Packers were down two inside linebackers down the stretch, as Brad Jones (ankle) and Jamari Lattimore (knee) went down in a span of three plays.
Lattimore was still being evaluated Monday, while the medical staff feels “pretty good” about Jones.
“We played a lot better in the second half than we did in the first half, and that’s something we’ve been emphasizing,” McCarthy said of the defense. “It was great to finish the game the way that we did.”
The head coach noted the play of lineman Johnny Jolly, who had a batted pass, tackle for loss and fumble recovery, calling Sunday “his best game of the year.” Sean Richardson also took over at safety for M.D. Jennings after Jennings missed an open-field tackle on Drew Davis’ 36-yard TD pass in the second quarter.
“Johnny definitely brings an edge to the D-line and to our football team,” McCarthy said. “Sean brings an energy, an attitude, juice. He may get some more opportunities this week.” Additional coverage - Dec. 9