GREEN BAY—All indications are Greg Jennings will return to action in this Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. The question is: “How many plays is he going to play?”
That was Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy comment on the subject in his Tuesday press conference. McCarthy said he expects Jennings to be a full participant in practice on Wednesday, the first day of on-field preparation for Sunday’s game.
“I think he’s in a good place and ready for a full week’s work. That’s our plan,” McCarthy said. “He has an excellent working relationship with Aaron Rodgers. They’re on the same page. It’ll be great to have him back.”
At issue is Jennings’ conditioning and durability, since he hasn’t played in a game since Week 4 and has played a total of two-and-a-half games to date in this season.
“We’ll see how it goes on Wednesday. It’s important we not only have Greg for Minnesota, but all the way through,” McCarthy said.
Green Bay’s offense is looking for a boost following consecutively sluggish performances in a defense-led win over Detroit and a lopsided defeat in New York against the Giants. An offense that seemed to move the ball through the air at will last season is struggling to protect its quarterback – the Packers have allowed the second-most sacks in the league – and score points.
“The sack totals are too high. We’ve had games when it’s gotten out of hand. You start with your matchups and what you ask each guy to do. It’s important for every man to do his job and people that need help, we’re going to have to give help,” McCarthy said.
“We have a good defense coming in here and I’m sure we’ll be tested.”
Minnesota’s pass rush is led by Jared Allen, one of the premier pass rushers in the league over the past several seasons.
A decision was to have been made on 2011 first-round draft pick Derek Sherrod, who must either be activated from the physically unable to perform list or spend the rest of the season on injured reserve. McCarthy said that decision will be announced on Wednesday.
“He’s at a point where you see progress throughout the week. He just needs more time. Within the week, he got better,” McCarthy said of Sherrod, an offensive tackle.
Meanwhile, it would seem linebacker Clay Matthews is destined for another week of injury-report intrigue. Matthews has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury he sustained on Nov. 4.
“Clay Matthews is one of the best defensive players in the NFL. It’ll be great when we get him back,” McCarthy said, offering nothing more in the way of a prognosis for Matthews’ return.
McCarthy was in the final hours of dealing with the disappointment of Sunday’s loss in New York, before he addresses his team on Wednesday morning and attention turns fully to the Vikings.
Asked about player comments that they lacked emotion in the loss to the Giants, McCarthy said: “Some of those words of emotion probably had some drama to them. I will say (the Giants) were playing a step faster. The New York Giants clearly outplayed us. What we do with this experience is most important to me.
“We’re not going to change the way we go about business. How we handle this loss, I’ll announce to them in the morning.”