GREEN BAY — The Packers are back at home for the first time in four games and for just the second time in their last six games, and Head Coach Mike McCarthy hopes the crowd can provide the home-field advantage Green Bay has come to expect over the years.
That hasn’t always been the case this season, as the home fans have expressed frustration at times, particularly in the last home game vs. Indianapolis, but the Packers are hoping their big Monday night win in Philadelphia that kept their postseason hopes alive will help energize the crowd on Sunday vs. Houston.
“When the crowd is into the game, crowd noise is important,” McCarthy said on Friday. “The game of football is done with a lot of communication, so if you can challenge the communication of the opponent, it’s obviously an advantage to the home team. We want the crowd noise to be higher than ever.”
As for the latest injury update, McCarthy said QB Aaron Rodgers “looked good” in his limited reps due to a hamstring injury during Thursday’s practice, while LBs Clay Matthews (shoulder) and Jake Ryan (ankle) did what was expected of them in practice, and LB Blake Martinez (knee) actually did more.
“We’ll see how he comes through today,” McCarthy said of Martinez. “Tomorrow will be key for all those guys.”
G T.J. Lang (foot) and C/G JC Tretter (knee) will have to clear “a big hurdle” in order to return this week, McCarthy added.
Saturday’s practice will be a bit longer than normal, as McCarthy moved a period or two from Thursday’s workout to Saturday’s because the team is coming off a Monday night game.