GREEN BAY — Mike McCarthy doesn’t believe motivation will be a problem for the Packers on Sunday at Tennessee.
Before practice on Wednesday, McCarthy was asked about his team’s sense of urgency for this game at 4-4, and he reiterated that the lack of energy comments from last week’s loss to the Colts were not intended to be a “blanket statement” regarding his team’s effort.
“We’ll play with great energy Sunday. That’s not a concern of mine,” McCarthy said. “It’s a road game, so we have that challenge. Our guys will bring it.
“We’re just paying attention to what matters and it’s about improvement. We had a really good week of practice last week … but the first part is preparation and the last part is performance. We have to learn from last week.”
On the health front, McCarthy said both RB James Starks and TE Jared Cook would continue practicing on a limited basis, with Thursday’s upcoming padded work providing the true indicator of where they are. McCarthy did not have a read on LB Clay Matthews and his hamstring yet for this week.
The key matchup on Sunday could be the Titans’ running game against the Packers’ run defense. Tennessee is ranked No. 3 in the league in rushing, with RB DeMarco Murray second in rushing yards behind Dallas’ Exekiel Elliott. The Packers are ranked No. 1 in the league against the run.
“It’s going to be a hell of an afternoon,” McCarthy said. “We don’t play these guys (often), there’s a lot of newness. Our guys will hit the video harder than they ever have this week.”
Packers.com will have more following practice and locker room interviews.