GREEN BAY — As usual when the Packers are preparing for a cold-weather game, they’ll do the 11-on-11 segments and some other portions of practice outside on Thursday at Ray Nitschke Field.
Temperatures are in the single digits in Green Bay on Thursday. Sunday’s high for the wild-card game against the Giants is expected to be in the teens, but the forecast has been dropping that number during the week.
“We’ll go outside. It’s a normal Thursday winter practice for us,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “We’ll do all the work indoor that we need to (first). We need the field space (in the Don Hutson Center) to do all individual drills and fundamentals and special teams work. We’ll go outside for the team, field goal, field goal block, and ball drills.”
The Packers have protected the football extremely well given the winter conditions they’ve played in during most of their six-game winning streak. Their only turnover was a fumbled snap early in the Houston game on Dec. 4.
WR Randall Cobb (ankle) and CB Damarious Randall (shoulder, knee) both returned to practice on Wednesday on a limited basis and are expected to practice again on Thursday. McCarthy said they both had “a good day” and their evaluations will continue.
The coaches are also taking a close look at DT Mike Pennel, who is coming off a four-game suspension and is practicing but has not yet been re-activated to the 53-man roster.
“We’re going to take the full week,” McCarthy said. “He’s working, and we’ll see where Mike is.”
One of the most-talked-about matchups for Sunday’s game involves Green Bay’s receivers and New York’s cornerbacks, led by Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple. The latter two were trying to play through injuries when the Packers and Giants met back in Week 5.
“They’ve got three corners that you’d classify as starting corners,” McCarthy said. “They match you coverage-wise, they match your routes and they’re aggressive with it. This is an excellent defense.”
McCarthy added the Packers would have options built into the game plan if the Giants decide to match up their top corner, Jenkins, on the Packers’ top receiver, Jordy Nelson. That’s a normal phase of preparation for any matchup.
“You have adjustments you may make in run game at the line of scrimmage, adjustments you may make in protection, and also with the routes,” McCarthy said. “That’s all part of the game.”
Packers.com will have more following practice and locker room interviews.