Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Burnett readies for season debut without restriction

Oct. 4, 2013
 

The Green Bay Packers’ defense finally has its quarterback, back.

After being a full participant each day in practice this week, Packers coach Mike McCarthy has deemed safety Morgan Burnett probable to make his 2013 debut against the Detroit Lions this Sunday after missing the first month of the regular season with a strained hamstring.

Since Burnett sustained his injury in the Packers' third preseason game on Aug. 23, the team has rotated through M.D. Jennings, Jerron McMillian and even undrafted rookie Chris Banjo.

The results varied with the three attempting to fill the void left by Burnett, especially considering the 24-year-old safety played every defensive snap in 2012.

After being surprised by his absence in the week leading up to the regular-season opener against San Francisco last month, all indications are he’ll be back and won’t be limited by a rep count against a potent Lions’ offense led by his former Georgia Tech teammate, all-world receiver Calvin Johnson, and resurgent dual-threat running back Reggie Bush.

“The continuity of having him back – when we lost him … it was like walking in and saying, ‘Your quarterback’s not going to play,’” Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “Now, the other guys have stepped up but it’s nice to have Morgan back because he can do a number of things. He can go get the ball, he can blitz, he tackles well and he’s got a real good command of the game in terms of the game plan.”

Burnett’s performance in practice this week passed the eye test for Capers, Packers coach Mike McCarthy and position coach Darren Perry, who all raved about what they saw this week from Burnett.

The most likely scenario that will play out will be Burnett rejoining the starting lineup next to Jennings although Banjo played all but two snaps during a yeoman’s effort against Cincinnati two weeks ago.

Still, there’s no replacing Burnett, who was coming off back-to-back seasons of more than 100 tackles en route to signing a four-year extension with the team before the season.

“There’s a difference, to what degree … because sometimes when you’re playing a position a lot of it depends on opportunities,” Perry said. “It’s hard to put a number on that. But I know one thing, he’s one of our best defensive players, and it’s going to be a big boost getting him back.”

The Packers are also anticipating having back outside linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring), fullback John Kuhn (hamstring), cornerback Jarrett Bush (hamstring), running backs Eddie Lacy (concussion) and Johnathan Franklin (foot), and tight end Jermichael Finley (concussion) with all six being listed as probable.

Three players – running back James Starks (knee), offensive lineman Greg Van Roten (foot) and cornerback Casey Hayward (hamstring) – were all listed as out.

Hayward’s status was determined earlier in the week, but he took part in Thursday’s padded practice on a limited basis before returning to individual workouts in sweats on Friday as planned.

“Casey’s making progress,” McCarthy said. “The big day for Casey will be next week, Monday and Tuesday. That’s when those decisions are made based on the workload coming before our next game. Monday will be the big day for Casey. He’s getting better.”
-whodkiew@pressgazettemedia.com and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.

About this blog

Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
573 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
855 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1013 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1270 votes

Catch up on the latest in our pregame show every game day.

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports

ORDER YOURS

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports