Notebook: FB Joe Kerridge built for contact

Tom Silverstein
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Fullback Joe Kerridge, who was signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster Monday, said he is ready to help out in any way this week against Tennessee.

Kerridge, who said he weighed 250 pounds, was signed to the practice squad after training camp and spent the last nine weeks working on offensive and special teams scout units. He said it was a pleasant surprise to get the call that he was coming up to the big leagues.

“Just trying to do whatever I can for the team, whether it’s offense or special teams, wherever I can fit in,” he said. “Aaron (Ripkowski) has done a great job with me. He’s taken me under his wing. He’s helped me with everything.”

The Packers don’t need another fullback, but they do need help on special teams and Kerridge has had two months to show the Packers what he can do there. At Michigan, he only carried 18 times, but he had runs of 52 and 34 yards.

“They were just some good plays where I was able to hit the hole hard and get some yards,” Kerridge said. “The majority were quick-hitters at fullback. The runs at one-back were earlier in my career.”

Slippery field: Packers spokesman Aaron Popkey said the team didn’t want to comment on what it was the Lambeau Field grounds crew sprayed on the field before the Indianapolis game to counter an excessive amount of dew on the grass.

Popkey said warm and humid weather conditions overnight coupled with shade covering up a good portion of the field during the day resulted in the grass being wet.

Multiple players had trouble with their footing and slipped to the ground while trying to make cuts. Coach Mike McCarthy made mention of the conditions after the game on Sunday and several players said it was particularly slick.

“I slipped twice,” nose tackle Letroy Guion said. “It was real slippery.”

CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson reported that the field had been sprayed before the game, but did not identify the substance.

Popkey said Fields Manager Allen Johnson wouldn’t have applied anything that wasn’t part of the normal care of the field, but declined to identify the substance. Johnson wasn’t made available for comment.

Return engagement: Safety Jermaine Whitehead was back on the field for the Packers two days after being released from the 53-man roster.

Whitehead was signed to the practice squad for the second time.

He was signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster before the Dallas game and played in two games. His blunder on special teams played a big part in Indianapolis’ Jordan Todman returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown and led to his release.

Strength vs. strength: The Titans have the third-ranked run offense in the NFL and the Packers have the No. 1-ranked run defense.

“Their run vs. our run defense, it's going to be a hell of an afternoon,” McCarthy said. “I think it's a great matchup. I think it's going to be a heck of a game.”

McCarthy said the Packers had two of their best practices of the year going into the Indianapolis game, but their performance didn’t match their practice work. He said it was something the entire team can learn from and that the focus will be on themselves.

“We haven't played these guys, so there's a lot of newness,” McCarthy said. “Our guys will hit the video harder than ever this week, just different than last week, and I'm very confident that we'll go down there and win."

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