GREEN BAY - Just three days of preparation was not enough for the Green Bay Packers to feel comfortable playing running back Christine Michael against Washington on Sunday night.
Michael, claimed off waivers from Seattle on Wednesday, arrived in town Thursday and spent the next three days studying the offense. But with so little time to memorize the playbook and all the audibles and blocking calls that go with it, the Packers decided not to chance it.
“It was late in the week, and that’s part of the evaluation as far as how much information is he able to retain,” offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett said. “Moving forward, he’ll have a full week going into this week of preparation and coach (Mike) McCarthy will make a decision moving closer to the game and we’ll go from there.”
McCarthy, it turns out, has already made the decision.
“We’ve had enough time now to get him acclimated,” McCarthy said. “So we’ll definitely look to have him part of the flow.”
Surprising Spriggs: The Packers spent a second-round draft pick on Jason Spriggs because they thought he could be a quality left tackle somewhere down the road.
It turns out he might be able to play right guard.
Spriggs was forced into action against Washington in the second half after Don Barclay’s shoulder injury, initially suffered in pregame warmups, flared up and resulted in him coming out of the game. The 6-6, 301-pound Spriggs isn’t built like a typical guard, but he actually played better there than he did at left tackle in relief of David Bakhtiari two weeks ago.
“Jason Spriggs did some good things,” McCarthy said. “I wasn’t really concerned about him in pass blocking. I thought he did very good there. He did a couple of things in the run game for the first time in live action. He got to pull on a one-back power play, did a very good job there.
“But technique, details and all of those types of things, it’ll be corrected, and he can learn from it.”
Spriggs played 31 of a possible 70 offensive snaps.
No changes: McCarthy was asked at his afternoon news conference if it was safe to assume he was not going to make any changes with his coaching staff.
“Absolutely,” McCarthy said. “My focus is on beating the Eagles.”
McCarthy said he understood fans and media want explanations for why the Packers have lost four in a row, but he said he’s focused on immediate things like the next game.
“We understand we have to answer questions and participate in these responsibilities about what’s happened the last four weeks, what happened yesterday,” he said. “But really we have to get things going down the path toward Philadelphia.”
Silly foul: Running back Robert Kelley plunged into the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown with 2 minutes, 26 seconds remaining in game that was already over. His score gave Washington a 42-24 lead.
After the play was over, outside linebacker Datone Jones earned a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness when he intentionally stepped on the helmet of left tackle Ty Nsekhe, who had fallen to the ground. Nsekhe quickly climbed to his feet in anger but was separated from Jones by tight end Jordan Reed.
"Datone’s (penalty) there’s no excuse for," coach Mike McCarthy said. "I mean that’s nonsense. We don’t need that."
Jones has been fined multiple times this season for roughing-the-passer penalties and might hear from the league office again this week.
Moving on: Former Packers tight end Justin Perillo cleared waivers after being released Saturday. He is now a free agent.
The Packers cut Perillo to create a roster spot for inside linebacker Carl Bradford, who was promoted from the practice squad out of necessity. An ankle injury to starter Jake Ryan left the Packers with only two healthy inside backers before Bradford's promotion.
Perillo caught four passes for 35 yards before his release.