GREEN BAY - All hands will be on deck for the Green Bay Packers today in the NFC Championship.
Wide receiver Jordy Nelson (ribs), receiver Davante Adams (ankle), receiver Geronimo Allison (hamstring), safety Morgan Burnett (thigh), cornerback Quinten Rollins (neck/concussion) and running back Christine Michael (back) are all active for the game against the Atlanta Falcons this afternoon.
The biggest issue McCarthy faces in playing the injured is figuring out how to use them knowing they aren't 100 percent and could drop out of the game at any time. If all four of them dropped out, McCarthy would be down to 42 players in a game that is expected to be a track meet and will require as many healthy bodies as possible.
Thus, he has to make a risk-reward determination with each player.
Just in case he's unsure about one of the receivers, the Packers signed practice squad receiver Max McCaffrey to the 53-man roster. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound rookie, the son of former Denver Broncos standout Ed McCaffrey and brother of 2015 Heisman Trophy runner-up Christian McCaffrey, has been on the practice squad since Dec. 20.
However, McCaffrey is not active.
The wide receiver rotation might be done by feel. Both rookie Trevor Davis and veteran Jeff Janis will be active and ready to be part of the rotation. However, if everyone is able to play, it's likely McCarthy would limit the snaps of Nelson, Adams and Allison in order to get the most out of them.
McCarthy can also use running back Ty Montgomery at wide receiver, but if he does it's not certain that Michael would be his replacement. It's not clear if the back injury he suffered is an ongoing problem that flared up or is something that occurred Saturday and will need further evaluation Sunday.
The injury to Michael creates a problem if he's not able to play. The only other player capable of playing running back is fullback Aaron Ripkowski, leaving McCarthy perilously thin. However, Ripkowski has shown he can be effective as a single back and would be able to fill in if McCarthy wanted to use Montgomery at receiver during certain parts of the game.
Here are the Packers' inactives:
- QB Joe Callahan
- WR Max McCaffrey
- CB Herb Waters
- FB Joe Kerridge
- RB James Starks
- T Kyle Murphy
- DT Christian Ringo