Packers notes: Brett Goode to IR; Taybor Pepper returns
GREEN BAY - Another week, another round of injuries.
So it goes for the Green Bay Packers, who placed long snapper Brett Goode on injured reserve with a hamstring injury Monday and were in the process of signing an offensive tackle to fill in for injured Kyle Murphy (foot).
The Packers announced that Taybor Pepper, who had been in the Packers’ program during the off-season and in Baltimore’s training camp, was being signed to handle Goode’s duties.
The Packers found out Monday that Goode’s hamstring injury, suffered early in the 27-24 overtime victory over Cincinnati on Sunday at Lambeau Field, would sideline him at least a couple of weeks. They had little choice but to put him on injured reserve, especially with a game Thursday night against the Chicago Bears on tap.
"It’s unfortunate," coach Mike McCarthy said. "He toughed it out. Just to play through the game the way he did was a real credit to him. It’s unfortunate, and that’s where we are. We have history with Taybor Pepper. That’s the way we’ll move forward as we get ready for Chicago."
If Goode had not been able to finish the game, McCarthy said tight end Richard Rodgers would have been the long snapper.
The Packers tried to replace Goode with a younger player during the offseason, first with Pepper and then with Derek Hart, but neither provided the consistency the Packers were looking for. Pepper was signed after last season, but the Packers cut him on May 8, deciding to go with Hart.
When Hart had trouble with his accuracy in training camp, the Packers rang up the 32-year old Goode, who was an unrestricted free agent waiting at his Arkansas home for a job offer.
Pepper will offer a lot more athleticism in coverage than Goode, but he’ll have a hard time matching his accuracy and consistency as a long snapper. Kicker Mason Crosby struggled mightly with Hart as his snapper, forcing the Packers to call up Goode and sign him to a one-year deal.
Pepper was working at his mother's consignment store in Champaign, Ill., when he got a call from the Packers.
"After the game Eliot Wolf called me and said, 'We need you here,'" Pepper said. "I was in Champaign with my family. My mom owns a business there, so I was helping out.
"Normally I'm in Saline, Michigan, so I had to scramble to pack a bag that night. But I was at my mom's business working the cash register, kind of like a lot of long snapper stories you hear about."
Goode is eligible to come off of injured reserve in eight weeks. The Packers have also placed offensive linemen Don Barclay and Jason Spriggs on injured reserve and are limited to returning two players to action.
The Packers could negotiate an injury settlement with Goode and then re-sign him later in the season. But he would become a free agent and eligible to sign with anyone while the Packers would not be able to re-sign him until the settlement weeks plus three more had passed.
Injuries galore: The Packers’ injury report looked slightly better Monday even though the Packers did not practice.
The Packers estimated the status of their injured and listed defensive tackle Mike Daniels (hip), left tackle David Bakhtiari (hamstring), receiver Randall Cobb (chest), linebacker Nick Perry (finger), safety Kentrell Brice and linebacker Jake Ryan (concussion/hamstring) as limited participants.
All six of those players missed the Bengals game, but McCarthy thought there was progress made over the weekend.
"I thought some of their workouts on Saturday down there, it was encouraging," McCarthy said. "But we’ll see what tomorrow brings."
One player who apparently did not make progress was cornerback Davon House (thigh), who was listed as a non-participant. Added to the injury report was defensive tackle Quinton Dial (chest) and running back Ty Montgomery (wrist). Both were listed as limited participants.
Do-it-all man: Safety Morgan Burnett has earned McCarthy's respect because of his ability to handle so many different positions.
Against the Bengals, Burnett played the nickel corner position in place of cornerbacks Quinten Rollins and Damarious Randall. Before Sunday, Burnett had played deep safety, inside linebacker in the "nitro" package and dime corner.
"I think it says an incredible amount about him as a football player," McCarthy said. "Anytime you take one of your safeties and put him inside to play the sub linebacker position, I think that shows his versatility, and then the ability now to bounce out to the nickel, I think it’s an extraordinary opportunity for Morgan.
"Plus, he calls the defense. He carries a ton of responsibility for our defense. He’s just a heck of a football player. He’s one of my all-time favorites."
Listen up: Like the rest of the teams in the NFL, the Packers had to make a decision whether they were going to address the derogatory comments President Trump made about players who were kneeling in protest during the national anthem and the NFL in general.
McCarthy said the message he has taken from it all is that there are things the players are saying that need to be heard.
"I think it’s a time to listen," McCarthy said. "I think everybody can do a better job of listening and make sure the messages that are trying to be delivered are heard and vice versa. I think that’s the biggest thing in life.
"Everybody throws around lack of communication, and I know personally regardless if it’s here professionally with my players, or even at home with my children, I think we all can sit back and listen a little more right now."
MIchael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contributed to this story.