GREEN BAY – Within an hour after completing 70 minutes of play against Minnesota last Sunday on a steamy Lambeau Field, many players in the Green Bay Packers locker room were already talking about recovering from the 70 plays they ran on offense and the 68 they defended on defense.
Coach Mike McCarthy had his eye on that, as well as the weekend forecast for Washington as early as Monday morning and acknowledged it would play into his planning for the week. That bore out Wednesday as the Packers swapped out walkthroughs instead of a traditional practice.
"This is great. This is much needed," Packers rookie corner Jaire Alexander said. "We've had two hard-fought games. This is much needed. This is definitely new for me because normally it's right back into it (in college). There's no three day break. I love it though. Shoot, we exert so much energy. We exert way more energy than what we even eat before we head out there. The day after is very important to fuel up, but as far as reps go, we needed this day off for real."
Like most NFL teams, the Packers track player movements during workouts and recovery periods and he decided it was best to go this route.
“Just trusting the numbers based on what we dealt with the last two weeks,” McCarthy said. “We came off of a Sunday night game, played an overtime game in unusual heat for this part of the country. Just trusting our numbers and that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing.”
Washington plays at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, and the current forecast is calling for temperatures just under 70 degrees at kickoff but with over a 20 percent chance of rain likely during the game.
King 'hard pressed' to play Sunday
Starting corner Kevin King injured a groin on Sunday against Minnesota and did not return to action. McCarthy said Wednesday that the 23-year-old will be “hard pressed” to play against Washington. McCarthy said the hope is the injury is a short-term issue, but King (along with quarterback Aaron Rodgers) would not have practiced had the Packers conducted one.
Veteran corner Davon House was the first man up to fill in for King against the Vikings, but it's possible defensive coordinator Mike Pettine changes things up in Washington. Rookie corners Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson have experience playing outside in college, and have already logged 105 and 80 defensive snaps, respectively.
Those numbers rank fourth and fifth in the Packers' secondary through two weeks.
"It's good to have those reps early in the season so we can be acclimated and we know what to expect when we're out there," Jackson said. "I feel pretty good. I feel confident and ready to go."
House (biceps) and safety Josh Jones (ankle) would have been limited if there had been a practice. Inside linebacker Oren Burks (shoulder) was cleared for full activity.
No mea culpa
Alexander wanted no part of explaining what happened on the touchdown pass to Adam Thielen he and safety Kentrell Brice were responsible for Sunday.
“Don’t ring a bell,” Alexander said when asked about the play. “You’ve got to show me. I forgot about that one.”
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contributed.