Packers notes: Blake Martinez weighing risks of playing with swollen ankle
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers inside linebacker Blake Martinez practiced with a swollen left ankle Wednesday and Thursday and has every intention of playing against the Miami Dolphins.
But at some point this weekend, he and the medical staff will make a joint decision on whether it’s a good idea for him to run around like a mad man Sunday.
“It’s just kind of the trainers' and my decision,” he said. “Can you go and do what you need to do and not re-hurt it and put the team at jeopardy and not be able to do what I can normally do?”
The answer to that is he should barely be able to stand, let alone play football.
Martinez stepped on quarterback Tom Brady’s foot while running by him Sunday in New England and his left ankle bent to a 90-degree angle. Martinez got a bunch of texts on his phone because most everybody thought he had done serious damage to his ankle.
Looking back at it now, he said he’s lucky all he suffered was swelling.
“I think it was partially me slowing up after he threw it down,” Martinez said. “If I was full speed on it, it would have been terrible. Everyone sent me pictures of the still shot of the exact moment: ‘Oh my god.’ I was like, ‘OK, I shouldn’t be walking.’”
Martinez said he sprained his right ankle in a similar fashion but with worse results when he was a senior at Stanford. He said he spent three days treating the ankle 12 hours a day so he could play in the Pac-12 championship game.
The trainers were able to get the swelling down and he said he felt pretty good by game time.
“Actually, I had a really good game,” Martinez said. “There was still pain. I took a bunch of Tylenol, but once the adrenaline started pouring out, I played the game. Then the next day, it just blew up.”
The Packers play at Seattle on Thursday, so one of the things he’ll be weighing is whether playing Sunday would affect his availability against the Seahawks. The latter game is against a conference opponent and would mean a lot if the Packers are able to beat the Dolphins.
If Martinez can’t start, Antonio Morrison would likely get the nod. Morrison had seven tackles and a sack in a backup role against the Patriots.
Words of wisdom
After making his first start at safety for the Packers, Tramon Williams said he heard from a former teammate who made a similar transition from cornerback in the twilight of his career.
His name is Charles Woodson.
“He just called me up yesterday or two days ago, as a matter of fact, just to give me pointers on the safety position,” Williams said. “It took him a couple years to get adjusted to the position and he gave me some tips on what to look for, different angles to take, coming from the corner position to the safety position.”
Williams said he felt pretty good about his debut at safety and was looking forward to playing more at the position in the coming weeks. He said he really liked the safety spot because it requires him to pay attention to everything that is going on during a given play.
At cornerback, he said, he’s usually only responsible for one player or one side of the field. The only negative play he had was a missed tackle on wide receiver Josh Gordon’s 55-yard touchdown reception, which was a difficult play.
“I just felt like I could do it and I did it,” Williams said of playing safety. “It wasn’t very hard.”
Help is here
Even with Williams moved to safety, the Packers have only four players at the position and one of them was claimed off waivers Monday.
However, Ibraheim Campbell, who was cut by the New York Jets on Nov. 3, was a Cleveland Browns third-round pick when defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was the head coach, so he has experience playing in Pettine’s system.
Campbell had worked out for the Packers before being signed by the Jets earlier this season and so he had an inkling they might claim him. He said he could help out on defense or special teams right away if needed.
“He is a physical player,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I think those are things you look at, particularly the way we game plan and the way we match up. But yeah, definitely one of his strengths is his run support and his physicality.”
When word came down that receiver Geronimo Allison would need core muscle surgery and would be put on injured reserve, there was a lot of disappointment in the coaches’ offices.
Allison had been performing well with 20 catches for 303 yards (15.2 average) and two touchdowns before suffering the injury.
“He was off to a great start,” passing game coordinator Jim Hostler said. “Really excited coming out of the offseason and preseason about what he’d been doing, his play speed, his ability to play in all three spots, his toughness.
“Yeah, we’re sick about that whole thing. But we were excited to have Geronimo for the year. He was going to have a hell of a year.”
Defensive end Mike Daniels was added to the injury report with a shoulder and was listed as a limited participant.
Cornerback Kevin King (hamstring) did not practice and receiver Randall Cobb (hamstring) went from full participant Wednesday to limited. Tight end Jimmy Graham (knee) returned to practice and was limited.