Cornerback depth a concern against Panthers

Ryan Wood
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Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy had no injury updates Monday – not on his two starting cornerbacks or starting inside linebacker that left Sunday's game in Miami early.

Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields grimaces after injuring a knee during the third quarter of Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

It's something to watch closely as Green Bay starts a new week. Cornerbacks Sam Shields (knee) and Tramon Williams (ankle) were knocked out of the game on consecutive third-quarter snaps Sunday. Linebacker Jamari Lattimore (neck) left in the first half.

With Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton coming to town this week, the Packers' cornerback depth chart is especially worrisome. Green Bay has depth at corner, with Davon House and Casey Hayward playing well in Shields and Williams' absence Sunday.

Still, against a prolific quarterback, the Packers will be tested even at full strength.

"I talked with them a few times here and there," cornerback Jarrett Bush said Monday of Shields and Williams. "They know the injury that they have, they know they've got to take care of it as a professional, and they know they have to get back as soon as possible. Because, I mean, we'd love to have them. They make a lot of plays for us."

Bush, one of the Packers' top special teams players, would get a bigger role if Shields and Williams are unable to play Sunday.

In the No. 3 cornerback spot, Bush had 15 plays against the Dolphins. Six came in coverage. He knows that could increase this week.

"I probably won't study too much different, because I feel like I study already as a starter," Bush said. "But I'll probably study a little more in-depth on my position, and just be ready to go out there and make a few plays."

If Shields and/or Williams are inactive, perhaps another possibility could be moving safety Micah Hyde to cornerback. Hyde played the position as a rookie last season. This season, he's rotated with rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at the free safety position.

When asked Monday, Hyde said he has "no idea" if he'd be moved. Capers was also non-committal when asked about the possibility, but he did not rule it out.

"We'll have to see," Capers said. "I don't want to make any statements right now, not knowing where those guys are. We'll find out here soon enough. I think we've got good depth, we've got probably the best depth we've had – both at corner and the safety position. Once we found out what their status is, then we'll cross that bridge. And I'm sure we'll have those conversations (Tuesday) before we start to game-plan." and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood

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