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Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke with the media for about six minutes following Friday's practice. Here are the highlights.

On Sam Shields and Mike Daniels injury status:

Sam Shields is still going through the concussion protocol, and Mike's getting better.

On Sam Shields' progress in concussion protocol:

You're either in it, or you're not. He's making progress.

On Datone Jones' health:

Datone is getting better. I think, like every player in the NFL this time of year, no one's really 100 percent. He's practicing every day, and he's been a full participant. He's getting where he needs to be. Datone is part of the rotation. We'll see how the game shakes out. That's usually how the snaps are determined. The flow of the game really isn't something you can project. He's definitely part of the plan.

On Sam Barrington handling increased role:

Sam's doing a good job. Mentally, our defense as a whole, we had a couple moments in the New England game we could learn from. A couple alignment issues. But Sam's doing a good job.

On A.J. Hawk's diminished role:

A.J.'s still part of our plan. Everybody has a role, everybody is part of packages and so forth. So how things shake out, how Atlanta comes out and does things, will determine what we do. For me, it's an overall philosophy. A.J. Hawk has been an outstanding football player for us my whole team here.

On Ha Ha Clinton-Dix's development:

I think he's in (rookie) conversations until the end of the season. I think he's done a really good job to date.

On blend of youngsters and veterans:

We've pretty much been the same age football team the past nine years. We're kind of used to this intermixing between veterans and young players. I think the blend is good. It keep everybody healthy.

- rwood@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood

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