Lacy probable for Sunday; House out
The Green Bay Packers likely will have running back Eddie Lacy available Sunday when they go up against the Buffalo Bills' fifth-ranked defense.
Lacy (hip) was limited in practice this week, but Packers coach Mike McCarthy listed him as probable to play Sunday against the Bills after taking part in the strength and conditioning work on Friday.
McCarthy wouldn't comment on whether the Packers will look to lessen Lacy's workload.
"We'll see how the game goes," McCarthy said. "But I feel very comfortable going with Eddie and James (Starks). It's something we spent the whole offseason getting ready for and both guys have done a great job being three-down players."
The Packers have ruled out inside linebacker Jamari Lattimore (ankle) and cornerback Davon House, who was scheduled to visit a specialist Friday for the right shoulder injury he sustained in the fourth quarter of Monday's 43-37 win over Atlanta.
McCarthy said House has full range of motion and responded well over the past few days, but cautioned it's not "your every day injury." Sunday will be the first regular-season House has missed since Dec. 30, 2012, in Minnesota (hip/shoulder).
Guards Josh Sitton (toe) and T.J. Lang (ankle), defensive lineman Bruce Gaston (illness) and outside linebacker Nick Perry (shoulder) are all probable to play against the Bills.
Here are other highlights from McCarthy's news conference:
On Eddie Lacy:
I think probable is pretty confident. He's getting better. I know he did the strength and conditioning work and all the other work in that area today. He's making progress and hopefully he can practice tomorrow.
On Davon House:
I know he has some testing today. He's not going to be available for the game. I have not been given any updates. I know he has an appointment today. That's kind of where we are.
On if there's any fear it's season-ending:
I wouldn't say 'fear.' That's why you're going to see the people that he needs to see. He's got to get more information. It's not your everyday injury. He feels better; he's got his range of motion and he's really responded very well the last couple days.
On deferring after winning the coin toss:
We have a game management meeting every Friday at 1:10. We go through our history, our opponent's history. We have a number of variables that we look at each and every game and then we make a decision. That's kind of the way it's played out and it's worked very well so far taking the ball this year. Sometimes, we're given the ball, too. Teams have deferred; I think Minnesota deferred. So, sometimes, it just kind of works out that way.
On Mason Crosby:
I think Mason is like the rest of our veteran players. You have a relationship. You get to see these men work each and every day. You know what he's made of. I've always believed in Mason Crosby, and he's delivered. That wasn't really a decision based on if I thought he was going to make the kick. It was really kind of trusting your game plan, based on what the yardage (was) and obviously what was going on in the game and the score and so forth. It worked out, so with that, I guess it's the right decision. But I think time and time again, I've continued … I feel like I've always shown confidence in Mason.
On James Starks going back to Buffalo area:
I think so. There's no place like home. Obviously, everybody enjoys going back to their hometown, and I know this is special for James and his family. James is always smiling; his smile is bigger this week. But he'll go out and play like he always does. James is very consistent in his approach and his energy level and the way he approaches the game. I think you have to be in tune with each and every player, particularly where they are in their career, because I think when you're younger it may impact you more. But James is a veteran, but I do know he's excited.
On noisy road environments:
Clearly. Anytime you're on the road, our communication and challenge is night and day compared to Lambeau Field, unless they're doing the Wave when we're on offense, but that doesn't happen very often. Just kidding! But this is a loud place. Our team hasn't been there in eight years. But just off my memories of Buffalo, it's loud there. We've worked the crowd noise all week, but it's something that we do all of the time. So, to me, it's a part of our offense, and I'm confident that we'll communicate the way we need to.
Does that reflect need to get home-field advantage for the offense?
Well, we want to play at home for all of the obvious reasons. I think it helps your whole football team. We've got a great home-field advantage. We have phenomenal fans. I think our game-day production has increased. I think our performance at home has probably helped us some, too, but I think the whole environment has gotten better and it's definitely the environment that we prefer to play in.
On Sam Shields:
Sam's had a good week of practice. I just think anytime specifically in game plans that you have a number of adjustments in, when you don't get the reps it's tough, I don't care what position you play. I think Sam's had a good week.
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