The Green Bay Packers will not have Sam Shields available to match-up against Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and the rest of the Oakland Raiders’ offense on Sunday.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said on Friday that the veteran cornerback remains in the concussion protocol and won’t be making the trip to West Coast. That likely means a larger role for rookie cornerback Quinten Rollins, who replaced Shields in Sunday’s 28-7 win over Dallas.
Green Bay’s defense struggled in the only other game Shields missed this season, a 37-29 loss to Carolina in Week 9. The Packers allowed 432 yards in that contest with Panthers quarterback Cam Newton hitting several receivers on explosive plays to gain a 27-3 lead at halftime.
Rollins and first-round pick Damarious Randall have taken on larger roles over the last five games and the defense has turned things around. It likely will fall on them to help contain Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, Cooper (62 catches, 920 yards, four touchdowns) and Crabtree (70 catches/779 yards/7 touchdowns) this Sunday.
“We like our football team, definitely the young defensive backs have done a good job and they’ve had the whole week to prepare so we’ll be ready to go,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy also confirmed receiver Ty Montgomery suffered a setback with the high-ankle sprain that’s sidelined him for the past seven games. He previously aggravated it during a practice on Nov. 19. The Packers have shut down players in the past after a second aggravation, including cornerback Casey Hayward (hamstring) in 2013.
“That’s really a medical conversation, obviously he’s been having a number of those through the process, a lot of information’s been gathered and we’ll just continue to work through that,” McCarthy said.
Receiver Davante Adams dropped out of practice after injuring his heel Thursday. McCarthy said the team is still gathering information.
Here’s the rest of what McCarthy had to say on Friday morning.
Ty Montgomery, he’s, ah, I guess you would classify it as a setback, yes.
On Corey Linsley’s ankle:
I thought Corey looked pretty good on the video, so as Friday always is, it’s a day of probably the most important information is coming off Thursday’s practice, it was a full workload so we’ll see how he is.
On if it will be a tough decision with JC Tretter:
Those are good decisions, those are good situations to be involved in. you always want all your players healthy and ready to go. We’ll move forward accordingly.
On Andrew Quarless’ improvement:
I think clearly from Week 1 to Week 2 he took a jump; but I think like anybody that’s coming off that type of situation, there’s an adjustment, so I think you saw more of an adjustment from Week 2 to 3, and so far so good.
On IR-designated to return:
I’m all for it. I think it’s smart by the league to have that, and just the timing of a big injury is obviously affected teams in the past. It definitely helped us having Randall back. You look at when Randall and Aaron came back just in the victory in Chicago – enough said. So I think it’s definitely a nice option to have.
On Oakland’s secondary:
Good secondary. I think anytime you watch teams progress through the season, obviously we’ve gone back a little further into their season just for more personnel (evaluation), just make sure we’re in-tune with all their personnel. They’ve had some changes back there, Charles has obviously been the steady force for the whole defense in my opinion.
On CB coach Joe Whitt:
Joe’s excellent. He’s done an excellent job with all of our players here and the ability to connect the veteran players and young players. The draft-and-development, we don’t ever – player acquisition, player instruction is really two different entities. We have a philosophy about bringing young guys in and trusting our whole staff. I think Joe just his ability to teach and demand is excellent. It’s excellent. You see it each year. The ability to not only develop the guys who are playing, but guys who may have moved on and gone onto bigger and better things. He’s an outstanding football coach. He truly gets into the art and technique and fundamentals of a position. That’s what you want from everybody.
On ties between Julius Peppers and Charles Woodson:
Well, I think you have to look at both individuals. They’re obviously very blessed with their DNA. I think you definitely have to recognize their mothers for the great work that they’ve done. I think it’s the ability to stay on top of everything that you need to professionally. These guys take great care of their bodies, both Charles and Julius, and they used to work out together down there in Houston. It’s a different age. There’s a lot more resources, education that’s applied and I think you’re seeing two great generational-type players totally in tune with what it takes to get themselves ready each year.
On Oakland’s crowd:
Well, we’re not anticipating them being nice. That’s just based on my personal history going there. Yeah, it’s definitely a unique venue to play in. There’s obviously a lot of history there. It’s an older stadium. I think everybody has that type of arena from the opponent standpoint that they’ve played in, whether it’s high school, college or so forth, where you go in there and you kind of feel like you’re by yourself and you’re verbally under siege the whole time you’re playing. It’s a fun, exciting environment to play in. Our guys are looking forward to it. I think most of them have never played there. With that, the challenge of playing a football team that’s definitely ascending and very talented football team. So this is a big