Packers run cautious route with WR Greg Jennings
By Tyler Dunne of the Milwuakee Journal Sentinel
~GREEN BAY – Mike McCarthy, Aaron Rodgers and all of the Green Bay Packers’ receivers are getting used to an offense without Greg Jennings. Dating to last December, injuries have hounded the team’s top receiver.
Last year, a knee injury derailed his season. This year, he can’t shake a groin injury.
After Jennings’ groin injury flared up again in Sunday’s 28-27 win over the New Orleans Saints, McCarthy said Monday that shutting the receiver down for a week is “definitely an option.”
“He could not open up all the way into a full stride,” the Packers coach said. “So, I would think we are back where we were a couple weeks ago. We’ll see how he is Wednesday. He’ll go through the rehab process and then we’ll learn more there.
“We feel like the same thing has happened to him now twice.”
Unlike previous games – such as the loss at Kansas City last year and win over Chicago this year – Jennings’ absence wasn’t felt Sunday. Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb played larger roles and combined for 215 yards on 20 receptions with three touchdowns as Jennings sat out the entire second half.
McCarthy’s innovation with Cobb continued, as the second-year receiver took one shovel pass 17 yards. Jones had two touchdown catches and the game-clinching, trapeze-act 8-yarder. And Nelson was prioritized as the go-to weapon, burning cornerback Patrick Robinson throughout his eight-catch, 93-yard day.
After getting bullied in Seattle, McCarthy wanted to see more physical play from his receivers. That was the case Sunday. On his go-ahead score, Nelson bulled through Robinson and safety Corey White after the catch into the end zone.
“I thought the receiver group as a whole played well,” McCarthy said. “I know (wide receivers coach) Edgar Bennett was pleased with the way they responded.
“More importantly, it was the pace and the tempo and the timing that we were looking for. I felt like Aaron and the receivers definitely were clicking.”
So it appears the team will be careful with Jennings after he aggravated his injury.
“You certainly like to have your top guys in there,” offensive coordinator Tom Clements said. “At least yesterday we were able to continue going and making plays and moving the ball. We want him in there but if he’s not able to be in there for injury reasons, we just have to play our game and go out and do what we can do.”
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