Packers used loss to Cards as stepping stone

TEMPE, Ariz. – The last time the Packers came to University of Phoenix Stadium, the two teams staged one of the greatest playoff games in NFL history, with the Cardinals prevailing 51-45 in overtime when cornerback Michael Adams stripped Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the ball and linebacker Karlos Dansby returned the fumble 17 yards for a touchdown.

Earlier on that series, Rodgers missed Greg Jennings wide open down the field for a sure touchdown.

Rodgers was asked Wednesday how long it took him to get over that game and that missed connection.

“A couple days,” he said. “Thanks for bringing that up, though.”

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said that game was still valuable for his club, even though Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner shredded Green Bay by completing 29 of 33 passes for 379 yards and five touchdowns in the final home game of his career.

“It was definitely a game that we could point to where we felt we were ready to take the next step,” McCarthy said. “Obviously, we were able to build off that the following season.”

Green Bay won the Super Bowl the following year. The Cardinals, with Warner in retirement, went 5-11 with a combination of Derek Anderson and Max Hall at quarterback.

CONNECTIONS

Rodgers on former Packers teammate and current Cardinal inside linebacker Paris Lenon, who played four seasons in Green Bay from 2002-2005:

“I give him a lot of credit. If you look around rosters across the league, there’s not a lot of guys playing 10-plus years, especially not a linebacker, so he’s obviously done the right thing off the field keeping his body in shape and on the field he ahs to have a level of preparation that keeps a guy around.”

CHANGE OF PLANS

When reporters showed up for the open portion of practice Wednesday, the Cardinals were wearing pads but had baseball caps in place of their helmets.

Is coach Ken Whisenhunt going soft on his battered team? Well, sort of.

“We’re just a little over 36 hours from (Monday’s game),” Whisenhunt said, noting the short week. “Guys are still pretty sore, and we’re trying to get some guys back. We did the (game plan) install, and we did more walk-through than we normally do today to try to compensate for that.”

INJURY UPDATE

For the Cardinals: QB Kevin Kolb (ribs), RG Adam Snyder (quad) and RB Beanie Wells (foot) did not practice on Wednesday. Wells is eligible to return to practice next week according to IR rules.

TE Todd Heap (knee); FS Kerry Rhodes (back); CB Greg Toler (hammy); and LS Mike Leach (back) were limited. DT Darnell Dockett (hamstring); LT D’Anthony Batiste (toe); Te Jim Dray (knee); FB Anthony Sherman (knee); and CB Jamell Fleming (back) practiced in full.

For the Packers: WR Greg Jennings (abdomen/groin) and S Charles Woodson (collarbone) are out. FB John Kuhn (hamstring); DE Mike Neal (ankle); WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring); LB Nick Perry (knee/wrist); CB Sam Shields (ankle); and DE Jerel Worthy (concussion) did not practice.

WR Donald Driver (neck/thumb); TE Jermichael Finley (shoulder); G T.J. Lang (elbow/wrist); and DT B.J. Raji (ankle) were limited. QB Aaron Rodgers (calf) practiced in full.

Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter