EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Greg Jennings is downplaying his
return this weekend to Green Bay and Lambeau Field, where he spent seven
seasons as a member of the home team.
He isn’t, however, downplaying a return from an Achilles
injury that made him a last-minute inactive for last week’s game at Seattle.
“Oh, I’m going,” Jennings said of playing Sunday at Green
Bay, the first time he will return to Lambeau Field as an opponent after
signing with the Minnesota Vikings in the offseason. “Unless the Lord, you
know, does something different, has a different game plan, and he delays this
coming, I will be in Lambeau, dressed and ready to go.”
As for the reception he might receive from the Packers’
faithful once he gets there?
“I really don’t have any expectations for a reception,”
Jennings said. “That’s not why I’m going over there, to get a reception. I’m
going over there to focus on getting the Vikings a win, focusing on us and
trying to get better.”
Jennings has been careful with his words after a summer of
verbal shots at his former team, which let him reach free agency and sign a
five-year, $45 million deal with the Vikings in March. When the two teams met
for the first time, Jennings said he wished he could take back some of the
things he had said and this week, he wasn’t offering any more fuel to the fire.
After seven seasons, 425 catches and two Pro Bowl
appearances with Green Bay, Jennings said it will be different going back to
Lambeau Field for the first time and going to the opposing locker room.
“I mean, it was strange when they came here, watching their
offense on the field and me standing on the other sideline,” Jennings said. “It
was different. It was a different feeling. I’m not going to sit here and act
like it wasn’t. So I definitely expect for it to be different, but I can’t get
stuck in that. I can’t get caught up in that. We’re going over there just like
any other road game, to get a win, to try to better who we are and what we’re
trying to do as a team. That has to be the mindset.”
Jennings, who is tied for the Minnesota lead with 34 catches
this season, was a surprise late deactivation on Sunday after the Achilles
injury that had limited him during the week didn’t show any improvement.
Jennings sat out Wednesday’s practice again, but was back in uniform for
Thursday’s padded session.
He was listed on the team’s injury report as limited, but
didn’t seem bothered by the injury while catching passes during the opening of
practice and vowed to be in the lineup on Sunday.
“I feel good,” Jennings said. “I feel fresh. I feel really
good, extra days off. Body feels good. I’m ready to go.”
Jennings did recall some of his memories from Lambeau, like
his debut in 2006 as a second-round draft pick out of Western Michigan.
Jennings had one catch for five yards and the Packers were shut out by the
Chicago Bears, 26-0. He also spoke about the Chicago-Packers rivalry, saying
the Bears were Green Bay’s top rivalry.
Jennings also said how strange it will be on Sunday to be in
Lambeau and have his former quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, not starting for Green
Bay. The Packers will start Scott Tolzien for the second week in a row with
Rodgers out with a fractured collarbone.
“It will be weird,” Jennings said. “It definitely will be
weird, but I hope for him the best. I hope he gets healthy. I never wish
anybody not being healthy. You always want to play against the best players and
he’s definitely one of those. We have to focus on us right now. I had to focus
on me getting healthy and seeing if I could play in this game first.”