Packers OL Lang, Sitton probable vs Eagles
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) For all the Green Bay Packers accomplished on offense in their last game, one notable statistic was easy to overlook.
On a night when Aaron Rodgers threw for a team record-tying six touchdowns, all in the first half, and the Packers equaled their highest points total at Lambeau Field in a 55-14 rout of the Chicago Bears, they didn’t allow a sack for the first time this season.
”I didn’t know that,” left guard Josh Sitton said Friday.
With Sitton and his fellow blockers take pride in keeping their prized quarterback upright. The outlook is good for the Packers to be at full strength across the offensive line Sunday against the Eagles.
That could be vital against a Philadelphia defense that thrives on generating pressure as the NFC East-leading Eagles (7-2) come to Lambeau Field.
”On film, they definitely get after the passer,” Rodgers said. ”They’ve got a lot of sacks.”
Sitton and fellow starting guard T.J. Lang are probable for the game.
Both linemen played Sunday night against the Bears despite having significant lower-leg injuries that kept them out of practice last week.
Lang (ankle) and Sitton (toe) returned to practice Thursday on a limited basis. Green Bay didn’t go on the field Friday and may keep its injured duo from doing much in practice Saturday.
”As far as what they’re going to do tomorrow, it’ll probably be next to nothing,” coach Mike McCarthy said Friday. ”I want to make sure the younger players get the reps.”
Having Lang and Sitton as healthy as possible Sunday is the aim as the Packers (6-3) try to contend with an aggressive defense that sacked Carolina’s Cam Newton a career-high nine times in the Eagles’ 45-21 win Monday night.
The Eagles also had a season-high five takeaways, including three interceptions of Newton passes.
”They had a great day last week with sacks and turnovers,” Rodgers said. ”They definitely hit the quarterback and have ways to pressure up the middle and outside. They’re very talented on the perimeter.”
A collarbone injury kept Rodgers out of Green Bay’s 27-13 home loss to the Eagles last November.
The challenge for the red-hot Rodgers and the guys blocking for him Sunday will be diagnosing Philadelphia’s array of schemes on defense pre-snap and trying to quickly react, adjust and execute.
”There’s definitely a lot of movement,” Packers tight end Andrew Quarless said. ”Hopefully we can catch `em off-guard sometimes because they move a lot, they put you in kind of bad positions sometimes.
”We know we’ve got a battle ahead,” Quarless added.
The Eagles rank second with 32 sacks, led by outside linebacker Connor Barwin’s 10 1/2, and also for opponent passer completion percentage (57.2). They face the big task of going against Rodgers, who hasn’t lost to Philadelphia in two previous starts.
In leading Green Bay to a 4-0 record at home this season in dominating fashion, Rodgers has completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 1,072 yards, 15 touchdowns and no interceptions.
And not being sacked once in his huge performance against the Bears was no small feat. It’s the first time Green Bay hasn’t given up a sack in 16 games going back to last season.
”It’s definitely not easy, especially with how many times we throw the ball,” Sitton said. ”(But) that’s what we pride ourselves on. That’s what makes this league go around is the passing game. So if we can keep him playing, we’ll do pretty good.”
NOTES: The Packers ruled out TE Brandon Bostick (hip) and rookie OLB Jayrone Elliott (hamstring) for Sunday. Both players were injured in the last game. ”It’s not long term. It’s not a big injury,” McCarthy said of Bostick, who caught a touchdown against the Bears.
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