Depleted Packers secondary preparing for quick turnaround
GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers didn’t have much time to dwell on their lopsided loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
The focus quickly shifted Monday from a brief review of the game film for the 30-16 defeat to getting ready to play the rival Chicago Bears on Thursday night.
"We can just flush this (loss) and move on," defensive back Micah Hyde said. "So it is a blessing in disguise, for sure."
But the quick turnaround doesn’t give the Packers (3-2) much time to figure out how to patch up their leaky secondary.
The defense could be minus its top three cornerbacks Thursday because of injuries.
"We have two stress points — the running back group (and) the corner group," coach Mike McCarthy said. "It’s going to take a while to sort through that."
The Packers went into Sunday’s game with Eddie Lacy as their only running back after James Starks suffered a knee injury early last week.
McCarthy said Starks underwent surgery Sunday, and added that the team’s medical staff feels the seventh-year pro will have a quick recovery.
Of greater uncertainty is what cornerbacks the Packers will have available to play against the Bears.
Veteran starter Sam Shields hasn’t been on the field since suffering a concussion in the Sept. 11 season opener.
McCarthy said Quinten Rollins, who had a groin injury in practice Saturday, will miss his second straight game.
And Damarious Randall reinjured his groin in the first half Sunday after rejoining the starting lineup following a one-game absence.
The Cowboys exploited what was left of Green Bay’s secondary, including young starting fill-in LaDarius Gunter, by racking up 424 yards.
"It’s hard when you don’t have guys like Sam Shields in the game," safety Morgan Burnett said.
The productive rookie duo of quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott were too much for the depleted Green Bay defense to handle.
Prescott passed for 247 yards and three touchdowns as he overcame two turnovers, including his first interception in six starts as a pro.
Elliott added to his NFL-leading rushing total by running for 157 yards on 28 carries against a Green Bay run defense that had allowed a league-low average of 42.8 yards in the Packers’ first four games.
"We can’t make excuses," Hyde said. "It’s tough. It’s the life of an NFL player, people get hurt, quick turnarounds, especially this Thursday night game that nobody likes to play in, but you’ve got to do it. So it is what it is."
With only three days between games this week, linebacker Julius Peppers isn’t counting on any help from the outside until the Packers get their injured cornerbacks back on the field.
"The guys that are in this locker room right now are the guys that we’re going to have to count on," Peppers said. "That’s just what it is. Nobody is going to come save us. We’ve got to get the job done with who we have."
NOTES: McCarthy is hopeful RT Bryan Bulaga can play Thursday. The longtime starter left the game late Sunday with a back injury. "It’s going to take a big, big injury to keep him out of a football game," McCarthy said. Rookie Jason Spriggs replaced Bulaga. … McCarthy didn’t have an update on WR Davante Adams, who left in the third quarter Sunday to be evaluated for a concussion. "I was told he’s feeling pretty good," McCarthy said.
- Bryan Bulaga
- Damarious Randall
- Davante Adams
- Eddie Lacy
- FOX Sports Wisconsin
- Green Bay Packers
- James Starks
- Jason Spriggs
- Julius Peppers
- Micah Hyde
- Morgan Burnett
- Quinten Rollins
- Sam Shields