Player missing for memorable Packers TD

GREEN BAY, Wis. — It had been more than 20 years since the Packers blocked a punt for a touchdown prior to Sunday’s game. Apparently, all it took to end that drought was having only 10 players on the field.

In Green Bay’s 24-15 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the key play of the game came in the second quarter when cornerback Davon House sprinted off the left edge to block a punt. With House fully extended on a dive to prevent Jaguars rookie Bryan Anger from getting the punt off, the ball started bouncing toward the end zone. Eventually, Packers rookie linebacker Dezman Moses pounced on it for a touchdown to take a 14-3 lead.

But there was something missing from that play. Well, there was someone missing. Green Bay’s 11th player was on the sideline talking with his position coach, unaware that he was supposed to be part of the punt team.

“It’s not funny,” coach Mike McCarthy said Monday when asked about only 10 players being on the field for that touchdown. “It’s not OK. It’s a young man who was tied up with his coach and he’ll learn from that.”

That wasn’t the only time it happened in the game. Midway through the fourth quarter when Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee connected on a 32-yard field goal, the Packers again had just 10 players out there.

McCarthy excused the second one a bit more because it came just moments after defensive end Mike Neal left the game with an ankle injury.

“It happens,” McCarthy said. “You don’t like it when it happens, but that’s what happened on the field goal.”

Special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum noticed right away that he only had 10 players on the field for the punt, but it was too late for him to do anything about it.

“It’s on the player,” Slocum said Monday. “There’s too many moving parts. There’s too many guys. They’ve got to make adjustments with their offensive and defensive situations, and that goes on all the time. The player has got to be conscious of what time it is in the game and what’s going on in the game and be there.

“Fortunately, the play turned out for us the way it did.”

Green Bay hadn’t blocked a punt since Marcus Wilkins swatted one down on Sept. 29, 2003. But George “Tiger” Greene’s blocked punt on Dec. 2, 1990 was the last time the Packers were able to turn one into a touchdown.

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