The news out of Mike McCarthy’s mouth today regarding the Packers injury report was better than expected.
Though he wouldn’t commit to whether running back James Starks would play or not, he did say that Greg Jennings will be ready to play Thursday and that linebacker Frank Zombo will again see the field.
However, in my mind, the best news came when he said that defensive end Mikee Neal’s snap count should increase this week. Neal has been out since the start of the season but played in the nickel package for the Packers last Sunday versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Though he failed to have an impact – in fact, he didn’t record a single tackle, having him available is a huge factor.
Not only will it give the Packers a fresh face and fresh legs on the defensive line, it will also allow the Packers coaching staff the option of giving B.J. Raji some snaps off … many feel his production has suffered because of his large amount of time on the field. Last year at this time he had 6.5 sacks compared to the two he has this year.
Anything that could infuse some energy into the Packers’ defense is a good thing and having a healthy Mike Neal back playing with the team will go a long way in making that happen.