The Green Bay Packers returned to practice today in preparation for their week three matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. This will be the third week in a row the Packers face a 2012 playoff team.
It comes to no surprise Hayward will sit out another week of practice due to a hamstring injury. He probably won’t return to the field until after the bye week when the Packers face the Detroit Lions in week five. Green Bay will continue to rely on Davon House and rookie Micah Hyde in their in nickel and dime defense until Hayward can return.
Lacy left Sunday’s game with a concussion after receiving a helmet-to-helmet hit from Washington safety Brandon Meriweather on the Packers’ first drive of the game. Lacy did not return against the Redskins, and initially, it looked like he would be a scratch for this week’s game against Cincinnati.
However, Lacy is making better progress in his recovery than expected, and in his press conference, Coach McCarthy didn’t officially rule Lacy out of Sunday’s game.
#Packers have not ruled Eddie Lacy as out. Just said he did not participate in practice. McCarthy coming up.
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) September 18, 2013
McCarthy at the podium: Eddie Lacy is making progress. He seems to be doing fine. He’s going through protocol. He looks good. In meetings
— Wes Hodkiewicz (@WesHod) September 18, 2013
McCarthy already stated that James Starks will start against Cincinnati, so if Lacy is cleared to play this week, his role will most likely be limited during the game. This news is encouraging nonetheless. Lacy and Starks have the potential to be a good 1-2 punch out of the Packers backfield this season, but it may not be until after the the team’s bye week that we’ll get to see this on the field. In the mean time, McCarthy did say he’d like to get fellow rookie back Jonathan Franklin more involved in the offense.
Among other Packers injuries, John Kuhn was inactive in practice today. He left Sunday’s game early with a hamstring injury, and with the way Green Bay has been handling hamstring injuries on the team, it’s possible Kuhn could sit out this week. If this is the case, the Packers will look to tight ends, Andrew Quarless and Ryan Taylor, to fill in at fullback.
Both Jermichael Finley and Jarrett Bush also sat out practice. Finley is still dealing with the toe injury he suffered in the season opener, but his injury doesn’t appear to be too serious and he should play against Cincinnati. Bush is still recovering from a hamstring injury and his status remains up in the air.
Morgan Burnett participated in practice in a limited fashion, but it’s still hard to determine at this point if he’ll be ready to go on Sunday. He’ll most likely be a game-time decision for a third week in a row.
Being a week before the bye, the Packers coaching staff may handle injuries conservatively on Sunday. Don’t be surprised if Burnett sits out another week and they decide to rest Lacy as well.