Finley officially ruled out for season, fourth Packer starter doneWisconsin Sports
--Tight end Jermichael Finley has become the fourth Green Bay Packers’ starter to be ruled out for the season.
GREEN BAY - Tight end Jermichael Finley has become the fourth Green Bay Packers’ starter to be ruled out for the season.
Coach Mike McCarthy said today that Finley would go on injured reserve once the Packers finalize their pending trade with Jacksonville for safety Anthony Smith. The Packers had thought about keeping Finley’s roster spot open, so the third-year pro could perhaps return in time for the playoffs. He was expected to be out 8-to-10 weeks after having surgery on his right knee last week. But today, McCarthy said it was Finley’s best interest to sit out the rest of the season. And the coach said Smith would be put to work immediately once the trade goes through. He said Smith knows the Packer defense, and he’ll be a good fit in both the secondary and on special teams.
Smith signed as a free agent with the Packers last year, but he was let go after training camp – and the Jaguars picked him up. Finley joins running back Ryan Grant, linebacker Nick Barnett, and safety Morgan Burnett on injured reserve.
Meanwhile, McCarthy says veteran corner Al Harris is expected to practice Wednesday along with safety Atari Bigby and rookie running back James Starks. All three were put on the physically-unable-to-perform list, automatically putting them out for at least six weeks. The 3-and-3 Packers need the extra help, after having eight starters sit out in yesterday’s overtime loss to Miami. Green Bay faces a tough division battle at home against Minnesota on Sunday night.
Packers’ receiver Greg Jennings said he would have felt good about his big receiving day had they won. But he said the Green Bay offense appeared to be quote, “putting along” in their three-point overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins. In Jennings’ words, “We’re in a car, we push the accelerator, and then we run out of gas. We stop by the gas station really quick, refuel, and then run out of gas. We have to start sustaining drives.” Jennings was referring in part to the Packers’ inability to convert on third down. Green Bay converted only 3-of-13 third downs against Miami, after converting just 2-of-13 in the previous week’s loss at Washington. It nullified a big day for Jennings, who caught six passes for 133 yards including a career-best 86-yard touchdown. It was the longest TD throw in Aaron Rodgers’ two-and-a-half years as a starter. And it was Green Bay’s first 100-yard performance by a receiver this season.
Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers is just 1-and-11 in games decided by four-points-or-less. But coach Mike McCarthy says Rodgers only gets part of the blame for the Packers’ troubles on offense. The coach says the timing is not where it needs to be – and that’s everybody’s fault. McCarthy says the blocking and the receivers’ routes are just as much to blame as the quarterback’s footing. Receivers’ coach Jimmy Robinson says it’s hard to pinpoint a reason. He said the Packers left training camp with confidence in their passing game – but they’re not in sync, and they’ll have to quote, “fine-tune the little things.” The Green Bay offense continues to rack up the yardage. They churned out 786 yards in their last two games – both overtime losses to Washington and Miami. But they’ve had trouble in the red zone, scoring just 33 points in their last nine quarters. Rodgers has the NFL’s 14th highest passer rating through six games, at 89-point-seven. His receivers have dropped 10 passes in the last two weeks. The Packers are 3-3, and will host Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night.
Packers’ linebacker Brady Poppinga will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee this week. He was hurt in Sunday’s loss to Miami – and the operation will determine how bad the injury is. It’s the same knee in which Poppinga tore an ACL ligament in 2005. He started against the Dolphins for the injured Clay Matthews, but Poppinga left for good in the second quarter. Matthews expects to play on Sunday night against the Vikings, but he’ll need medical clearance. Defensive end Ryan Pickett also missed the Dolphins’ game with an ankle injury – and coach Mike McCarthy expects Pickett to ready for the Vikings.