Afternoon State Sports Briefs: No update in Rodgers' conditionWisconsin Sports
-- Green Bay Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy did not give an update today on status of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers suffered a concussion eight days ago at Detroit – and he failed to get the NFL’s required medical clearance to play in last night’s loss at New England.
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy did not give an update today on status of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers suffered a concussion eight days ago at Detroit – and he failed to get the NFL’s required medical clearance to play in last night’s loss at New England.
McCarthy said Rodgers is still going through the required process, and the coach should know more on Wednesday. Also today, McCarthy said there’s a chance that linebacker Frank Zombo could return for next Sunday’s home game against the New York Giants. He missed last night’s contest with a knee injury. And McCarthy said it’s possible that defensive end Cullen Jenkins could return for the regular season finale against Chicago on January second at Lambeau. Jenkins has been bothered all season by a calf problem. The Packers can still make the playoffs – but they’ll have to win their two remaining contests against the Giants and Bears.
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” has been the night’s most-watched TV show for every week of the regular season. And last night’s Packer loss at New England was no exception. The broadcast won the evening with a preliminary national rating of 15.2. That’s 27-percent than the same week a year ago, when Minnesota was playing Carolina. The rating in Milwaukee was 44.5. Just over 400,000 TV sets had the game on in the state’s largest metro area. Nationally, the ratings peaked after 10 o’clock when the Packers were on their final drive and fell just short of upsetting the Patriots.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ top scorer will be out 4-to-6 weeks. Point guard Brandon Jennings broke the long bone on the outside of his left foot last Wednesday at San Antonio. He took an awkward fall on a drive to the basket. Jennings played for 30 minutes in Saturday night’s home loss to Utah before getting an MRI yesterday. Jennings started every game since joining the Bucks almost a year-and-a-half ago. He’ll break a string of 107 regular season contests tonight when the Bucks play at Portland. Jennings is averaging almost 18 points and five-and-a-half assists for Milwaukee this year.
Former Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke says he likes the Brewers’ attitude. And he agreed to be traded to Milwaukee because he’s convinced they’ll pushing for a World Series this year. The Brewers traded four young players to Kansas City yesterday for Greinke and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. Greinke originally included the Brewers in a list of teams he did not want to be sent to. But he later changed his mind. Greinke said he thought the Brewers would go into a re-building mode had they traded first baseman Prince Fielder a year before he becomes a free agent. But now that the Brewers are keeping Fielder, Greinke believes the Brew Crew is in-it-to-win-it – and the team’s acquisition of starter Shaun Marcum confirms that belief. General manager Doug Melvin agreed. He compared the trade to the Brewers’ acquisition of C.C. Sabathia in 2008 – except that Greinke has two years left on his contract instead of a few months. Greinke said the deal was in the works for at least a week – and he thought it would happen sooner than it did.
Craig Counsell is back with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said the team completed a one-year deal a few days ago. But they’ve delayed the announcement while working on the trade that sent shortstop Alcides Escobar and three other prospects to Kansas City for 2009 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke. The 40-year-old Counsell – a native of Whitefish Bay – is starting his fifth season in Milwaukee, after winning World Series rings with Florida and Arizona. He provides versatility to the Brewer infield, as he plays second base, shortstop, and third. He hit .250 in 204 at-bats last season with a .322 on-base percentage.
Levell Coppage of UW-Whitewater is D3football.com offensive player-of-the-year. And Whitewater’s Lance Leipold has been named the coach-of-the-year. The Warhawks won their second straight NCAA Division-Three title over Mount Union this past weekend. It was Whitewater’s third national crown in four years. Coppage, a junior running back, capped off a stellar season with 299 yards and three touchdowns in the title game. Senior linebacker Matt Wenger of North Central was named D-Three’s defensive player-of-the-year. Making the D-Three All-American first team besides Coppage were guard Matt Weber and tackle Robbie Ustruck of Whitewater – tight end Patrick Mengelkoch of Stout – punter and receiver Jared Jenkins of Stevens Point – and kicker Tyler Funk of Carthage. The All-American second team includes center Mark Gawronski of Whitewater. Warhawks’ defensive tackle Wesley Hicks made the third team.
The UW-Oshkosh men’s basketball team is in Las Vegas for a pair of games, starting tonight against Wartburg College of Iowa. In other Division-Three contests, the Madison Edgewood men host Dubuque. In women’s games, UW-Eau Claire hosts Luther College. Mount Mary of Milwaukee hosts Eureka. And Wisconsin Lutheran hosts Marian in a Northern Athletics’ Conference match-up.