Packers-Vikings News Briefs: Pack's Williams leaves practice after illnessRegional Sports
-- Green Bay Packers’ corner Tramon Williams was sick when he reported to practice today. Coach Mike McCarthy said Williams received medication, and he was sent home. The coach says he’s not sure about Williams’ playing status for Saturday night, when the Packers host Minnesota in a first-round playoff game.
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers’ corner Tramon Williams was sick when he reported to practice today. Coach Mike McCarthy said Williams received medication, and he was sent home. The coach says he’s not sure about Williams’ playing status for Saturday night, when the Packers host Minnesota in a first-round playoff game.
Receiver Jarrett Boykin also sat out of today’s workout with the ankle injury he suffered last Sunday in Minneapolis. McCarthy also said receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb both practiced fully as they come off their injuries. He said both wide-outs pushed hard at practice – and they looked good. McCarthy also said the Packers practiced for about 30 minutes outside today – and they spent time outside yesterday as well. The Vikings have been practicing indoors, with the air conditioning on and the doors open to their practice facility. It’s expected to be around 20-degrees for Saturday night’s kickoff – relatively warm for northeast Wisconsin in January.
Vikings’ defensive end Jared Allen says he’ll cherish every moment of Saturday night’s playoff contest in Green Bay. Allen says a lot of time has passed since his last post-season appearance in 2009 – and he refuses to take anything for granted. Allen has been in the NFL for nine years, and this will be only his fourth playoff game.
Don’t be surprised if both Randall Cobb and Jeremy Ross return kicks on Saturday night, when the Green Bay Packers host Minnesota in their playoff opener. Ross has averaged 26 yards on four punt returns since filling in for the injured Cobb two weeks ago – and Ross has also averaged 29 yards on three kickoff returns. Cobb, a second-year receiver, expects to play against the Vikings – but it’s not known how ready he is to return kicks. Special teams’ coach Shawn Slocum says he can use both players, noting that Ross has really made an impact over the past two games – and he provides more depth in the return spot. The Packers signed Ross to their practice squad in October, and they promoted him to the 53-man roster about a month ago. Ross spent last year on the practice squad at Indianapolis, and the Colts cut him just before the start of this season.
Vikings’ coach Leslie Frazier says he fully expects quarterback Christian Ponder to play in Saturday night’s Wild Card game at Green Bay. Ponder was limited at the Vikings’ practice yesterday, as he deals with a sore right elbow. Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson also missed practice, as did veteran corner Antoine Winfield. Frazier said Peterson was just resting up. And Winfield is still getting over a broken hand which limited him during last Sunday’s regular season win over the Packers in Minneapolis. Safety Harrison Smith and defensive end Brian Robison were also limited in Wednesday’s practice in Minnesota. Meanwhile, Vikings’ kicker Blair Walsh has been named the NFC special teams’ player of the week. The rookie from Georgia booted a 29-yard field goal as time expired, to give the Packers their three-point loss in their regular season finale.
Packers’ receiver Greg Jennings said he was not happy with tweets from his sister which criticized quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in general. But Jennings said he never told his sister Valyncia to stop tweeting – and he didn’t know that she closed out her Twitter account on Monday. Jennings said he told his sister that he wished she would have made it clear that she was giving her own opinions, and not his. During last Sunday’s Packer loss at Minnesota, Valyncia Jennings tweeted that Rodgers was ignoring her brother on the field – and she called him quote, “the most overrated quarterback in the league.” She went on to tweet, “He is nowhere near Peyton or Brady. It sickens me. Peyton would average five TD’s with this squad.” Greg Jennings will be a free agent after this season, and the Packers have not offered a contract extension. His sister also tweeted that Jennings needs to leave quote, a “cheap” organization – and she criticized Rodgers for looking to other receivers. One tweet ended quote, “If this idiot could see the coverage … then he holds onto the ball and fumbles.” Jennings said a Packers’ public relations person told him about the tweets right after last Sunday’s game. He said he called her afterward, and he has also talked to Rodgers – and the quarterback did not appear concerned that she was echoing what her brother might have been thinking.
The Green Bay Packers put out the call for snow shovelers to clear off the seats at Lambeau Field in preparation for Saturday night's playoff game against the Vikings. The Packers were looking for up to 600 people for the task which began this morning. Shovelers must be at least 15 years old and they're getting 10 dollars an hour, with the Packers providing the shovels. It's the second time in the last two weeks the team has asked for help.
There's a lot of buzz in Minnesota about the upcoming NFC Wild Card playoff game between the Vikings and Packers on Saturday night in Green Bay. The forecast calls for a temperature around 20-degrees at kickoff. In fact, the Vikings have been practicing indoors this week, but have left the doors to the facility wide open and turned the air conditioner on to get the players accustomed to playing in the the cold temps. Star running back Adrian Peterson says it won't be a problem. Peterson calls it "mind over matter" and says he's focused on executing his plays. Kickoff is Saturday at 7 p.m. at Lambeau Field and the game will be broadcast on FOX.
A wild crowd is expected on Saturday night in Green Bay for the Packer-Viking playoff game. And just to be on the safe side, the team says it will cut off alcohol sales earlier than normal. The Packers usually stop the alcohol sales at the end of the third quarter. But on Saturday, the team says the last alcohol will be sold at the end of halftime, at the start of the third quarter. The Packers also say they’ll provide extra police-and-security, to discourage fans of the two border-state rivals from getting out of hand. The Packers have a fan code-of-conduct that ticket holders are expected to follow.