Quick change: Packers prep for Seattle after win
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — It can be difficult enough for NFL players to have just three days to prepare for a Thursday night game.
The Green Bay Packers have another unique wrinkle in their schedule: they must fly west this year for their Thursday night matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
It didn’t leave much time for the Packers to wind down on Monday, a day after the 31-12 win over the Miami Dolphins.
“You’ve got to take care of your body, make sure you’re doing the right things these next couple days to get ready,” defensive lineman Kenny Clark said. “Mentally, you just put your head in the film, get a chance to look at them early.”
The abbreviated practice plans have the Packers (4-4-1) flying to Seattle on Tuesday night following what would be the most extensive practice of the week. Coaches did some preliminary preparation last week for the Seahawks, though the primary focus was on beating the Dolphins.
That goal was accomplished, even as more injuries took a toll on the defense.
Safety Kentrell Brice (left ankle), linebacker Nick Perry (knee) and Bashaud Breeland (groin) left the Dolphins game. They’re all starters, and another starter, cornerback Kevin King, missed the game with a hamstring injury.
The defense bent but did not break, holding Miami to four field goals in spite of being put in some tricky situations. Two turnovers on special teams gave the Dolphins the ball at midfield or better. A failed fourth-and-2 for the offense had Miami starting at the Packers 45.
The Dolphins managed just field goals each time, while the Packers kept scoring touchdowns.
“We really played everybody that was up in our secondary, and everybody was ready when their number was called, and they really made plays for us,” Breeland said after the game. He picked off Brock Osweiler deep in Miami territory and returned the ball to the 12 to set up a touchdown late in the third quarter.
Breeland’s injury appeared to be relatively minor, and he hoped to be ready for Thursday.
A positive for the Packers’ defense is that backups played fairly well to fill voids, including reserve safety Raven Greene. He had a sack and also took a direct snap on a fake punt for a 26-yard run.
It’s a confidence-building win especially for a secondary that has had instability over the past few weeks, starting with the trade of starting safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to Washington. Another safety, Jermaine Whitehead, was released last week. Veteran cornerback Tramon Williams has started at safety alongside Brice the past couple of games.
“It took everybody today, man. It was a good, team win,” Williams said Sunday.
Green Bay eventually took advantage of backup Brock Osweiler, who was starting for a fifth straight game in place of the injured Ryan Tannehill. They got to Osweiler for six sacks. The Dolphins were just as banged up at receiver, too, losing Davante Parker and Jakeem Grant during the game.
But Miami gets a bye this week to rest up. The Packers figure to take it easier in practice on Tuesday, which would probably have been the case regardless of all the injuries in their secondary.
That puts a premium, then on the mental part of the game and preparation.
“Full speed ahead. Some guys might try to click through the film last night,” McCarthy said. “A number of coaches just went right upstairs after the game … but as far as the team, we don’t have any time to spend on, we have to get right into Seattle.”