The Green Bay Packers’ bye week comes about in the middle of NFL teams this season. Four teams had byes in week 5, four in week 6, two in week 7, the Packers and five others in week 8, six in week 9, four in week 10, and four in week 11. The Dolphins and Buccaneers effectively lost their bye weeks, when their opening game was canceled due to the hurricane.
Green Bay’s bye week comes at a great time for several players: Ty Montgomery’s ribs will be healing, and Morgan Burnett’s hamstring, and Ahmad Brooks’ back, and Lane Taylor’s and Joe Thomas’ ankles.
Rookies Kevin King and Josh Jones get a chance to assess their performance to date, and to better learn their roles in the Packers’ complex set of defensive formations. As for rookie Aaron Jones, he already looks like a three-year vet, other than he’s yet to be effectively used as a receiver. Given that he’s proven himself to be dangerous in the open field, he has even more talents to showcase.
Davon House, Corey Linsley, and Damarious Randall – that’s two starting cornerbacks – were all questionable going into the Saints game, so they too will appreciate the rest.
By the way, the Packers had 14 players on last week’s injury report, with Morgan Burnett, Ahmad Brooks, Lane Taylor and Joe Thomas seeing no action against the Saints. The Saints listed just two – one was a reserve and the other, tackle Terron Armstead, played on every offensive snap. Trying to predict NFL game outcomes is getting to be foolhardy if you don’t first compare teams’ injury reports.
I don’t know if Max McCaffrey will be placed on the active roster, but I’d like to see it. I’d make Geronimo Allison inactive, and give McCaffrey some chances to show what he’s got. His quickness and precise route-running could give the team’s air attack a needed boost.
Getting to the Point
Most of all, though, the bye week timing couldn’t be better because Brett Hundley and Green Bay’s receivers will have an extra week to practice, and based on last Sunday, to essentially get re-acquainted. Right?
It’s been coach Mike McCarthy’s custom to give his team a full week off during the bye week. He’s continued that practice this year, though the collective bargaining agreement allows him to have players stick around for a few days of extra practices.
I’ll be looking to see if the week off applies even to Hundley. He needs all the practice and planning he can get. What he doesn’t need is a rest. He’s played in less than two full games on the year, and last week’s featured only 50 offensive plays.
In my opinion, the (well-rested) practice teamers, the team’s QBs (all three of whom are rested and rusty), and all the team’s receivers (tight ends included) should be around for at least three days of intensive (but non-padded) practice during the bye week. I’d include the running backs too. The Packers’ screen passing game is almost non-existent. I do recall Hundley mentioning he had no plans of leaving town during the week off and he hasn’t.
Someone in the local press needs to ask Big Mike (after the fact I guess): given that the Packers’ starting wide receivers had a total of 40 yards receiving against the Saints, don’t you think this bye week presented a great opportunity for Brett Hundley and his receivers to get in some valuable extra practice time?