Now, the bad news: The Packers' second-best pass rusher almost certainly will be out for Sunday's game at Detroit and perhaps the following week at New England.
Even against the Lions, who at 2-10 are staring at another top-five draft pick, losing Jenkins could be critical. The Lions' 42.3 pass attempts per game rank second in the NFL, so the Packers' defense certainly could use Jenkins' seven sacks.
Jenkins had two sacks in Sunday's 34-16 win against San Francisco, one on a second-and-goal at the 2 and the other on a third down from midfield, giving him three in two games since his broken hand had healed so he could stop wearing a club cast.
"Cullen's been playing very well," coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday. "He's been fighting through a number of different things. Obviously, it started with the hand injury there in Philadelphia. He's been playing extremely well. We just have to get him healthy, get him back."
Without Jenkins, rookie C.J. Wilson, who has played sparingly the last several weeks since the addition of Howard Green, or Jarius Wynn, who has been inactive for the last three games, will get more playing time.
Calling a foul
McCarthy clarified two controversial calls.
The first came on the Packers' first drive, when Aaron Rodgers air-mailed a pass out of bounds while being pressured. He was flagged for intentional grounding, even though two receivers were in the area. The 10-yard penalty resulted in a field goal, which hit the upright.
"He threw it too high," McCarthy said with a bemused smirk. "It was a little too high over the receiver's head. That's a new one. We'll have to work on the way we throw the ball away now. I'm going to have to change our quarterback school drills around. Judgment call, sometimes they go your way and sometimes they don't."
The other came on a third-and-10 late in the first half. Rodgers, as he did frequently, drew the 49ers offside. Given what he figured would be a free play, he hit James Jones for a 54-yard gain deep up the right sideline. However, after the fact, the play was blown dead – which doesn't typically happen on offside unless the offender is running free to the quarterback.
"They said that the tackle, I think it was Chad (Clifton), moved also so they had to blow it dead before the ball was snapped," McCarthy said. "The defender coming across the line of scrimmage -- our tackle moved before we snapped the ball was one of the explanations."
-- Despite Tim Masthay's rocky introduction to a December day in Green Bay, his net average of 33.0 yards on three punts (one inside the 20, no touchbacks) was better than his standout counterpart, Andy Lee (32.4, no inside-the-20s, two touchbacks). "We need to be better, but that's what it's all about playing there at Lambeau Field," McCarthy said. "The wind, that was our first challenge in that type of atmosphere. Tim will learn from it. I am confident of that." The Packers also won the battle on kickoffs, starting at their 32-yard line on average compared to the 49ers starting at their 29.
-- A week after a miserable performance in short-yardage situations, the Packers went 5-for-5 on third-and-1, with Rodgers throwing two touchdown passes and John Kuhn running for first downs on all three of his attempts out of an old-school T-formation that the Packers call T-Bone. "It's just basic football," McCarthy said. "It really fits the running style of John Kuhn. I think John is a very instinctive inside zone or belly-type runner. It gets him closer to the line of scrimmage in that type of situation. I don't know how much you'll see that on first down."
-- In the race for the NFC North title, Chicago is 9-3 with games against New England, at Minnesota, New York Jets and at Green Bay. Those teams will be a combined 32-16 after tonight's Patriots-Jets game (barring a tie). The Packers (8-4) close at Detroit, at New England and home against the Giants and Bears. Those teams, depending on the Patriots' outcome, will be 28-20 or 29-19.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.