The extra day of rest leading to Monday night's game against the Kansas City Chiefs was helpful, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said before Thursday's practice.
But not helpful enough to get two key members of the offense on the practice field.
Running back Eddie Lacy and wide receiver Davante Adams did not participate in the portion of practice that was open to reporters. Both sustained ankle injuries during the first half against Seattle. Adams returned for the second half while Lacy did not.
"I think the last three days helped our whole football team," McCarthy said of the team not practicing on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. "Eddie and Davante have been here pretty much most of the day, most of the three days. They’re getting better. They’ll both do some pre-practice work and then we’ll see from there, but I don’t have high expectations of them practicing today."
By the time reporters were allowed on the sideline at Clarke Hinkle Field, Lacy was nowhere to be found. Adams stood on the side tossing a football to himself as the players went through tackling and ball-security drills.
When Lacy sustained an ankle injury late in the 2013 season, he did not miss a game and averaged about 20 carries a game on limited practice reps. That's an option again, though the situation isn't as dire as it was a couple years ago, when the Packers were fighting to stay alive in the playoff race without Aaron Rodgers. James Starks rushed for 95 yards on 20 carries against Seattle. Presumably, Alonzo Harris, an undrafted rookie, will be active for the first time in his brief career.
"Eddie is a very bright, instinctive football player," McCarthy said. "Very comfortable in what he’s asked to do. I would definitely feel comfortable playing Eddie on a very limited basis as far as his practice reps."
Right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) and cornerback Demetri Goodson (unknown) also didn't practice. A full injury report will come later.
Meanwhile, the Packers are moving into their second week without inside linebacker Sam Barrington, who's on injured reserve with an ankle injury. Against Seattle, Clay Matthews and Nate Palmer formed the inside tandem. Whent it was Barrington and Matthews, Barrington played the inside linebacker position in the dime package while Matthews moved to the line of scrimmage to rush the passer. Against Seattle, Matthews was the dime linebacker. He didn't line up at the line of scrimmage for even one snap and rushed the quarterback on just two of the defense's 60 snaps.
"I want to see Clay chase after the guy with the football," McCarthy said. "I think that’s the best thing for our defense, and I think the more we move him around, I know from an offensive perspective, targeting issues will help any player’s productivity. But at the same time, teams know where he’s going to line up and he’s obviously a focus point for our opponents. But the more we can move him around, I think it will help us."
Packers injury report
Player (injury): Wednesday status
WR Davante Adams (ankle): DNP
T Bryan Bulaga (knee): DNP
WR Randall Cobb (shoulder): Full
CB Demetri Goodson (hamstring): DNP
RB Eddie Lacy (ankle): DNP
LB Mike Neal (groin): Limited
Chiefs injury report
Player (injury): Wednesday status
OL Jeff Allen (knee): Probable
T Eric Fisher (ankle): Probable
TE Demetrius Harris (foot): Probable
WR Jeremy Maclin (knee): Probable
LB Josh Mauga (Achilles): Probable
T Donald Stephenson (ankle): Probable
WR De’Anthony Thomas (ankle): Probable
RB Charcandrick West (Achilles): Probable
WR Albert Wilson (shoulder): Probable