The Green Bay Packers placed Andrew Quarless on injured reserve on Wednesday evening. The team used its lone designated-to-return slot on the tight end.
Quarless sustained a knee injury on Monday against Kansas City following his second catch of the game and season.
Quarless will miss at least the next eight weeks of games, though he can return to practice in six weeks. That would make him eligible to play against Chicago on Thanksgiving night.
Without Quarless for two months, the Packers will lean on starter Richard Rodgers and rookie Kennard Backman. Backman was inactive for each of the first three games.
"I feel pretty ready, pretty confident. Just trying to do everything they ask of me," Backman said.
On Wednesday morning, coach Mike McCarthy pointed to the "diversity" of the scheme as a reason why the Packers might not have to add a tight end should Quarless miss a substantial amount of time. They did sign Blake Annen, a fleet-footed, 6-foot-4 player who went undrafted out of Cincinnati in 2014, to the practice squad earlier Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the team will cross its fingers that another key player doesn't sustain a significant but non-season-ending injury, since it used its lone designated-to-return spot on a backup tight end.
Award for Rodgers: Add another franchise record for Aaron Rodgers.
The Green Bay Packers’ quarterback won his 13th NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award on Wednesday for his performance against the Kansas City Chiefs. That breaks Brett Favre’s team-record 12.
Rodgers completed 24 of 35 passes (68.6 percent) for 333 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions for a 138.5 passer rating in the Packers’ 38-28 victory. It was Rodgers’ fourth game of five touchdowns and no interceptions – breaking Favre’s team record of three. Since the start of the 2011 season, Rodgers and New Orleans’ Drew Brees are the only quarterbacks with four games of five-plus touchdowns and no interceptions.
Rodgers, who is the NFL’s third-most accurate passer in history with a career completion rate of 66.0 percent, has hit on 73.6 percent of his passes this season.
“I just think he’s in a groove,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I talked about it a little after the game. Really, our football team coming out of the offseason program — to me the offseason program is preparing your team for the training camp -- we felt a little bit coming out of the offseason that training camp started cleaner. We worked at it maybe more than we have over the years. They’ve really been in sync, the whole offense, and Aaron being in sync with the receivers. He’s making great decisions. He’s always been a high-accuracy player. That’s nothing new.”
Including postseason, Rodgers has thrown 580 consecutive passes and 48 touchdown passes at Lambeau Field without an interception. Both are NFL records.
The 13 Player of the Week honors are the most in the NFL since the start of the 2010 season.
Roster move: Before practice, the Packers made a couple of moves to their practice squad, with linebacker James Vaughters going on the practice squad injured list and tight end Blake Annen taking his place on that 10-man unit. Annen went undrafted out of Cincinnati in 2014 but is a terrific prospect. At 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, he ran his 40 at pro day in a blazing 4.41 seconds. After failing to make the Eagles’ roster out of training camp last season, he was signed to Chicago’s practice squad and elevated to the 53-man roster at midseason, playing in five games. He spent training camp with Chicago this year and just had a one-week stint on the Saints’ practice squad. He worked out for the Packers on Sept. 22.
Injury updates: Receiver Davante Adams (ankle) and safety Morgan Burnett (calf) did not participate in Wednesday's practice. Asked if he had a feel about Burnett's availability this week, coach Mike McCarthy said he's know more after Thursday's practice.
"It’s just day-to-day, honestly," Adams said while in a walking boot. "I’m trying not to hurt it any more. It all just depends on how I’m feeling. It’s a little sore, so I’m just trying to get it right."
Packers injury report
Player (injury): Wednesday
WR Davante Adams (ankle): DNP
OT Bryan Bulaga (knee): DNP
S Morgan Burnett (calf): DNP
WR Randall Cobb (shoulder): Full
CB Demetri Goodson (hamstring): DNP
DE Datone Jones (head): Full
RB Eddie Lacy (ankle): Full
LB Mike Neal (groin): Full
TE Andrew Quarless (knee): DNP
S Sean Richardson (ankle): Full
FB Aaron Ripkowski (shoulder): Full
LB Jake Ryan (hamstring): DNP
49ers injury report
Player (injury): Wednesday
CB Kenneth Acker (back): Full
G Alex Boone (shoulder): Full
LB Navorro Bowman (not injury related): DNP
LB Ahmad Brooks (shoulder): Full
RB Reggie Bush (calf): Full
TE Vernon Davis (knee): DNP
S L.J. McCray (hip): Full
TE Vance McDonald (knee): Full