Rest Later is Small Consolation for Packers on Short Week

With a minimal amount of on-the-field time this week, this week is all about getting the bodies fresh and the minds sharp.

Tuesday is usually a day of rest for the Green Bay Packers.

Instead, they’ll hit the practice field in preparation for Thursday’s Thanksgiving night matchup against the Chicago Bears. That will be Game 2 in a stretch of four games in 19 days.

“I think the reality of it is the other team has to adjust, too," coach Mike McCarthy said on Tuesday. "So we’re all on the same plane as far as the challenge. We have some history with Thursday games, so we feel like we have a good schedule in place to follow. We’ve adjusted it or tweaked it each and every year. There’s things that put you position do to that, particularly the health of your football team. I think once you get to Thursday, it’s exciting because you get to play. I think everybody enjoys the fact that you get to turn around and play quicker. But the preparation process is really a grind. I mean think about, Tuesday the team’s practicing and most, if not pretty much all the players, are still sore from Sunday’s game..”

With a minimal amount of on-the-field time this week, this week is all about getting the bodies fresh and the minds sharp. For the Packers, there’s no time to bask in Sunday’s huge win at Minnesota. McCarthy watched a little of the video on the way home on Sunday night and a little more before addressing reporters on Monday evening. Otherwise, Chicago is the singular focus. Rather than reviewing the tape, grading the players and showing them corrections, the coaches turned straight to game-planning.

“You kind of have to drop (Sunday’s game) quick,” receiver Davante Adams said. “Embrace it, love the win that we did get, but you’ve got to get rid of that and get rolling into the Bears week because they definitely are an improved team. Dive into that film and re-familiarize yourself with what we’ve already seen.”

Even if it means poor table manners.

“When you’re at home eating, have the iPad open studying,” center J.C. Tretter said. “You just have to cram in all your information in a different amount of time.”

While there’s no competitive disadvantage to playing on Thursday, since both teams are in the same boat, these games are universally despised by the players.

“I don’t think it’s fun,” guard Josh Sitton said. “Your body definitely doesn’t recover in time. Going Sunday-Thursday-Thursday, definitely the schedulers weren’t on our side on that one. It’s not very fun but we’ll gut through it.”

After Thursday’s game vs. Chicago, the Packers play at Detroit on Thursday, Dec. 3. Then comes the payoff: an extra few days before hosting Dallas on Sunday, Dec. 13.

Not that anyone sees that as a silver lining.

“Not so much,” Sitton said.

Defensive tackle B.J. Raji is living in the moment. Maybe he’ll have a different perspective in a couple of weeks. For now, he’s all about getting ready for a game that’s coming three days earlier than usual.

“If you win, it is (good). If you lose, then you just have more time to think about the loss,” Raji said. “You have a short week like this, I don’t know, I never really think like that. I don’t think about the ‘after.’ I worry about the event, the game and then after that, just follow the schedule.”

Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.


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