Notebook: Big hit jolts Packers

Packers show life after Aaron Rodgers is hit; busy day for Ryan Grant; injury update; No. 3 QB Charlie Frye falters; and much more from a 27-17 win at Seattle.

Seattle had just taken a 10-7 lead, and on the first play of Green Bay's ensuing possession, Pro Bowl defensive end Patrick Kerney drilled quarterback Aaron Rodgers just below his injured right throwing shoulder.

From that point, however, the Packers controlled the final 38 minutes en route to a critical 27-17 victory over the Seahawks at Qwest Field.

It wasn't the ideal wakeup call, but it certainly helped the Packers break a three-game losing streak and get back to 3-3.

"Yes, I would agree with the timing of it," coach Mike McCarthy said. "I don't think that we need to get our quarterback whacked before we start playing better."

One play after getting whacked — "it definitely jarred me a little," Rodgers admitted — Rodgers threaded the needle to Donald Driver for 20 yards on third-and-7. Ryan Grant rushed for 6 yards on third-and-2, and Rodgers hit Greg Jennings for 9 yards on third-and-9. That set up Rodgers' sneak that tied the game 10-10.

The defense took over from there against third-string quarterback Charlie Frye. Seattle's next four drives totaled minus-2 yards as Green Bay took a 17-10 lead into the fourth quarter. The Seahawks' first two drives of the fourth quarter ended in interceptions as the Packers pulled away.

Grant left, Grant right ...

During the previous two games combined, Grant carried the ball 33 times. He carried it a career-high 33 times alone on Sunday.

Statistically, it wasn't pretty. Grant turned all of those attempts into just 90 yards. In part because Seattle's defense had something to prove after yielding more than 250 yards last week and in part because the Seahawks played closer to the line of scrimmage because of Rodgers' gimpy shoulder, Grant found little room to run.

But all of those carries prevented the Seahawks from teeing off on Rodgers and set up a lot of manageable third-down situations.

"We didn't have a lot of explosive gains — over 12-yard runs — but we stuck to the game, we pounded it out and we converted on third downs," Rodgers said. "That keeps drives alive, that keeps the ball in your hand, that keeps the clock running, and gave us more run opportunities for Ryan. He had 33 carries today, that is a testament. He didn't have a ton of yards, but we definitely controlled the clock, kept our defense off the field, kept them fresh, kept their defense on the field. You could tell they were wearing down a little bit, especially on the 85-yard drive (that made it 24-10)."

Injury update, inactives

One reason Grant got such a heavy workload was because the Packers were without No. 2 running back Brandon Jackson. Jackson was deactivated before the game because he was ill.

Paired with rookie Kregg Lumpkin going on injured reserve, DeShawn Wynn went from the practice squad on Saturday to the only other halfback on Sunday. Wynn didn't carry the ball and had one catch for 7 yards.

Charlie Peprah replaced Aaron Rouse at safety during the second half after Rouse sustained a head injury. McCarthy didn't have an update after the game. Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett injured an elbow in the second half and didn't return, but he believed it wasn't serious. Rouse and Pickett entered the game nursing knee injuries.

Joining Jackson on the inactive list were safety Atari Bigby (hamstring), cornerback Al Harris (spleen), defensive end Jason Hunter (hamstring), receiver James Jones (knee), defensive end Mike Montgomery (ankle), tackle Breno Giacomini and Brian Brohm (third quarterback).

The other sideline

With Frye replacing Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, the Seahawks dropped their fourth straight game. Frye was nothing short of inept, gaining 83 yards on 23 pass attempts, and the rest of the Seahawks were unable to pick up the slack.

"It's a challenge," said Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, who is 2-5 against the Packers. "When you get into that situation, it's always a challenge. If you're in that situation in this league, you can't make other mistakes. And not just offensively. I'm talking about on special teams and on defense. You have to play a real crisp, solid football game in all areas to be successful, because all of the teams are pretty good."

Hasselbeck, out with a hyperextended knee sustained last week against the Giants, was ruled out by team doctors and will undergo more tests on Monday, Holmgren said.

Punter battle

The statistics didn't tell the story at punter, where embattled Derrick Frost squared off against the man he replaced, Jon Ryan.

While Ryan averaged 48.8 yards with a net of 41.0, he was outkicked by Frost, who averaged just 35.3 yards per punt. Ryan benefitted from friendly bounces on three poor kicks, and the Packers almost blocked his first attempt. None of Frost's four punts were returned and he placed two inside Seattle's 20-yard line, including his first, which was placed at the Seahawks' 10.

Tauscher vs. Kerney

When the Packers hosted the Seahawks in the playoffs last year, Mark Tauscher held Kerney without a sack, tackle or assisted tackle.

Tauscher wasn't quite as good on Sunday, but he again held up his end of the bargain against the Pro Bowl defensive end. Kerney had one tackle and two assists. The hit on Rodgers came because Rodgers held the ball too long.

"I just think it was important that we set kind of a blueprint for what it takes to win, and I don't know that we've done that up until this point," Tauscher said. "We really practiced well. There was a lot of energy, and it carried over into today's game."

Play of the game

With the scored tied 10-10 early in the second half, Seattle's Julius Jones ran off left tackle for 51 yards to the Packers' 24-yard line. Instead of being in position to take the lead, though, Pro Bowl left guard Mike Wahle was called for holding when he dragged Johnny Jolly to the turf.

"That is what I was referring to when you are in the situation we're in, and you pop a nice play, and you get a penalty, that is one of those things that there is a noticeable sag," Holmgren said. "We finally got one, and we needed it, and it was important, and then we got it called back. Right now, it is hard for us to overcome those types of things. It would have been a big play for us, certainly."

Extra points

Korey Hall started at fullback for the first time since injuring a knee in Week 2 at Detroit. He caught a pass on Green Bay's first play from scrimmage. ... John Kuhn, who replaced Hall at fullback the previous three weeks, scored his first career touchdown on a 1-yard reception in the third quarter. ... Former Packer Koren Robinson started at receiver for Seattle and caught two passes for 23 yards, including a leaping 19-yard grab in the first quarter. ... Charles Woodson's first-quarter sack snapped a run of 10 quarters without one for the Packers' defense. ... Tramon Williams intercepted a pass for the third consecutive game and his fourth consecutive start (he started the season finale last year). ... With Williams and Woodson picking off Frye, the Packers have 11 interceptions through six games. They had 19 all of last season. ... The Packers scored 24 consecutive points on Sunday. They scored 42 in a row in the playoff game last year. ... The Packers, the NFL leaders in penalties, were victimized by a season-low five penalties.

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and E-mail him at

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