Notebook: Jones Will Have Role

Brad Jones played well in his starting debut on Sunday and will have a role on the defense, but Aaron Kampman figures to start this week against San Francisco. Plus, injury updates and more from Monday.

The Green Bay Packers' coaches gave rookie Brad Jones rave reviews for his performance on Sunday against Dallas, but Aaron Kampman remains the starter at left outside linebacker — most likely this week against San Francisco.

With Kampman out with a concussion that kept him from practicing last week, Jones recorded seven tackles, including one for a loss, while making his first NFL start. Jones, a seventh-round pick from Colorado, didn't make any noticeable blunders against Dallas, even while giving up about 80 pounds to right tackle Marc Colombo and his replacement, Doug Free.

"I liked what I saw. You never know what to expect the first time a guy's out there. It wasn't too big for him, I'll say that," defensive coordinator Dom Capers.

While Kampman will reclaim the starting job — he's expected to practice on Wednesday — that doesn't mean Jones will be banished to special-teams duty. Kampman, who turns 30 on Nov. 30, had taken every defensive snap during the first seven games. He's had a history of diminished production in the second half of the season. Over the last three years, only 12.5 of his 37 sacks came in the second half of the season.

"We're into November and December and we've got to be smart in terms of taking care of our guys and try to keep them healthy," Capers said. "You want to be the healthiest in that December stretch. I think when you've got a young guy like Brad that comes along, that gives you the ability to spell some of your veteran players and try to keep them as healthy as you can, so when you get in those critical situations, they're fresh."

Injury updates

Cullen Jenkins (ankle swelling), Desmond Bishop (ankle sprain) and Greg Jennings (knee bruise) probably will miss some practice time this week due to injuries suffered on Sunday.

Meanwhile, fullback John Kuhn broke a hand and his availability for San Francisco will be determined by what he can and can't do at practice this week. The break is different from the one that sidelined Brandon Chillar for the last two games and does not require surgery.

As for Chillar, he was inactive for last week's game at Tampa Bay but was on the 45-man roster for Dallas. Chillar, however, was the only player to not get on the field.

"To be honest with you, we anticipated having Brandon down throughout the week," coach Mike McCarthy said. "I don't want to say we didn't have enough healthy bodies for the 45, but we got to a point there later in the week where you didn't know what was going to happen to Brady (Poppinga) and so forth. Our numbers, we've been carrying eight or nine linebackers each week and we were down to six. So having Brandon up as a backup was really the thought process of putting him up for the game. Him and I talked about it Friday out there on the field and then he had a doctor's appointment Friday afternoon and they cleared him. He felt confident that he was going to be able to play with the club so we took him into the game as a backup."

Chillar has never played with a club cast, so practicing all three days this week will put him in position to be ready for the 49ers.

Game balls

McCarthy handed out five game balls: Charles Woodson and Nick Barnett on defense, Josh Sitton on offense and Spencer Havner and Desmond Bishop on special teams.

Woodson forced three turnovers, had a team-high nine tackles and added a sack, Barnett had eight tackles and two sacks, Havner had four solo special-teams tackles and Bishop had two solos and two assists on special teams. Sitton, meanwhile, helped hold star nose tackle Jay Ratliff to two tackles.

"I thought he handled the nose well, thought he moved him around pretty good," offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said of Sitton. "Solid in pass protection when they went nickel and covered him. We did some initial double-teaming on Ratliff because we knew he was a factor in the middle, and Josh really did a good job. Kept his pads flat and moved him pretty effectively."

Four-point stance

— The Packers' patience with Jeremy Kapinos may be running short. He averaged 43.7 yards on seven punts with a net of 35.0. The Packers' net average for the season of 33.0 is last in the league by almost 2 yards.

— Tight end Jermichael Finley, who hasn't played since suffering a knee sprain early in the Cleveland game on Oct. 25, will practice Wednesday and, barring a setback, will get back on the field this week.

— On McCarthy's challenge of Jordy Nelson's non-touchdown in the fourth quarter, the coach said the play clock was running down and he would have needed to call a timeout.

"They started the 40-second clock," McCarthy said. "There was a lot of jumping around, and I didn't feel that I would be able to get the play call (in) because the ball has to get spotted. Was it on the 1? There is a difference sometimes in your call between the 1-yard line and the 6-inch-yard line."

— By losing that challenge, McCarthy wasn't allowed to challenge another ruling — though he tried on a fourth-quarter catch. The Packers should have been assessed a 15-yard penalty. "Hey, that's the way the game is played," McCarthy said. "We're in charge of coaching, the players play and the officials officiate."


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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 packwriter2002@yahoo.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.


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