The biggest injury news McCarthy announced was that right guard Josh Sitton, who left Thursday’s win over the Detroit Lions, would be “hard-pressed” to play next Sunday against the New York Giants. He said Sitton’s knee sprain was “new,” and that it occurred on a running play in the second half. Over the past few weeks, Sitton has been dealing with a nagging knee injury.
Evan Dietrich-Smith filled in for Sitton on Thursday and played reasonably well considering the circumstances, but McCarthy didn’t commit to a starter at right guard for the Giants game.
If Sitton’s injury news wasn’t bad enough, the Packers got more disturbing news Friday.
Shortly after McCarthy’s press conference, a report from the Green Bay Press Gazette came out which stated outside linebacker Erik Walden had spent the morning in Brown County Jail because of a domestic battery charge. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, Walden will spend the rest of the weekend in jail.
According to the Journal Sentinel, the Packers released this statement:
“The Packers organization is aware of the situation involving Erik Walden. We are in the process of gathering more information and will refrain from making any further comment.”
More information needs to come out on the issue, but Walden’s arrest certainly sounds like something the Packers will have to deal with from a suspension standpoint. Chris Cook’s incident in Minnesota several weeks comes to mind, and Cook hasn’t played since his arrest. Walden has started all 11 games for the Packers at outside linebacker this season.
McCarthy had more on the injury front, however. Both Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk suffered calf injuries but have a chance to play next Sunday. Backups D.J. Smith and Robert Francois each received game balls for their performances against the Lions, and McCarthy also said that the Packers had to hand signal plays in because of the loss of Hawk. Running back James Starks tweaked his ankle early on and the Packers weren’t interested in maxing him out while hurt. It sounded like he should be ready to play against the Giants.
Left tackle Chad Clifton was unofficially ruled out by McCarthy, as he said the progress with the hamstring injury hasn’t been as quick as originally thought a few weeks ago.
Other tidbits from Friday’s press conference:
- McCarthy stressed poise and composure coming into Thursday’s game. The noise level at Ford Field and the hype of a Thanksgiving day game made it all the more important. He certainly didn’t sound happy with Pat Lee, who was ejected in the second quarter.
- McCarthy said it was a tough game to officiate for Terry McAulay’s crew.
- Thought Brandon Saine did well with his opportunities on offense, but also said that Saine could have played better on special teams.
- He was impressed with Dietrich-Smith because the offense didn’t have to adjust. As was mentioned earlier, McCarthy still has committed to starter at right guard. Ray Dominguez’s name was brought up later.
- Despite some of the big injuries, McCarthy feels good about the Packers’ health. The players are being given some time off, and the team gets a second-type bye week.
Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.
You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.Follow @zachkruse2