McCarthy: Quarless Out for Season, Optimistic on Woodson for Sunday

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Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed on Monday that tight end Andrew Quarless would be lost for the rest of the season due to a “significant” knee injury. Quarless was hurt on a kickoff in the second half on a horrific looking sequence that saw the second-year tight end’s knee buckle underneath him. He’ll have surgery in the upcoming weeks.

The injury is a tough break for Quarless, who was coming into his own as the Packers primary run blocking tight end this season. Quarless was also becoming a core cog in the Packers special teams coverage. To replace him, the Packers will likely lean more on Tom Crabtree in blocking sets and also rookies D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor.

There was a silver lining Monday, as McCarthy said that the medical staff felt good about Charles Woodson’s status for this week after suffering a concussion in the second half Sunday. Woodson banged helmets with Ahmad Bradshaw in the flats and didn’t return. An independent neurologist will still have to evaluate and clear Woodson for practice and game participation, but that’s an encouraging sign for the Packers’ upcoming game with the Oakland Raiders this Sunday.

James Starks was the last of the injury news, and McCarthy said that his ankle injury wasn’t serious or long-term. They need to get him healthy—Starks has come out in three straight games—but he could still play on Sunday. McCarthy said they’ll make a decision on Starks by Wednesday.

Other highlights from McCarthy’s press conference:

  • Announcement of winning the division title was made on the plane ride home. McCarthy said no body even blinked when the announcement was made. Winning the division was just a step towards a bigger goal.
  • Packers had two plays on defense where there were communication breakdowns.
  • Cobb was instructed to stay in the end zone on final kickoff because McCarthy wanted all 58 seconds and to start at least at the 20-yard-line on the final drive.
  • The final drive was as clean a 2-minute drive as he’s been a part of. Aaron did a great job on route adjustments on both of the first two completions. Last drive was managed well, McCarthy said.
  • McCarthy said he’s comfortable playing Jordy Nelson on offense and special teams.
  • Money quote of the presser: “We’re keeping our foot on the gas, playing to win games.”
  • Feels this team is special. Opportunity to achieve greatness, and that’s judge by, “Did you win the Super Bowl?” That’s the goal. Important to play best football in December.
  • Brandon Saine played 20 or so snaps on offense, 20 or so on special teams and was productive with his opportunities.
  • Packers aren’t going to run one single back 25-30 times. Not how they operate.
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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.

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  • Mr. Bacon

    I understand if McCarthy didn’t want to explain it, but I don’t understand the need to generalize what happened to Quarless’ knee if he is out for the Season.

    Did he tear all of the ligaments like Culpepper or a specific portion (ACL, MCL, PCL)?

    • Zach Kruse

      Yeah, I was kind of hoping for more information on that too. None of the beat reporters dug on it any further.

    • Oppy

      It’s pretty easy to forget that these guys are real people, and sometimes there’s something to be said for a shred of privacy when it comes to their bodies. Look at the way the Packers have handled Nick Collins’ injury early on. They had pretty much left it up to Nick to talk about the extent of the injury beyond saying it was significant.

      Also, even while QUarless is out for the season, don’t think for a second that opposing teams won’t analyze specifics on players’ injuries. Detailing the exact injury or the extent of it could be used as a little extra inside tidbit for an opposing team to gain a slight advantage in a matchup next season.

      Yeah, it’s that competitive.

  • BTF

    As has been said elsewhere shame for Quarless. Hopefully he comes back next year and can add the receiving ability he has flashed to the solid blocking of this year and become the complete package.

    DJ Williams and Ryan Taylor now get a chance to step up..

  • Dan

    Only a couple of break-downs on D?

  • Dan

    Dose the Quarless injury help Jmikes contract negotiations? ….What is the avg salary of the top 5 TEs in the league (If they franchise Finley), Im not sure he deserves that kind of money based on his performance latley.

    • Ron LC

      Dan, to me franchise only makes sense if they feel they can trade him for something of value like Dlinemen. I feel the best approach with Finley is to let him test the FA market and decide if the price to keep him is worth the risk.

  • Ron LC

    Quarles really stepped up and delivered this year. I’m hoping for a full recovery and a continued career as a TE for the Packers. His improved blocking was a big help for guys like Newhouse and AR. He will be missed.

  • Shavager

    Finley has the size and tools to be an excellent TE for Packers, he needs more focus on completing plays, making catches, running correct routes. If he wants to stay, deal needs to be team friendly since his performance in 2-3 games-especially the Lions, Giants game lacks consistency. Quarless injury may force Packers to re-assess Finley’s options for contract.