2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Burnett coming back to Packers' secondary

    2013-09-30 18:43

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - The Green Bay Packers might have a new look in the secondary for Sunday's game against Detroit with the possible return of safety Morgan Burnett.

Burnett has a new look, too. Last week, Burnett cut off the dreadlocks he's worn since his sophomore year in high school.

``My mom's been on my case for about five years about it, so it really made her day. I did it for her,'' Burnett said Monday, the team's first day back after last week's bye.

Highlighted by Burnett, the Packers returned from their bye a little healthier than after limping off the field after a disappointing 34-30 loss at Cincinnati on Sept. 22. Also back was rookie running back Eddie Lacy, who missed the Cincinnati game with a concussion.

``My general sense is we improved,'' coach Mike McCarthy said. ``We had a number of guys test today ... I haven't even visited with the training staff to see how the workouts went.''

Burnett, the leader of the secondary, played every defensive snap last season but missed every snap of the first three games of this season with a hamstring injury sustained on Aug. 23. Without him, the Packers rank 27th in points allowed per game, 28th in yards allowed per game, 28th in yards passing allowed per game, 31st in yards allowed per play and 32nd in yards allowed per passing play.

Burnett was on course to play in Week 1; he wasn't even on the injury report until the Friday before the opener against San Francisco. He had limited participation all week leading to the Week 2 game against Washington but didn't play then, either. Before the Cincinnati game, Burnett practiced on Wednesday before being shut down for the week.

This time, Burnett thinks he's back for good. He took part in all phases of practice and said he wasn't holding anything back.

``It felt real good,'' said Burnett, who signed a four-year, $24.75 million contract extension in the offseason. ``It was exciting. It was almost like a kid waiting the night before Christmas. I was real excited about getting back up here, getting back on the field. I felt like a little kid at the candy store. It was fun being out there.''

Lacy, the team's bruising second-round draft pick, was back after sustaining a concussion in a helmet-to-helmet hit by Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather on Sept. 15. With Lacy sidelined, James Starks broke the team's 44-game drought without a 100-yard rusher against the Redskins, and Johnathan Franklin topped 100 yards against the Bengals, but had a fumble returned for the decisive touchdown.

Not all of the injury news was good Monday. Tight end Jermichael Finley (concussion), outside linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring), cornerback Casey Hayward (hamstring), Starks (knee) and fullback John Kuhn (hamstring) did not participate in the part of practice open to reporters. Of them, only Finley, hurt on the first pass thrown his way at Cincinnati, was on the practice field.

Green Bay's defense could use the talents of Burnett, Matthews and Hayward with the high-octane Detroit Lions at Green Bay on Sunday. The Lions (3-1) rank fourth with 30.5 points per game and are coming off a 40-32 victory over previously undefeated Chicago.

The Packers' defense struggled in the second half at Cincinnati without Matthews, a four-time Pro Bowler who had a sack and forced two fumbles in the first half alone.

Hayward, who intercepted six passes as a rookie, hasn't played a snap this season.

``They have a very explosive offense,'' Burnett said of the Lions. ``They've got a lot of weapons with Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush; they've got (Brandon) Pettigrew at tight end, you've got Matthew Stafford at quarterback. They've got weapons, so you've got to trust your defense, trust your technique. You can't get out of line with guessing or anything, because they're a good team.''

NOTES: Without Starks and Kuhn, the Packers filled a vacant roster spot by promoting running back Michael Hill from the practice squad. Hill, an undrafted rookie out of Missouri Western, was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, the Division II equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. He spent training camp with San Diego. ... Taking Hill's place on the practice squad will be receiver/returner Reggie Dunn, an undrafted rookie from Utah who returned four kickoffs for touchdowns as a senior. Dunn spent training camp with the Steelers. . McCarthy had the team in pads after the week layoff. . The Packers entered the bye at 1-2, with the team's minus-2 turnover differential his biggest concern. ``We're doing a lot of good things as far as big play production, extending plays, things like that. There's balance on offense. Defensively, pass defense is something that we've looked at. And special teams, our return game is something that we've looked at. With that, I don't think it's anything earth shattering.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

T Y HiltonDec 19 11:52a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is not participating in the portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

Julio JonesDec 19 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

DeMarco MurrayDec 19 10:52a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) is likely to play in Week 16, according to a source. Murray has a high threshold for pain, and according to the source, [ More ]

Eddie LacyDec 19 10:12a

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy (eye) said he wasn't able to read a teammate's nameplate a few feet away in the locker room Thursday, Dec. 18. Lacy said [ More ]

Leon WashingtonDec 18 11:32p

Tennessee Titans RB Leon Washington caught a team-high seven passes for 62 yards and a touchdown in the team's 21-13 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Dec. 18. He [ More ]

Philip RiversDec 18 11:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) looked good throwing the ball in the practice Thursday, Dec. 18, according to head coach Mike McCoy. 'Philip had an outstanding day,' [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 18 05:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Dec. 18.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Ryan MathewsDec 18 03:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and appears to be on track to start in Week 16, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

DeMarco MurrayDec 18 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who was expected to take some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:12p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) said he is not dealing with any pain in his back but is taking things one day at a time. Newton said he [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 02:02p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) left practice early Thursday, Dec. 18, because he is receiving a scheduled day of rest. Manning was not limping when he was walking to the locker room.

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Chris PolkDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 01:22p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) had an increased set of repetitions in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and it looks like he's on track to play in Week 16 [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 12:52p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Andre JohnsonDec 18 12:52p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (concussion) has cleared the leagues concussion protocol and will play in the team's Week 16 game.

Julio JonesDec 18 12:12p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Case KeenumDec 18 10:03a

Houston Texans QB Case Keenum is expected to start in Week 16.

Philip RiversDec 18 09:22a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is battling a back injury that is more severe than the team has acknowledged, according to a league source. Rivers' back injury [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group