With Erik Walden’s one-game suspension behind him, he Green Bay Packers cleared a roster spot by releasing cornerback Brandian Ross on Monday.
“It was tough,” Walden said of his week away from Green Bay, which stemmed from a domestic altercation in November. “You’re at home, you’re not able to contribute, you’re not even able to come to work and work with the scout team. That was the circumstance. Now you just move on. It’s all behind me. We’re moving forward. I’m happy.”
Walden went home to Georgia to work out and spend time with his family. If there was a silver lining, he said he got to enjoy his son’s birthday. Walden arrived in Green Bay on Saturday and returned to Lambeau Field on Monday morning.
Walden appreciated the support from the team, which re-signed him to a one-year contract even with an NFL penalty looming.
“I know I’m going to be a little rusty,” Walden said. “My big thing is probably tackling. Being out of the game for a week, you can’t really just prepare yourself for tackling. Make sure I’m fundamentally sound and ready to go.”
As for Ross, if he makes it through waivers, the team is expected to sign him to its practice squad. The practice squad is full, so someone would have to be released.
Greg Jennings sustained a groin injury that knocked him out of the Packers’ doomed final series against San Francisco.
“Spoke to Greg after the game, he didn't feel very good about it,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “Spoke to him again this morning, feels better today than he did last night. Frankly, we really won't know until we hit the practice field tomorrow as far as his status or his possible status for Thursday night.”
The team didn’t practice but had to submit an injury report. Jennings, linebacker Terrell Manning (concussion), running back James Starks (toe) and defensive end C.J. Wilson (groin) would not have participated, and cornerback Davon House (shoulder) and linebacker Jamari Lattimore (ankle) would have been limited.
For the Bears, tight end Kyle Adams (shoulder), cornerback Charles Tillman (shin) and linebacker Brian Urlacher (knee/coach’s decision) would not have participated, and tackle J’Marcus Webb (thumb) would have been limited.
M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian each played a half at safety and Jarrett Bush and Sam Shields split time at cornerback based on situations.
McCarthy signaled that might continue.
“It's a challenge, anytime you're rolling players in and out,” McCarthy said. “That's where we are defensively as far as playing individuals based on personnel groupings. We do have a number of our guys that are, frankly, our role players. They need to focus on their role and perform at a higher level in that role. And that's something that we'll continue to evaluate and game plan weekly. But as far as lining up with just one guy, there's only certain positions that you do that with."
— Donald Driver played only the final three snaps against the 49ers. “Donald's played a lot of football, a lot of great football here,” McCarthy said. “We've played one game. Donald understands that. I think Donald understands even more so than anybody the importance of a player or a group of players to try to get in a rhythm with the quarterback. That's part of the reason why it kinda worked out the way it did. We weren't on the field as much as we would have liked offensively. That's a combination of a number of things, more importantly focused on the offense, the things we could've did better.”
— With such an abbreviated schedule, the position coaches met with their players for 10 or 15 minutes to address the “obvious” mistakes, McCarthy said, before full attention was turned to Chicago.
— Guard Josh Sitton, on the officiating: “There's a lot of things that they didn't necessarily get correct out there. That wasn't the reason we lost the game. We got outplayed, outexecuted. It's definitely noticeable. I'm not going to be B.S. you, it's noticeable for sure. You can see it when there's a certain call, a penalty or something, and they've got to huddle up for an extra 30 seconds because they don't know what they're doing, and they've got to discuss it. It's understandable — it's a different game than they're used to; it's a lot faster, the rules are different. But I’m not the type and I know this team's not the type to sit around and bitch about bad officiating. We lost because we got outexecuted and outplayed.”
— The Packers waived Vic So’oto off injured reserve with an injury settlement and also waived undrafted guard Jaymes Brooks off the physically unable to perform list, according to the NFL’s transaction wire.
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