Packers issue a statement in response to President Trump’s anthem comments

Green Bay Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy issued a statement in response to comments made Friday night by President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in which he called for NFL players to be “fired” for not standing during the national anthem.

“It’s unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL. We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedication and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact. We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely.”’

The comments that Murphy and leaders of other NFL teams felt needed to be addressed included Trump saying, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!”

To this point, no players on the Packers have taken a knee or been seated during the anthem, though tight end Martellus Bennett held his first in the air prior to the season opener against Seattle as his form of protest. However, several took to Twitter on Saturday to show their displeasure with Trump’s words.

“I’m OK with being fired for what I believe in,” wrote Bennett.

Teammate Davante Adams, who uses his Twitter account sparingly, also commented.

“We’ll “stick to football” when we see progress,” the wide receiver wrote. “Our Nations leader can’t even set a good example of how it looks to be a great American.”

Green Bay will host Cincinnati at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

Packers list seven players as doubtful for matchup with Cincinnati

The Green Bay Packers are likely to look much different Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals than they did the last time they walked out on the turf at Lambeau Field in Week 1.

The team released its final injury report for the week and there are seven players listed as doubtful, which is the description given to players unlikely to play. That list includes five starters — wide receiver Randall Cobb, left tackle David Bakhtiari, defensive tackle Mike Daniels, outside linebacker Nick Perry and cornerback Davon House. Two more starters — wide receiver Jordy Nelson and right tackle Bryan Bulaga — are listed as questionable, meaning they are not certain to play.

With Bakhtiari unlikely to play, second-year lineman Kyle Murphy should get the start at left tackle again, while veteran Ahmad Brooks will fill Perry’s role. The injuries to Cobb and House will free up more snaps for younger players, including Trevor Davis and Geronimo Allison at wide receiver, and second-round pick Kevin King at cornerback.

Cincinnati comes in banged up as well, and the Bengals have already ruled out tight end Tyler Eifert, guard Trey Hopkins and wide receiver John Ross.

Here is the full injury report for both teams via Packers.com:

 

The Armchair Quarterbacks Podcast: Packers vs. Bengals

A meeting of the minds as our very own Joe Miller and Rob Reischel of BobMcGinnFootball.com sit down and discuss the Packers match-up against the Bengals this Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Take a listen below:

Segment 1:

Segment 2:

Segment 3:

 

Packers add one, put another on injured reserve

It was reported Wednesday afternoon that the Green Bay Packers were going to be re-signing defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois. Now we know how the team made room on the roster for the veteran.

The Packers announced Thursday that tackle Jason Spriggs had been placed on the injured reserve with a hamstring injury. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s done for the season, but he must sit at least eight weeks before Green Bay could bring him back as one of its two IR players designated to return.

Francois signed with the Packers as a free agent in March, played in the season opener against Seattle and then was cut last week as injuries at other positions forced the team’s hand. His signing suggests the hip injury Mike Daniels is dealing with could keep him out this weekend and likely longer.

Spriggs, a second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, was injured while protecting on the field goal unit against the Seahawks.

Packers OLB Nick Perry out indefinitely

The Green Bay Packers are going to be without one of their top pass rushers indefinitely.

Coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Thursday that outside linebacker Nick Perry is scheduled to undergo hand surgery.

“That’s something we’ll continue to work through,” McCarthy said of how long he’ll be out.

“Until we get through the surgery, I don’t really have a timeline for you.”

This is the second straight year Perry has suffered a hand injury that required surgery. In 2016, he missed two games and played with a cast the rest of the year, yet still managed to put up a career-high 11 sacks. That effort landed him a 5-year, $60 million contract.

“He’s a violent football player. He’s physical. He plays the game the right way,” McCarthy said of Perry. “If you look at his play style, that’s really part of his game, the violence that he plays with his hands.”

Though Perry is out, veteran Ahmad Brooks is expected to be able to play this week after missing the Atlanta game with a concussion. Brooks was signed to provide depth at outside linebacker, but now is likely going to be counted on much more.

“I think he’s a great fit for what we’re doing,” McCarthy said of Brooks, who didn’t sign with the team until the week leading into the season opener. “His role will definitely be bigger this week.”

Shorthanded Packers lose 34-23 at Atlanta

If the Green Bay Packers have closed the gap between themselves and the defending NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons, it certainly didn’t show on Sunday night in a 34-23 loss.

A retooled defense looked exactly as it did last January, as reigning NFL MVP Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones picked up right where they left off in the conference title game. The duo hooked up on gains of 19 and 34 yards on the opening drive, one that was finished off by Devonta Freeman, the first of two touchdowns for the running back who ended up with 84 yards on the ground. Jones had 105 yards on just five grabs, while Mohamed Sanu added five catches and 85 yards.

Green Bay had an answer, going 75 yards in 11 plays before Ty Montgomery plunged in from 1-yard out to tie the game. After that, though, it was all Falcons, as they scored 24 unanswered points, including taking an Aaron Rodgers fumble back for a 15-yard touchdown. Rodgers also threw an interception, his second of the season, and Atlanta made him pay for it by scoring a touchdown just before half to make it 24-7.

“I gave them seven [points] on the fumble, gave another seven on the [interception] and we lose by 11,” Rodgers said. “We were in the game. I can’t turn the ball over like that.”

Unfortunately for the Packers, the real story of the game was a mounting injury list. They played without starting tackles Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari, and then lost defensive tackle Mike Daniels, wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, along with defensive backs Davon House and Kentrell Brice during the game.

It’s unclear how severe any of the injuries were, but they were just another discouraging aspect on a discouraging night.

“Well, I hope we can,” Rodgers said when asked whether he took comfort in the fact it’s still early in the season and they can play better. “This is a potential matchup down the line. Hopefully, we put ourselves in that position. It was a tough game.”

Rodgers called Atlanta a fantastic team, but also intimated that the Packers don’t believe there is a big gap between the franchises despite Green Bay having lost each of its last two trips south by double digits.

“I think we can beat anyone at home,” Rodgers said, a nod toward the advantage the Falcons have at the new Mercedes Benz Stadium. “We don’t look at it as [needing to close] the gap.”

Green Bay scored the final 13 points of the game, with Rodgers finding Davante Adams for a 33-yard score and then Montgomery on a shovel pass for a 1-yard touchdown. That one gave him 300 for his career as he became the fastest player in league history to reach that mark.

It’s back home in Week 3 for the Packers, as they welcome the Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) to Lambeau Field next Sunday.

Report: Packers release CB Ladarius Gunter and DT Ricky Jean Francois

Just nine months after being lauded for his work in slowing New York Giants All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in last year’s playoffs, cornerback Ladarius Gunter is now out of a job.

Green Bay waived the former undrafted free agent to make room for wide receiver Geronimo Allison, who is back after serving his 1-game suspension last weekend.

Gunter played in seven games as a rookie in 2015 before playing in all 16 a year ago, including 15 starts. He collected 54 tackles, 12 passes defended and two forced fumbles.

Meanwhile, one of Green Bay’s free agent acquisitions is also no longer with the team.

As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Shefter, the Packers released defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois on Tuesday afternoon.

Francois signed a 1-year deal worth $1.6 million this offseason after spending his first nine years in three different cities — San Francisco, Indianapolis and Washington.

The 31-year-old got just six snaps against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, and the move suggests Green Bay is confident that new signee Quiton Dial is an upgrade, and that 2017 third-round pick Montravious Adams is getting closer to 100-percent after missing most of training camp.

The Packers (1-0) will head to Atlanta (1-0) this Sunday to take on the Falcons in a rematch of the 2016 NFC Championship Game.

Packers 17, Seattle 9: 2-minute drill

Green Bay — Aaron Rodgers threw for 311 yards and one touchdown as the Green Bay Packers beat the Seattle Seahawks 17-9 on Sunday at Lambeau Field in the season opener for both teams.

Play of the Game

It was 3-0 Seattle early in the third quarter, and the home crowd was getting restless as the Packers offense struggled to get anything going. Enter defensive tackle Mike Daniels. On first down, he burst through the line, and with an assist from linebacker Nick Perry, got quarterback Russell Wilson to the ground for a sack. Two plays later Daniels was in Wilson’s face again, this time forcing a fumble that linebacker Kyler Fackrell recovered at the 6-yard line. Running back Ty Montgomery would score on the next play and give the Packers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Game Balls

Offense: QB Aaron Rodgers

The two-time MVP didn’t have a vintage afternoon but made enough plays to get Green Bay to 1-0. He went over 300 yards for the first time in a season opener since 2013 despite being under constant pressure. On what proved to be the game-clinching drive, Rodgers scrambled to convert on third-and-4 and later found tight end Martellus Bennett for 26 yards, which served as the dagger the Packers needed.

Defense: DT Mike Daniels

The six-year pro played like a man possessed. He had seven tackles, one tackle for loss, 1.5 sacks, and added four more quarterback hits. Oh, and he had that game-changing forced fumble early in the third quarter. The Seattle offensive line had no hope of slowing Daniels — he knew that and so did they.

Special Teams: P Justin Vogel

Vogel made the team as an undrafted free agent and showed why the Packers kept him around in his first career game. He punted five times, averaging 43.8 yards per punt — and most impressively — 42.4 yards net. He dropped one punt inside the 20 and made dangerous return man Tyler Lockett a non-factor.

 

Quote of the Day

“That’s my quarterback. I always got his back. It’s a bad penalty at that moment in time, but (expletive), I thought it was a cheap shot.”

— tight end Martellus Bennett on shoving linebacker K.J. Wright after he took a shot at quarterback Aaron Rodgers late in the fourth quarter.

In Case You Missed It

— Seattle cornerback Jeremy Lane was ejected from the game in the first quarter after apparently throwing a punch at wide receiver Davante Adams on an interception return.

— Green Bay wide receiver Jordy Nelson hauled in his 500th catch early in the second quarter. He’s just the fourth player in franchise history to accomplish the feat.

— Newly signed outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks left the game early with a concussion. Tackle Jason Spriggs sustained a hamstring injury and didn’t return. Cornerback Damarious Randall was taken to the locker room with cramps but later returned.

Inside the Numbers

12 — That’s how many men Seattle had on the field when Rodgers hooked up with Nelson for a 32-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Rodgers has become the master at catching teams with too many men on the field, doing it 23 times the last three years, according to FOX.

69.7 — That’s the passer rating for Wilson on Sunday after he completed 14 of 27 passes for 158 yards. It’s actually an improvement over his last visit to Green Bay, when he threw five interceptions in a 38-10 loss in 2016.

39:13 — That’s the time the Packers had the ball, a nearly 2:1 ratio over Seattle.

3 — That’s how many yards former Packers running back Eddie Lacy had on five carries in his return to Green Bay.

What’s Next

Green Bay (1-0) heads south to where its season ended last year in the NFC title game — Atlanta — to take on the Falcons (1-0) as they open their new stadium.

Martellus Bennett on late shove: ‘That’s my quarterback.’

GREEN BAY — Martellus Bennett knew it wasn’t the smart thing to do, but the Green Bay Packers tight end did it anyway.

Franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers had just gone into a head-first dive for a key conversion on third down late in what would turn into a 17-9 season-opening win for Green Bay over Seattle. Trying to stop him was linebacker K.J. Wright, who came flying in hard for the tackle — too hard in the mind of Bennett. The new addition to the Packers offense towered over Wright and gave him a two-handed shove that sent the veteran flying back and pair of flags flying out of the pockets of the officials.

“That’s my quarterback,” Bennett said afterward. “I always got his back. It’s a bad penalty at that moment in time, but (expletive), I thought it was a cheap shot.”

The shove ended up costing Green Bay 15 yards, but a statement was made, too.

“I think this early in the season it kind of sets the tone,” Bennett said. “Let guys know that, ‘Hey, this is what we’ve got. This is who we are.’ It’s our identity. Other people around the league will see it. We got to set the tone. ‘Hey, you taking shots on our quarterback? We take shots on you.’ That’s just the way it is.”

Just as he had Rodgers’ back, his teammates had his. Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix could be seen clapping and shouting loudly from the sideline, clearly pleased with what Bennett did.

LISTEN: Martellus Bennett on standing up for Aaron Rodgers

“That’s what we need on this team,” Clinton-Dix said. “We need guys to have each others backs on this team. That was very important to me. Standing up for his teammates. Taking up for a very important player on this team. Just to show his character and who he is as a person. That’s definitely big.

“Damn the flag. It’s about protecting your teammate, and that’s exactly what he did.”

Rodgers said the hit that Wright delivered wasn’t a big one or painful, but that’s irrelevant.

“It meant a lot to me. It really did,” Rodgers said. “Anytime your teammates do something like that it’s special. Those are moments you take with you for a long time.

“I just told Marty right away, ‘Thanks.’”

The penalty ended up meaning little, as three plays later Bennett caught a 26-yard pass from Rodgers that proved to be the dagger in a Green Bay victory.

“I told [coach] Mike (McCarthy), ‘That’s a bad penalty. I’m a vet. I know better than that, but I just can’t let that [expletive] happen.’”

Tundra Talk with Blake Martinez: Seahawks WK1

MADISON| The Green Bay Packers welcome in the Seattle Seahawks to Lambeau Field to kick off their season.

Packers inside linebacker, Blake Martinez, joins the Joe & Ebo Show for the entire NFL season and breaks down each week’s match-up.

Get caught up on his thoughts of facing the Seahawks and be sure to tune in Wednesday through Friday at 8AM to hear him live.

Blake catches us up on his offseason:

A preview of the team and his teammates:

Finally, Blake talks Seahawks: