Packers add a third quarterback

The Green Bay Packers have filled the open spot on their practice squad.

The team announced Tuesday afternoon the signing of quarterback Jerod Evans. He takes the opening created when Green Bay promoted Joe Callahan to the active roster.

Evans went undrafted out of Virginia Tech this past spring after foregoing his senior year. He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles but suffered a foot injury early in his time there and was cut after reaching an injury settlement with the team. He has been a free agent since then.

The 6-foot-3, 231-pound, Evans transferred to Virginia Tech from junior college and was named the starter heading into 2016. He completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 3,552 yards, 29 touchdowns and just eight interceptions for the Hokies.

Callahan was moved to the active roster to serve as the backup to Brett Hundley after starter Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone in Sunday’s loss at Minnesota.

Once again, the Packers will be forced to live life without Aaron Rodgers

MINNEAPOLIS — Whether he didn’t want to admit he knew or genuinely didn’t, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb’s reaction when asked about Aaron Rodgers’ health was likely one that was playing out in the homes of fans all across the country. He almost went through all the various stages of grief from denial to anger to acceptance in the very quick back-and-forth with reporters.

Cobb: “He’s going to do everything he can. I don’t know what the injury is. I haven’t had chance to (check on that).”

Reporter: “It’s a broken collarbone.”

Cobb: “Is that confirmed?”

Reporter: “Yes.”

Cobb: “I don’t know. I’ll never trust sources.”

Reporter: “That was your team.”

Cobb: “Team issued? OK. Well, I don’t know. We’ll have to put the pieces together and see what we can do.”

Like everyone else, Cobb was being forced to think about life without one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. When Minnesota linebacker Anthony Barr drove Rodgers into the ground on the second drive of Sunday’s game it altered not only what played out the rest of the way, but also what the rest of the season can be for a Packers team so dependent on the right arm of No. 12. The news that he broke his right collarbone on the hit and could miss the rest of the year is as debilitating of an injury as any NFL team can suffer.

“He’s the heartbeat of this team,” wide receiver Davonte Adams said. “It runs through him. He’s the best doing it in this game.”

We were treated to the greatness of Rodgers just seven days ago in Dallas, with the two-time NFL MVP leading a game-winning drive that showcased all of what makes him special and what made the Packers so dangerous. But standing inside the visitors locker room Sunday afternoon after a 23-10 loss to Minnesota, that vision of Rodgers screaming, “That’s what we do” over and over again couldn’t seem longer ago. Instead of being asked about how Rodgers makes the impossible happen, teammates were being tasked with figuring out how to move on without their leader.

“It’s devastating. No question about it,” Cobb said. “We still have to play football. We have a long season ahead of us to figure out what we are going to do.”

What they’re going to do is hand the keys of the offense to Brett Hundley. The ridiculous suggestions of coaxing former Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo out of the TV booth were put to rest as soon as coach Mike McCarthy took to the podium after the game.

“Brett Hundley and Joe Callahan are my quarterbacks,” McCarthy said when asked if they’d bring someone in from the outside. “That is what I am focused on. I am not here for any personnel comments or ideas. Brett Hundley and Joe Callahan — that is what we’re going with.”

Hundley, placed in a tough situation against a very good defense and behind a patchwork offensive line, was up and down after replacing Rodgers. He was 18 of 33 for 157 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, though two of the turnovers came on tipped passes. He didn’t take a single snap with the first-team offense in preparing for the game, and the plan going in wasn’t necessarily suited to his skillset. Both of those will change before he’s under center next Sunday against New Orleans.

“I’ll be better, especially with a week to prepare,” Hundley said. “For the offense, I trust in the offense. I believe in them. I love them. And they know I’m going to give them my best and they’re going to do the same. We’ll be better with a week of preparation. We’ll for sure get some things done.”

But no matter how well prepared Hundley and the team are, we know this won’t be easy to navigate for Green Bay. We saw it play out in 2013 when Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone on his left side and missed seven games. The Packers managed to go just 2-5-1 in his absence, including the game he got hurt, with three different quarterbacks — Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn — getting a start.

While unproven, the team feels better about Hundley now then they did any of those three, but he won’t be playing with a full deck. It’s that uncertainty around him will surely hurt his chances to shine. The running game, outside of the Dallas win, has been non-existent this year. And by the time Sunday’s game was over the Packers were missing three starters along an offensive line that has been juggling bodies all year.

It’s not an ideal situation, but it’s the situation the team finds itself in — having to somehow replace the irreplaceable Rodgers.

“Losing Aaron Rodgers speaks for itself,” McCarthy said. “In my opinion, he is the best player in football, but this is a team game. This is the ultimate team game, and we need to be better with the 11 people on the field that we have regardless of the phase that we’re in. Ultimately that’s my reasonability.”

Packers lose Aaron Rodgers to injury

MINNEAPOLIS — For the first time since 2013, the Green Bay Packers will be forced to play an extended period of time without Aaron Rodgers.

The quarterback was knocked out of Sunday’s game against Minnesota in the first quarter after being driven into the ground by linebacker Anthony Barr, and the team announced that he suffered a broken collarbone. It’s possible he’ll miss the rest of the season.

It’s the second time Rodgers has broken his collarbone, the other time coming in 2013. That was to his left side and he ended up missing seven games before returning in Week 17 in a win over the Chicago Bears.

Green Bay also lost left guard Lane Taylor to a knee/ankle injury and cornerback Quinten Rollins to an ankle injury in the first half.

OLB Vince Biegel getting close to returning for the Packers

It’s been several weeks since Vince Biegel declared himself fully recovered from the offseason foot surgery that cost him his first NFL training camp with the Green Bay Packers and currently has him on the physically unable to perform list. But it wasn’t until Wednesday that the former Wisconsin outside linebacker admitted that being healthy enough to play and being confident enough to make an impact are two different things.

“I know I addressed the media earlier and I told them I was at 100 percent,” Biegel said with a horde of reporters surrounding him inside Green Bay’s locker room. “The foot and the bone was at a hundred percent, but confidence-wise I wasn’t there yet.”

The timing is pretty good for that confidence to show up. Biegel is eligible to start practicing next week. Once he does, the Packers will have three weeks to activate him, keep him on the PUP or outright release him.

“Where I’m at compared to six weeks [ago], I feel so much more confident,” Biegel said. “The pop is back, the strength is there, so I’m really excited to take that next step and to obviously go out there and help this team out.”

Green Bay took Biegel in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, just months after he concluded a stellar career with the Badgers. But after taking part in one rookie minicamp practice, he was forced to undergo surgery on his left foot. The injury was to the same foot that kept him out of two games during his senior year at Wisconsin.

“I think everything happens for a reason,” Biegel said. “Am I frustrated? Absolutely. I’d love to be able to come out there and help the team right now. I feel that confident [I could do that], but you’ve got to be patient.”

Rodgers’ Comeback Beats Cowboys

The Green Bay Packers found themselves in a familiar position in Dallas Sunday afternoon. They were locked in a tight battle with the Cowboys, just as they were last January in an NFC divisional round playoff matchup.

Both times, the Packers are glad they have Aaron Rodgers directing the offense. In January, Rodgers set the team on a drive to set up Mason Crosby’s 51-yard field goal. On Sunday, he directed a nine-play, 75-yard drive capped off with a 12-touchdown pass to Davante Adams with 11 seconds remaining. This drive by Rodgers and the Packers came immediately after Dallas quarterback Das Prescott rushed for a touchdown from 11 yards out to give Dallas a 31-28 lead with 1:13 left to play.

That proved to be too much time for Rodgers and the Packers.

“I just don’t know what else to say about him.” Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy said following the game. “I need to expand my vocabulary. Just a great job by Aaron.”

Green Bay improves to 4-1 with the win, they’re in first place in the NFC North. Dallas drops to 2-3 on the year.

News & Notes

Running back Ty Montgomery did not play after suffering a rib injury against Chicago in week four. Rookie Aaron Jones started in his place Sunday, he carried the ball 19 times for 125 yards and a touchdown.

Adams, who finished with seven grabs for 66 yards and two touchdowns was cleared from concussion protocol Saturday and was able to play. He suffered his concussion in week four against the Bears. Adams had to be taken off the field on a stretcher in what proved to be a scary sight.

Up Next

Green Bay returns to NFC North play next week traveling to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. Kick off is set for next Sunday at 12p.

Report: Packers WR Davante Adams could play this week against Dallas

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams took one of the most brutal shots to the head that you’ll ever see in a football game, but the fourth-year pro could very well be back on the field this Sunday when the team travels to Dallas to take on the Cowboys.

According to ESPN’s Adam Shefter, a source told him that he believes Adams will play this week.

Adams took a vicious hit to the head from Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Travathan in the third quarter of last Thursday’s game, left the field on a stretcher and spent the night in the hospital. He was placed in the NFL’s concussion protocol, but Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Friday morning that Adams was rambunctious and ready to move forward.

This wouldn’t be the first time Adams has bounced back quickly from a big hit to the head. Last season, he was knocked out of a game against Dallas, but cleared the concussion protocol and played on a short week against the Bears. He ended up catching 13 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns in that game.

As for Trevathan, he was suspended two games for his hit on Adams, but he plans to appeal.

Packers 35, Chicago 14: 2-minute drill

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Chicago quarterback Mike Glennon turned the ball over four times, while Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdowns in what turned into a 35-14 blowout win for the Packers on Thursday night at Lambeau Field.

Play of the Game

Green Bay led 7-0 after its first drive and the Bears were looking for an answer. They didn’t get it. Instead, outside linebacker Clay Matthews came off the edge on Chicago’s first snap and knocked the ball loose from Glennon. Linebacker Jake Ryan recovered at the Bears 3-yard line, and three plays later the Packers were in the end zone to claim a 14-0 lead.

Game Balls

Offense: Offensive line

A patchwork group that had Lane Taylor playing left tackle for the first time ever, an undrafted free agent in Lucas Patrick making his first career start at left guard and another undrafted free agent in Justin McCray getting the nod at right tackle, the Packers were able to get movement in the running game and kept Rodgers upright for most of the night, allowing just two sacks. It was a dire situation the line faced and they held up.

Defense: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Clinton-Dix had one of the two interceptions that Glennon threw, and finished with eight solo tackles. On a wet field that could have proven disastrous for the defense, Clinton-Dix and company got the job done in forcing a total of four turnovers.

Special Teams: Justin Vogel

The rookie punter had a fantastic night in tough conditions. He punted five times, and finished with a net of 46.2 yards. He dropped one inside the 20 and never allowed the dangerous Tarik Cohen to burn them in the return game.

In their own words

Green Bay wide receiver Davante Adams took what many are calling a clear cheap shot to the head by linebacker Danny Trevathan in the third quarter. It sent Adams’ mouth guard flying, and he ended up being taken off the field on a gurney and to a local hospital.

While Adams was said to be doing fine and all early signs were positive, the fallout from the hit poured into the locker room, where Trevathan was engulfed by reporters. He reportedly told them that while he was sorry that Adams got hurt, it wasn’t intentional and he doesn’t believe he should be fined or suspended.

In the Green Bay locker room, most of the players wouldn’t comment on whether the hit was dirty or not, but the one guy that always speaks his mind — tight end Martellus Bennett — let everyone know his feelings on the matter.

“I thought it was f**ked up,” Bennett said. “No matter what team they’re on, you don’t want anyone to go through that situation. They have families and things like that.

“What we thought was f**ked up was he was celebrating that play. You’re getting your ass kicked, you take a cheap shot and then celebrate when a guy goes down. That’s what really pissed us off.”

In Case You Missed It

— During the national anthem, both teams lined up on the sideline with arms interlocked in a show of unity. However, the call by Rodgers during the week for fans to join them went largely unanswered. Bennett, who sat during the anthem on last Sunday, told reporters he could hear someone in the crowd yelling at him.

“Some motherf**ker yelling, ‘Put your hand on your heart.’ That’s all I heard,” Bennett said. “Someone just kept saying, ‘Put your hand on your heart! Put your hand on your heart!’ I’m like, my arms are locked, back the f**k up.”

— Play was suspended at the end of the first quarter due to serve weather in the area. The delay lasted 46 minutes.

— Green Bay was hammered by injuries, including losing starting running back Ty Montgomery early in the game. It was reported by the NFL Network that Montgomery sustained broken ribs and will be out an undetermined amount of time.

Other injuries:

Blake Martinez (concussion | returned)
Josh Jones (back — returned)
Jamaal Williams (knee)
Joe Thomas (ankle)

— Cornerback Damarious Randall was benched after allowing a touchdown late in the first half and was replaced by Josh Hawkins. Randall spent the first part of the second half with arms stretched out sitting on the bench. He later walked back to the locker room by himself and the team said he was not injured. Asked afterwards about Randall, coach Mike McCarthy said, “That’s an internal matter that we’ll keep internal.”

Inside the Numbers

75 — That’s the number of sacks Matthews has in his career — now the most in team history.

24 — That’s the total number of yards that Aaron Rodgers’ last seven touchdowns have traveled.

4 — That’s the number of offensive line combinations Green Bay has used through the first four games of the season.

3 — That’s how many pass deflections that Hawkins had in what was essentially two quarters of work.

What’s Next

Green Bay (3-1) will travel to take on the Dallas Cowboys (2-1) Oct. 8. at AT&T Stadium.

Packers likely to be without both starting tackles on Thursday

Finding two NFL-worthy offensive tackles isn’t an easy task for any team. Finding six or seven is nearly impossible. And yet that’s what the Green Bay Packers are being forced to do this week, as they are likely going to be without their two starting tackles, as well as their three main backups when they take on the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.

The team released its final injury report Wednesday, and it listed starters Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari as doubtful, which when combined with Green Bay having already placed Jason Spriggs, Kyle Murphy and Don Barclay on injured reserve, leaves the Packers without their top five tackles.

The plan Thursday night appears to be starting Justin McCray at left tackle and rookie undrafted free agent Adam Pankey at right tackle. It’s possible the team could also use the recently signed Ulrick John, though it’s unclear how up to speed he is with the offense.

It wasn’t all bad news on the injury front, though, as wide receiver Randall Cobb (chest) will play, as will safety Kentrell Brice (groin). Both of them missed the Cincinnati game. Defensive tackle Mike Daniels (hip) and outside linebacker Nick Perry (hand) are listed as questionable. Daniels told reporters he expects to be a game-time decision.

Kickoff at Lambeau Field is set for 7:25 p.m.

Packers players call for unity prior to Thursday’s game with Chicago

Three Green Bay Packers sat during the National Anthem prior to Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, while many more stood on the sideline with arms interlocked. When the anthem is played on Thursday prior to the team’s matchup with Chicago, there will likely be a whole lot more of the latter as the players issued a statement Tuesday night calling for fans to join them in interlocking their arms as a show of unity.

Via Packers.com:

“The NFL family is one of the most diverse communities in the world. Just look around! The eclectic group of players that you root for, the coaches you admire, the people you sit next to in the stands, those high-fiving on military bases, fans at the sports bar or during tailgate parties—we all come from different walks of life and have unique backgrounds and stories.

The game of football brings people together. As NFL players, we are a living testimony that individuals from different backgrounds and with different life experiences can work together toward a common goal.

This Thursday during the national anthem at Lambeau Field, Packers players, coaches and staff will join together with arms intertwined—connected like the threads on your favorite jersey. When we take this action, what you will see will be so much more than just a bunch of football players locking arms. The image you will see on September 28th will be one of unity. It will represent a coming together of players who want the same things that all of us do—freedom, equality, tolerance, understanding, and justice for those who have been unjustly treated, discriminated against or otherwise treated unfairly. You will see the sons of police officers, kids who grew up in military families, people who have themselves experienced injustice and discrimination firsthand, and an array of others all linking together in a display of unity.

Those of us joining arms on Thursday will be different in so many ways, but one thing that binds us together is that we are all individuals who want to help make our society, our country and our world a better place. We believe that in diversity there can be UNI-versity. Intertwined, we represent the many people who helped build this country, and we are joining together to show that we are ready to continue to build.

Let’s work together to build a society that is more fair and just.

Join us this Thursday by locking arms with whoever you’re with, stranger or loved one, wherever you are—intertwined and included—in this moment of unification.”

| The Packers Players

Packers 27, Bengals 24 (OT): 2-minute drill

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns as the Green Bay Packers erased a 21-7 deficit to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 27-24 in overtime on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Play of the Game

Green Bay was in danger of having to give the ball back to the Bengals in overtime, facing a third-and-10 from their own 21-yard line. But Rodgers got Cincinnati to jump offsides and took advantage, throwing deep to wide receiver Geronimo Allison, whose 72-yard catch and run set the stage for a game-winning 27-yard field goal from Mason Crosby.

Game Balls

Offense: Aaron Rodgers

The two-time MVP found his form late and brought the Packers back from a a deficit that he helped build. He was just 9 of 15 for 73 yards in the first half and threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. That effort got him and the offense booed off the field at halftime, and he was actually OK with that, saying he probably would have been booing, too.

But he came on in the second half, especially on the final two drives. Trailing 24-17 with 3:46 left, Rodgers went 8 of 10 for 54 yards and found wide receiver Jordy Nelson for the game-tying touchdown with just 17 second left. Then, in overtime, he hit Allison for the big play to put them in position for the win.

Defense: Josh Jones

In his first career start, Jones was a star. Playing what was essentially as an inside linebacker much of the game, Jones finished with a game-high 12 tackles, including two in overtime that got the ball back to the offense. The N.C. State product also had a pair of sacks, including one that forced a tougher field goal attempt, an attempt that kicker Randy Bullock missed. This is what the Packers had in mind when they took Jones in the second round of the NFL draft last April.

Special Teams: Mason Crosby

The kicks he made weren’t tough — his words — but they were obviously important. The veteran connected on an extra point to send the game into overtime and then the 27-yard kick to win it. The Bengals tried to ice him each time by calling timeout but he wasn’t phased.

In their own words

Tight end Lance Kendricks was one of three players to sit during the national anthem on Sunday. While he was supporting teammate Martellus Bennett, he was also doing it to draw attention to the crisis in Puerto Rico, which has been decimated by Hurricane Maria.

“I want to support a teammate. I understand what’s going on with Marty and his brother. It’s tough.

Secondly I was just trying to bring some awareness to what’s going on in Puerto Rico. It’s a U.S. Territory. We need to get over there and help those people. That’s just as important as anything else. I just want to bring some awareness to that and nothing more.

My wife is Puerto Rican. I’ve been to Puerto Rico three or four times. It’s a beautiful place. And for it to be half underwater, and help not to get their ASAP, I feel like that’s something that should really be focused on.

I’m not in anyway political. I don’t really have a huge voice on that. That’s just my opinion. If people don’t like it, you can’t be selfish. It’s bigger than us. It’s bigger than all of this.”

In Case You Missed It

— Three players — tight ends Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks, along with cornerback Kevin King — sat on the bench during the national anthem, while a large number of players, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers, stood with their arms interlocked as a show of solidarity in response to comments from President Donald Trump.

— Kendricks, who is from Milwaukee and played for Wisconsin, scored the first touchdown of his Packers career. He capped it off with a Lambeau Leap that included him flashing the “W.”

— Rodgers’ second quarter interception was returned 75 yards for a touchdown by William Jackson — just the second time he’s had one taken back for a score. For reference, former Packers quarterback Brett Favre threw 35 pick-6s in his career.

— Jordy Nelson’s 1-yard touchdown and 3-yard touchdown catches gave him 66 in his career, leaving him trailing only Don Huston’s 99 in team history.

— Right tackle Bryan Bulaga left Sunday’s game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury and did not return. Bulaga missed the first two games of the season because of the ankle injury.

Inside the Numbers

89 — That was the temperature on Sunday, making it the warmest home game in Lambeau Field history.

5 — That’s the number of times quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sacked in the first half — the second-most in a single half in his career.

3 — That’s how many times Rodgers has thrown for at least 300 yards this season — the first time in his career he’s topped the mark three straight times to open a season.

2 — That’s the number of sacks Josh Jones had on Sunday — the most by any Packers rookie defensive back in team history.

What’s Next

Green Bay (2-1) has a short week as the Packers will welcome the Chicago Bears (1-2) to town on Thursday night.