Packers activate Allen Lazard from IR

Allen Lazard is back.

The Green Bay Packers activated the wide receiver from injured reserve Tuesday afternoon. Lazard hasn’t played since Week 3 against New Orleans due to a core muscle injury that required surgery. The team had until Tuesday to activate him because he had been practicing the last few weeks.

The last time everyone saw Lazard he was lighting up the world on Sunday Night Football. He dominated the Saints with six catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. His night included a 72-yard run and catch. For the season, Lazard has 13 grabs for 254 yards and two scores.

Getting Lazard back is significant. Green Bay hasn’t had its full compliment of weapons for an entire game since the opener against Minnesota. Wide receiver Davante Adams missed 2 1/2 games, while Aaron Jones sat out two games and Jamaal Williams was forced to miss a game for COVID-19 reasons.

The Packers are tied for the best record in the NFC at 7-2. They will travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts this Sunday.

Packers 24, Jaguars 20: 2-minute drill

Green Bay managed to hold off the 1-win Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday for a 24-20 victory that pushed the Packers to 7-2 on the season.

Game Balls

Offense: Marquez Valdes-Scantling

The third-year wide receiver may have had his best game as a pro on Sunday. He caught four passes for 149 yards. That included a 78-yard catch and run for a touchdown to jump start a listless offense in the second quarter. He had another 18-yard reception that setup the game-winning score in the fourth quarter.

His performance came on a day where Davante Adams didn’t have his best game (two drops, a fumble, ankle injury), so it was much needed for a Packers squad hurting for weapons on the outside.

Defense: Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Rashan Gary

This isn’t for the entire game, but the trio came to life on the final two drives to close things out. They consistently got to Jaguars quarterback Jake Luton, including getting sacks from Gary and Preston Smith on back-to-back plays on the final drive to bring up fourth-and-26. Then it was Za’Darius Smith’s turn, as he gave Luton zero time to look downfield, forcing him to scramble outside, never giving him a chance to find an open receiver.

For the game, the three outside linebackers combined for 12 tackles, three sacks, four tackles for loss and four quarterback hits.

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In Case You Missed It

— The Packers were without their top two cornerbacks — Jaire Alexander (concussion) and Kevin King (quad).

— Wide receiver Davante Adams left the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury, but was able to return and ended up catching the game-winning touchdown. It was his ninth of the season, which is tied for the NFL lead.

— Returner/WR Tyler Ervin suffered a rib injury in the second quarter and did not return.

— All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari returned after missing three weeks with what he said were broken ribs. Helping sooth the pain was the fact he signed a contract extension late Saturday night that made him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history.

— Two former Badgers and Wisconsin natives made their return to the state with the Jaguars. Linebacker Joe Schobert (Waukesha) had nine tackles, while running back Dare Ogunbowale (Milwaukee) caught one pass for five yards and also had two tackles on special teams.

Inside the Numbers

91 — That’s how long Keelan Cole Sr.’s punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter was. It’s the longest return Green Bay has given up in 22 seasons.

7 — That’s how many tackles Christian Kirksey had to lead the Packers in his first game since Week 3.

50 — That’s the miles per hour that the wind was gusting to during portions of the game.

What’s Next

Green Bay (7-2) travels to Indianapolis to take on the Colts (6-3) next Sunday at 3:25 p.m.

Packers great, Hall of Fame RB Paul Hornung has died at 84

Another Green Bay Packers legend has passed away.

It was announced Friday morning that Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Paul Hornung had died at the age of 84 after a battle with dementia.

A Heisman Trophy winner at Notre Dame, Hornung was the first overall pick of the Packers in 1957. He went on to play nine seasons with the club, winning four NFL titles, including Super Bowl I. His heroics included scoring the winning touchdown in the 1965 title game against the Cleveland Browns.

Hornung led the NFL in scoring three times, including putting up 176 points in 1960. That was a record at the time and it stood until 2006 when LaDainian Tomlinson broke it, though it is still ranked second all-time.

Hornung is the fourth Vince Lombardi-era Packers player to pass away this year, joining Willie Wood, Willie Davis and Herb Adderley.

Packers: Tackle David Bakhtiari practices fully for first time since injury

Some extra time off appears to have helped the health of the Green Bay Packers.

The team was on the practice field Wednesday afternoon and that included left tackle David Bakhtiari and cornerback Kevin King. That duo has missed the last three and four games, respectively, with injuries. Bakhtiari is battling a chest injury, but was a full participant at practice for the first time since getting hurt, while King has been trying to come back from a quad issue and was limited during the session.

More good news came in the form of running back Aaron Jones participating fully. That means he came out of last Thursday’s win at San Francisco no worse for wear in terms of the calf injury that had caused him to miss two games.

Cornerback Jaire Alexander was among four guys that did not practice at all. He’s dealing with a concussion that knocked him out of the win at the 49ers. Tackle Rick Wagner (knee), wide receiver Darrius Shepherd (shoulder) and linebacker Za’Darius Smith (not injury related) also didn’t practice.

In one roster move, the Packers placed running back Dexter Williams on injured reserve with a knee injury. To take his place on the practice squad the team signed former Ohio State running back Mike Weber. Drafted in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, he’s spent time on their practice squad, along with that of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Jamaal Williams, Kamal Martin activated off reserve/COVID-19 list

The Green Bay Packers have activated two of the five players on its reserve/COVID-19 list.

Running back Jamaal Williams and linebacker Kamal Martin were back on the field Monday morning and the team announced they had been removed from the list in the afternoon. The duo missed the game against San Francisco last Thursday after being considered high-risk close contacts of running back AJ Dillon, who tested positive for COVID-19.

Dillon, along with linebacker Krys Barnes and quarterback Jordan Love, remain on the list. Barnes tested positive and Love is a considered a high-risk contact.

There was also some good news on the injury front as cornerback Kevin King returned to the practice field. He has missed the last four games with a quad injury.

According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, cornerback Jaire Alexander did not practice and remains in concussion protocol.

Packers place LB Krys Barnes and QB Jordan Love on reserve/COVID-19 list

Another member of the Green Bay Packers has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the test linebacker Krys Barnes took prior to the San Francisco game Thursday night came back positive at some point after the game. He is the second player to test positive this week, joining running back AJ Dillon.

Barnes and rookie quarterback Jordan Love were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the team Friday afternoon.

Barnes, a rookie undrafted free agent that leads the team in tackles, left the 49ers game with a calf injury and did not return. He is reportedly not suffering from any COVID-19 symptoms. If it stays that way, it’s possible that because he tested positive on Thursday, he could be available against Jacksonville on Nov. 15.

The NFL determined that Love, who is roommates with Barnes, was a high-risk close contact. Protocols mandate he must stay away from the team for five days. Love hasn’t been active for any game this year, but he would be back in plenty of time for the Jaguars game, unlike running back Jamal Williams and linebacker Kamal Martin, both of whom missed the game Thursday night because they were considered high-risk contacts of Dillon.

The Packers went almost three months without having a single positive test among their players, but they are far from the only franchise experiencing issues. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, 13 teams have put 33 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Packers 34, 49ers 17: 2-minute drill

Powered by four touchdowns from quarterback Aaron Rodgers and another huge night from wide receiver Davante Adams, the short-handed Green Bay Packers rolled to a 34-17 win against a beat-up San Francisco 49ers squad Thursday night at Levi’s Stadium.

Game Balls

Offense: Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams

You can’t have one without the other after Thursday night’s performance. Playing like the best quarterback-wide receiver duo in the league, Rodgers and Adams hooked up 10 times for 173 yards and a touchdown. Almost every time Rodgers threw the ball down the field he was hitting Adams in stride for a touchdown or a big gain. And when Rodgers needed a first down, Adams was his man. Four of his catches came on third or fourth down and all of them went for first downs.

Defense: Za’Darius Smith

Smith has been good in prime-time games and that was the case again Thursday. Working against a banged up 49ers offensive line, the outside linebacker spent much of the night in the backfield. That included in the third quarter when he came free and crushed San Francisco quarterback Nick Mullens from the blind side. Not only did he jar the ball loose, he also recovered the fumble, Green Bay’s second forced turnover of the night.

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In Case You Missed It

— Left tackle David Bakhtiari missed his third straight game with a chest injury, while cornerback Kevin King missed his fourth game in a row with a quad injury.

— The Packers were without three players due to NFL’s COVID-19 protocols. Running back AJ Dillon missed the game after testing positive for the virus, while running back Jamaal Williams and linebacker Kamal Martin were also held out because they were considered high-risk close contacts of Dillon.

— The 49ers were without a number of key players due to injuries and COVID-19, including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, tight end George Kittle, Raheem Mostert and five of their top six wide receivers.

— Running back Aaron Jones made his return after missing the past two games with a calf injury. He finished with 79 total yards on 20 touches. Thirty-seven of those yards came on the first drive of the game.

— Running back Tyler Ervin was heavily involved in the game plan for the Packers. He caught a career-high tying four passes for 48 yards and added a career-best eight carries for 24 yards.

— Safety Raven Greene hauled in the first interception of his career in the second quarter.

— The Packers lost a number of players to injury throughout the game:

CB Jaire Alexander (concussion)
LB Krys Barnes (quad)
RT Rick Wagner (knee)
RB Dexter Williams (knee)

— Elgton Jenkins played three different positions along the offensive line. He started at left guard, moved to left tackle when Wagner got hurt and then finished off the game at center. Jenkins has now played four of the five line positions in a game this season.

Inside the Numbers

34 — That’s how many points the Packers scored. It was the most Green Bay had scored at San Francisco since 1959.

0 — That’s how many points the Packers had in the first half of their three games in California last season, including two against the 49ers. It was a different story this year as they racked up 21 by halftime.

8 — That’s how many games the Packers have played and also the number of times they’ve scored on their opening drive of a game after Rodgers found Adams for a 36-yard touchdown Thursday night. Green Bay is just the second team since 2000 to accomplish that.

24 — That’s how many touchdowns Rodgers has thrown for in the first eight games of the season, which ties his own franchise record set in 2011.

675 — That’s how many yards Adams has this year and it’s come in just six games. According to ESPN Stats & Info, he’s the first player since Randy Moss in 2007 to have at least 600 yards receiving and eight touchdowns in the first six games of a season.

2 — That’s how many receiving touchdowns Marquez Valdes-Scantling had. It’s the first multi-touchdown game for the third-year pro.

What’s Next

Green Bay (6-2) will welcome Jacksonville (1-6) to Lambeau Field on Nov. 15.

Packers: RB Aaron Jones and T David Bakhtiari questionable for game at San Francisco

Aaron Jones will be a game-time decision Thursday night against San Francisco.

Green Bay listed the running back as questionable on the final injury report of the week. He’s been dealing with a calf strain that has kept him out of the last two games.

Jones’ status has taken on even more importance this week following rookie running back AJ Dillon testing positive for COVID-19 and fellow running back Jamaal Williams being forced to sit as a high-risk close contact of Dillon’s. If Jones can’t go, it would leave Tyler Ervin and Dexter Williams, who is on the practice squad, as the lone backs available.

“He’s done a nice job of just growing up in the offense and feeling more comfortable with the checks and his responsibilities with pass blocking and route running,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said of Williams, a 2019 sixth-round draft pick. “It seems like he’s a little more settled this year, feeling more confident. I’m excited about him getting opportunities. He’s a really good kid, cares about it a lot and he’s going to be asked to do some things Thursday.”

Also listed as questionable are left tackle David Bakhtiari, right tackle Rick Wagner and safety Raven Greene.

Bakhtiari has missed the last two games with a chest injury, while Wagner is dealing with a knee injury suffered against Minnesota. Greene also got hurt against the Vikings, leaving the game early with an oblique issue.

The team ruled cornerback Kevin King, along with safeties Will Redmond and Vernon Scott, as out for the game. It will be King’s fourth straight game missed as he continues to deal with a nagging quad injury.

For the 49ers, they’ll be missing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, tight end George Kittle, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, running back Tevin Coleman and linebacker Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles. Wide receiver Richie James and safety Jaquiski Tartt are listed as questionable.

San Francisco will also be without wide receiver Kendrick Bourne after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Packers: Jamaal Williams, Kamal Martin determined to be high-risk close contacts, will miss 49ers game

Green Bay will be without more than just running back AJ Dillon on Thursday against San Francisco.

The NFL determined that running back Jamaal Williams and linebacker Kamal Martin were high-risk close contacts of Dillon, who tested positive for COVID-19. The league mandates that any players considered to be high-risk must isolate and remain away from the team for five days. Because their last contact with Dillon was on Sunday, it means they won’t be able to rejoin the team until Saturday. With the Packers playing Thursday, the duo will miss the game against the 49ers.

The loss of Williams is the more significant of the two. He’s carried the load the last two weeks with Aaron Jones out, posting back-to-back games with 100-plus total yards. Jones’ status for Thursday is up in the air as he continues to deal with a calf injury.

With Jamaal Williams and Dillon out, and Jones uncertain, the only healthy running backs on the roster are Tyler Ervin and former sixth-round pick Dexter Williams. Ervin has played more wide receiver this year than running back, while Dexter Williams is on the practice squad.

Martin has started the last two games at inside linebacker, racking up nine tackles and one tackle for loss. It’s possible the Packers get back Christian Kirksey, who has missed the last three games with a pectoral injury. If not, former seventh-round pick Ty Summers figures to fill in next to rookie Krys Barnes.

The good news was there were no other positive COVID-19 tests among the rest of the Packers.

Packers place RB AJ Dillon on reserve/COVID-19 list

The Green Bay Packers placed running back AJ Dillon on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday after he reportedly tested positive for the virus.

As first reported by Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the positive result came from a test taken prior to Sunday’s game against Minnesota. Dillon carried five times for 21 yards and also had one catch in the loss.

Dillon will not play Thursday against San Francisco and it’s possible others won’t either. Linebacker Kamal Martin and running back Jamaal Williams were late adds to the injury report and listed as not injury related. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the duo is considered close contacts of Dillon, and the NFL is evaluating whether they are high-risk close contacts. If it’s determined they are, the two players will have to be put on the reserve/COVID-19 list, quarantine for five days and miss the 49ers game.

The Packers were already without Aaron Jones against the Vikings due to a calf injury, and his status for the 49ers game is uncertain. If he can’t go, and Williams can’t either, it will leave Tyler Ervin as the lone healthy running back on the roster, though they could bring Dexter Williams up from the practice squad.

This is the first positive test the team has experienced since after the initial intake period at training camp in the middle of August.

The state of Wisconsin remains a hotspot for the virus. As of Sunday, the seven-day average of tests coming back positive was 29.5%, which was the highest number in the country. More than 228,863 people in the state have tested positive for the virus, including 3,493 new positive tests on Sunday. The deaths of 2,047 people have been attributed to the virus since the pandemic began in March.