Packer offense dwindling; injuries mount
Green Bay Packers' coach Mike McCarthy denies the team's receiving threats are dwindling like they did a year ago, but the numbers say otherwise.
Donald Driver has scored three of the Packers' last five touchdowns and in their last four games, he's the only player to score on any long plays. Those were touchdown catches of 48 and 82 yards.
McCarthy says the offense is not getting one-dimensional, like it was at this time last year when Driver was the team's only real receiving threat.
McCarthy says Ahman Green, Greg Jennings, and his tight ends have the explosive ability to make big plays. But the Packer running game has been struggling.
A bad ankle has slowed Jennings' production, tight end David Martin has been fighting a rib injury, and Bubba Franks has not been much of a factor.
As a result, the Green Bay offense has dropped from the seventh best in the NFL to 11th in the past two weeks and the Packers' scoring rank has dropped three places to 16th.
We're still not sure if safety Nick Collins will sit out for the Packers on Sunday against the New York Jets at Lambeau Field.
Collins is listed as doubtful with a bad hamstring and if he doesn't go, rookie Tyrone Culver would get the start.
McCarthy says he's confident about Culver's abilities, based on what he's seen this season and it hasn't been much.
Culver played a half in the Nov. 5 loss at Buffalo, and he replaced the injured Collins in the fourth quarter on Monday night at Seattle. Other than that, he has only played on special teams.
Collins, David Martin, Mark Tauscher, Charles Woodson, and PJ Pope all missed Thursday.
Linebacker Nick Barnett had his first full-fledged workout with a club over his broken right hand. He said he felt okay, but it's not know yet if he'll play against the Jets.
Punter Jon Ryan returned to practice yesterday, after spending Wednesday in Canada with his dying father.