GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers are so healthy that the biggest “news” from Friday’s practice was a massive jersey swap among some of the players on defense.
Outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith and Montravius Adams, outside linebacker Preston Smith and defensive tackle Kenny Clark, and outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell and defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster traded jerseys. It wasn’t all so cut-and-dried, though. Outside linebacker Rashan Gary was in Dean Lowry’s No. 94, defensive tackle Kingsley Keke was in Gary’s 52 and Lowry was in Keke’s 96.
During the Vince Lombardi era, the Hall of Fame coach often had his players wear different numbers for fear that his team was being spied upon on the practice field. There were no such fears on Friday, though, as the team worked inside the Don Hutson Center in preparation for Sunday’s showdown against the Chicago Bears.
“We were just chilling,” Clark said. “I heard Z and Mon talking about something and I was like, ‘Let’s switch jerseys today.’ So, we all switched. Just having fun. … I had on P’s jersey. I was trying to do his little celebrations and all that today. We had fun with it.”
Added Adams: “Honestly, we were just trying to have a little vibe, little fun at practice. At the end of the day, this is everybody’s job here but you don’t want your job to feel like work. I feel like that’s part of the reason why we’ve been so successful. It’s not like we’re working. We did go to work and do our job but we had fun at the same time.”
As for the injury report, the Packers’ secondary should be at full strength for Sunday. Cornerback Kevin King, who was a surprise inactive last week due to a shoulder injury, is questionable. So is tight end Jimmy Graham (wrist/groin). Both players practiced all week.
“He did a nice job,” coach Matt LaFleur said. “I don’t want to speak out of turn, but yeah I’m optimistic that he’ll be ready to go, but there’s still 48 hours or whatever before game time.”
The Packers have been healthy for most of the season, and that’s true in the secondary. Of Green Bay’s top five in the defensive backfield – corners King and Jaire Alexander, slot Tramon Williams and safeties Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage – only Savage (two games) and King (one game) have missed a game.
Only one member of the Packers didn’t practice on Friday: practice-squad receiver Malik Taylor.
Chicago listed four players as out, including inside linebacker Danny Trevathan. That means Chicago’s starting tandem and leading tacklers, Roquan Smith (100 tackles; injured reserve) and Trevathan (70 tackles) will not play. Defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris is questionable. He has two sacks in his last three games against Green Bay. Bears coach Matt Nagy said, “We like what we’re seeing” from Pro Bowl defensive end Akiem Hicks, the latest signal he will be activated from injured reserve before Sunday’s game. He’s missed the last nine games with an elbow injury.
PACKERS INJURY REPORT
Questionable: TE Jimmy Graham (wrist/groin), CB Kevin King (shoulder).
BEARS INJURY REPORT
Did not participate: TE Ben Braunecker (concussion), WR Taylor Gabriel (concussion), OL Bobby Massie (ankle), ILB Danny Trevathan (elbow).
Questionable: DE Roy Robertson-Harris (foot), WR Javon Wims (knee).