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Custom Kingsley Keke Jersey Large

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).

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Custom Kenny Clark Jersey Large

The Green Bay Packers got star performances from outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith, defensive lineman Kenny Clark and cornerback Kevin King during Monday night’s 23-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Smith and Clark were unblockable up front, and King kept making big plays and eliminating Adam Thielen in the passing game.

Together, they helped create the most impressive overall performance from the Packers this season.

Smith played the leading role, producing 3.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for losses and five quarterback hits in an incredible individual performance. Moved around the defensive front by coordinator Mike Pettine, Smith beat almost every single position along the offensive line for a sack, hit or pressure of Kirk Cousins.

It was arguably the greatest single-game effort from a Packers edge rusher in recent memory. He won with power, quickness and technique, never once let Cousins get comfortable in the pocket and blew up plays in the run game.

Smith became just the sixth NFL player since 2006 to produce at least three sacks, five tackles for losses and five quarterback hits in a single game.

One minute and 44 seconds showcasing Za’Darius Smith absolutely wrecking last night’s game against the Minnesota Vikings pic.twitter.com/VZfTMfvVoe

— Joe Kipp (@JuhKipp) December 24, 2019

Through 15 games, Smith has 13.5 sacks, 35 quarterback hits and 17 tackles for losses. Only two other players have reached all three numbers in a single season since 2006: J.J. Watt and Aaron Donald.

When Smith wasn’t in the backfield, Clark was. He finished with four tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss and one quarterback hit. Not only did he beat up on rookie center Garrett Bradbury in the passing game, but he combined with Tyler Lancaster and Dean Lowry to all but shut down the Vikings’ run game. Minnesota running backs finished with 55 rushing yards on 15 carries.

Over the last six games, Clark has 4.5 sacks, eight tackles for losses and four quarterback hits.

King provided one of the plays of the game when he sunk deep into the Packers’ Cover-3 coverage and intercepted Cousins’ deep ball to Stefon Diggs in the third quarter. His return set up the Packers near midfield, and they scored the go-ahead touchdown eight plays later. King also stopped Thielen short of the sticks on a third-down run (forcing a punt), had a tackle for loss on a quick pass to rookie tight Irv Smith Jr. and helped keep Thielen without a catch on four targets.

King now has a team-high and career-high five interceptions this season. He has two interceptions, six pass breakups and two tackles for losses over his last five games.

The Packers held the Vikings to seven first downs, 139 total yards and 2.6 yards per play. Cousins attempted 32 passes but finished with only 82 net passing yards, thanks in large part to five sacks losing 40 yards. The Vikings were 4-for-17 on third and fourth down, and King’s interception helped the Packers improve to 11-0 when the defense produces at least one takeaway this season.

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Custom Montravius Adams Jersey Large

Montravius Adams is not projected to be worth a roster spot based on total fantasy points the rest of the season. His 2 projected fantasy points puts him at #145 behind Folorunso Fatukasi and ahead of Greg Gaines. Montravius Adams is expected to improve on this season-to-date’s #177 fantasy position rank.
REST OF SEASON DL RANK PROJECTION FANTASY STATS SINCE 2018
#143 Damion Square 2 FP, 1.99 per game 30 FP, 15 gp, 2 per game (#132)
#144 Folorunso Fatukasi 2 FP, 1.99 per game 30 FP, 15 gp, 2 per game (#132)
#145 Montravius Adams 2 FP, 1.96 per game 30 FP, 15 gp, 2 per game (#132)
#146 Greg Gaines 1.9 FP, 1.91 per game 30 FP, 15 gp, 2 per game (#132)
#147 Corey Liuget 1.9 FP, 1.91 per game 30 FP, 15 gp, 2 per game (#132)

These projections power SportsLine’s Computer Picks and Fantasy Data. But for contest winning DFS optimal lineups by top experts like Mike McClure visit SportsLine’s new Daily Fantasy Hub.
WEEKLY FANTASY PERFORMANCE

Week 10 was his best week where he put up 4.5 FPs and was the #21 defensive lineman. Montravius Adams had more below average weeks than above average weeks. The table below has his weekly games played, fantasy points and weekly position rank.
FANTASY PROJECTIONS AND ACTUAL STATS

The tables below show projected stats (totals and averages) for the rest of the season and current week. Also included are actual stats from the current and last season.
MONTRAVIUS ADAMS FP SACK SOLO FF INT PD
Rest of 2019 2.00 0.2 0.8 0.0 0.0 0.2
Week 17 @DET 1.96 0.18 0.79 0.02 0.01 0.24
2019 Season 12.5 0 4 0 0 3
— Per Game (10 GP) 1.25 0.00 0.40 0.00 0.00 0.30
2018 to 2019 28.0 1 13 0 0 3
— Per Game (19 GP) 1.47 0.05 0.68 0.00 0.00 0.16

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Custom Billy Turner Jersey Large

 

GREEN BAY – Packers offensive lineman Billy Turner hosted a coat giveaway on Friday evening in partnership with the Salvation Army in Green Bay.

Three hundred fifty coats were distributed to families, with 350 more set to be given away in Turner’s home state of Minnesota.

The fashionable lineman teamed up with Miami fashion designer Chad Johnson, Katy Friends, an art teacher at Excelsior Elementary School, and her second-grade students to create designs based on the theme of positivity.

Those designs were sewn onto custom jackets and sweatshirts for Packers players and staff, and in return Turner donated five coats to charity per design in both his hometown and his newfound home in Green Bay.

“Being able to take that platform as a player and giving back to a community that gives so much to our organization is great,” said Turner.
Coats in almost every size were on display in the Salvation Army gym. Kids could walk in, pick out a coat, have cookies, and even play catch with Turner.

“He’s very creative, he always has these ideas and I’m just happy we could bring this one to life,” said Turner’s marketing manager, Asia Ashley, who helped coordinate the night’s event.

“It all stemmed from Billy wanting to promote love peace and the Irie Life. He tries to promote that not only in what he does, but what he’s done on the field and with his teammates,” said Ashley.

The “thank you’s” and smiles were endless on this cold Friday afternoon as kids and their parents came to get a coat and chat with Turner.

“We see a lot of clients here within our programs during the week that are participating in things like a food pantry or free hot lunch, people that are in our transitional housing programs and they’re definitely in need,” said Nicole Hanley, marketing coordinator with the Salvation Army in Green Bay. “Some of them have coats that fit a little snug this season or are a little bit worn out, so it’s amazing for some of them to have the opportunity to come and get a free coat.”

The Salvation Army had recently given out free coats in November, but the need for coats in the community remains imperative – especially as temperatures continue to drop.

Turner made sure to interact with every kid that walked into the gym. He held babies, took pictures and talked with parents.

“It’s great, man, it’s special,” said Turner. “Being able to use my platform as a Green Bay Packer, knowing how big the fan base is here in Green Bay … it’s special.”

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Custom Jake Kumerow Jersey Large

The time has come.

Yes, Jake Kumerow is a bit of a folk hero in the Packers’ fan base. He’s a gritty player that’s went to college in Wisconsin. He’s not the first role player Packers fans have fallen in love with. The fact that he played for UW-Whitewater certainly helps his cause.

That said, Kumerow has had an interesting path to the Packers. He spent two years toiling on the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad. An opportunity never really came for him.

His opportunity came in the form of his old state’s team. The Packers called and gave Kumerow a chance to compete in training camp last season.

He was a long shot to make the roster. The Packers had drafted three wide receivers. They still had Davante Adams and Randall Cobb. To make the roster, Kumerow needed to have a big training camp.

He did. It culminated with him diving in the end zone on a preseason touchdown reception. That dive turned out to be ill advised. It gave him a shoulder injury that sidelined him until the ladder part of the season. By the time Kumerow got back, playoff hopes were bleak. He was essentially making an audition for this year’s roster.

Kumerow made the roster again this offseason, beating out former draft pick J’Mon Moore.

Since making the roster, Kumerow hasn’t lit the world on fire. He’s essentially been behind Adams, Geronimo Allison, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. He was passed over for Allen Lazard later in the season as well.

As the season has progressed, the Packers have been looking for a reliable second wide receiver.

They were hoping that would be either MVS or Geronimo Allison when the season began. MVS has had opportunities, but he’s been inconsistent.

Allison has struggled mightily this season. He already has a limited ceiling because of his lack of athleticism.

It was his athletic limitations that caused me to say that the Packers should only keep one of Allison or Kumerow this season. Obviously Gutekunst felt differently.

None the less, Allison’s struggles have gone beyond the early season. It’s Week 16. Allison is still struggling to separate, and dropping passes when the ball is thrown to him.

Kumerow, to his credit, has done nothing but take advantage of his opportunities.

Last season, Kumerow caught a long touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers against the Jets. A splash play.

This year, Kumerow has two big plays down the sideline. One against Oakland. One against Chicago.

The play against Oakland resulted in a touchdown. The play against Chicago was a big third down conversion. A play that helped the Packers eventually take a commanding 21-3 lad they would not relinquish.

Perhaps the most damning stat of them all is that Aaron Rodgers averages more than 12 yards-per-attempt when targeting Kumerow.

The numbers when targeting Allison are a paltry 5.4.

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The idea at the beginning of the season had to be that Allison was reliable and sure-handed. He had some success in short samples with Aaron Rodgers. That’s where someone like Allison can succeed.

The problem is he has not made those plays. Kumerow can, at minimum make those plays. There’s also some potential for bigger plays down the line.

Matt LaFleur said in his Monday press conference that it was time for Kumerow to see the field more. It’s been over due, but the Packers have to be hoping he continues to do what he’s always done with his opportunities.
2COMMENTS

Make the most of them.

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Custom Marquez Valdes-Scantling Jersey Large

Marquez Valdes-Scantling brought in his only target for six yards in the Packers’ 23-10 win over the Vikings on Monday.

Fantasy Impact:

It was his first reception in four weeks, and MVS has been completely phased out of the Green Bay receiving game. In eight games dating to Week 8, he’s recorded just three receptions, going catch-less in five contests. Even in the deepest of leagues, there are better options on the waiver wire.

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Custom Corey Linsley Jersey Large

 

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Members of the Packers got to spread some holiday cheer Tuesday.

Aaron Jones, Corey Linsley, Lucas Patrick, and Danny Vitale visited patients at Bellin Hospital.

Linsley said it’s a lot of fun for all involved.

“It’s awesome,” the Packers player said. “It’s fulfilling on our end but it’s also obviously fulfilling on their end, just getting to meet us and shake hands and talk a little bit, tell them Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, it really goes a long way with people.”

The Packers have been active in the community this week.

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Custom Elgton Jenkins Jersey Large

Unless they’re making mistakes, the offensive line usually flies under the radar, but for the Green Bay Packers in 2019 they have been excellent. Especially in pass protection.

Not to open old wounds but it was clear that the 2018 Green Bay Packers had a myriad of problems, one of which was the overall play and health of the offensive line. Both David Bakhtiari and Byran Bulaga would miss some time with injuries. Meanwhile Lane Taylor was playing through injuries which caused his performance to suffer and Byron Bell was a revolving door at right guard.

In the end, the Packers would give up 53 sacks last season, the fourth most in all of football. Now, to defend the offensive line for a second, Aaron Rodgers did hold the ball too long at times and this was a very pass-happy offense. Meaning, there were simply more opportunities for sacks to be allowed. But with that said, it was still a down season overall.

Fortunately, 2019 has been a different story. Incoming free agent Billy Turner and rookie Elgton Jenkins have helped solidify the guard positions while the unit as a whole has been relatively healthy. And the end result is the Packers having one of, if not the best pass protection unit in the NFL.

When trying to evaluate offensive line play it’s not as easy as looking at other positions where there is an abundance of different statistics to pore over. But there are metrics available that can measure the effectiveness of an offensive line.

The first and most obvious is sacks allowed. While there are still two games to be played in the regular season, the Green Bay Packers have given up just 26 sacks up to this point. Certainly a far cry from last year’s 53. Not to mention that the 26 allowed ranks as the sixth fewest in all of football.

Another measurement created by the ESPN analytics department is called Pass-Block Win Rate. What it does is it tells the rate at which an offensive lineman can sustain their block for 2.5 seconds or longer, which is then considered a “win.” Broken into position groups, David Bakhtiari rank second among tackles with a win rate of 95 percent. Meanwhile Elgton Jenkins is the third ranked guard with a 96 percent win rate. And Corey Linsley is leading all centers with a rate of 98 percent. As a team, the Green Bay Packers are first in the league with an overall win rate of 71 percent.

Lastly we can take a look at how long Rodgers has on average to throw the ball. And according to NFL Next Gen Stats, Rodgers holds the ball for an average of 2.9 seconds, which is the fourth longest of all quarterbacks. Certainly a reflection of the time that his offensive line unit has given him in the pocket.

Not to mention that the Packers’ offensive line has been this dominant against some of the best pass-rushers the NFL has to offer, including Khalil Mack, Von Miller, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Danielle Hunter just to name a few.
Next: 3 Packers who need more snaps in final weeks

As always there are a number of factors for the Green Bay Packers’ success in 2019 but a big contributor has been the play of the offensive line. And although the passing game has been inconsistent this season, for the most part, that has nothing to do with Green Bay’s pass protection.

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Custom David Bakhtiari Jersey Large

Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari is about to become the campaign manager for Za’Darius Smith’s All-Pro candidacy.

In the locker room following the most dominant performance of Smith’s season on Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings, Bakhtiari – a three-time All-Pro – had a simple message.

“You’re an idiot if you don’t vote for him for All-Pro, he is a stud,” Bakhtiari said, via John Doran of Fox 11 News in Green Bay.

Smith produced 3.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for losses and five quarterback hits, helping the Packers dominate the Vikings offensive line and hold Kirk Cousins to only 82 net passing yards.

Smith became just the sixth player since 2006 to tally at least three sacks, five tackles for losses and five quarterback hits in a single game. Only Smith, Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack have done it since 2015.

Through 15 games, Smith has 13.5 sacks, 35 quarterback hits and 17 tackles for losses. Only two other players have hit all three numbers in a single season since 2006: Donald, and J.J. Watt.

Smith currently ranks sixth in the NFL in sacks, third in tackles for losses and first in quarterback hits.

According to ESPN Stats and Information, Smith leads the NFL in total pressures. Next Gen Stats has him as the league leader in quarterback disruptions.

Smith wasn’t among the edge rushers included in the initial Pro Bowl rosters released last week. He’s an alternate.

Bakhtiari was twice an All-Pro without making the Pro Bowl, so he knows the feeling. And he knows Smith is following a similar path in 2019.

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Custom Jimmy Graham Jersey Large

Jimmy Graham caught his lone target for 16 yards in the Packers’ 23-10 win over the Vikings on Monday.

Fantasy Impact:

Graham was barely visible Monday, as he caught just one pass in the division-clinching victory. In five games since the Packers’ Week 11 bye, the former Pro-Bowl tight end has recorded a 7/88 receiving line, including a goose egg in Week 15. He shouldn’t be in starting lineups for Week 17 against Detroit.