The first big snowstorm of the year hit Green Bay and much of the state today and it impacted the Packers. Head Coach Mike McCarthy cut practice short by nearly an hour, cancelled post practice meetings and sent the guys home before 2:00 PM. Matter of fact, the entire organization shut down Lambeau Field operations at that time sending employees home as the snow continued to pile up. Anywhere from 10 to 14 inches had been predicted. McCarthy said some of the guys are experiencing mother nature's Wisconsin winter wrath for the first time and that always leads to some interesting tales. He wanted everyone off the roads before darkness set in late in the afternoon. Running back DuJuan Harris played his college ball at Troy University in Alabama, his only pro experience before this year was in Jacksonville for part of the 2011 season. He had seen blizzards on TV but experienced it first hand for the first time. He had to have a teammate take a picture of him shoveling out his driveway in the morning and post it on instagram. He said the drive into the stadium wasn't as bad as he feared, just a little slipping and sliding, forcing him to turn on his flashers while navigating a roundabout. DuJuan couldn't believe the snowplowed mountains of snow all the way into work.
Another reason for the abbreviated workout, offensive line numbers are way down. T.J. Lang, working through a concussion, also came down with a flu bug and was sent home. Jeff Saturday didn't practice with neck and shoulder issues and backup rookie Greg Van Roten had his back tighten up during practice. The same crew who didn't practcice Wednesday were on the list again, Tom Crabtree (hamstring), Alex Green (concussion), Jordy Nelson (hamstring), James Starks (knee), C.J. Wilson (knee) and Jerel Worthy (hamstring). John Kuhn was added to the list but it was for a non-injury related reason. McCarthy still isn't sure if Nelson will return this weekend but was optimistic about the offensvie linemen. He also said James Starks is still in the plans and may be ready for duty come the playoff game in three weeks.
It will be a family reunion weekend for Clay Matthews. The Pro Bowl linebacker will play a Tennessee team that has uncle Bruce Matthews as the offensive line coach. Bruce's son Kevin Matthews had been the starting center up until an injury last week. If he can't play at Lambeau, Tennessee would have to start it's 5th different center in an injury ravaged season. It's made life miserable for Bruce Matthews, one of the NFL's all-time greatest offensvie linemen. Clay said he regularly talks with his uncle and cousin, up until this week of course and he can't wait to see how his relation plans to block him. Clay said it's because of his father, grandfather and uncle that he always wanted to be a professional football player and he can't wait to add a new chapter to the Matthews family football legacy at Lambeau Sunday.
The Packers have re-signed defensive back Otis Merrill to the practice squad. He was with the Pack in training camp.