The Green Bay Packers secured homefield advantage and the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs on Sunday night when they toppled the Chicago Bears to move to 14-1.
The victory leaves Packers coach Mike McCarthy with one very big question to ponder this week: What to do with Sunday’s season finale against the Detroit Lions? The Packers have been hit hard by injuries in recent weeks and can’t afford more attrition. With a first-round bye, they have three weeks to get some players healthy.
The Packers played without wide receiver Greg Jennings and both starting offensive tackles Sunday. Defensive end Ryan Pickett was out. There are more injuries.
“The goal was to get the home-field advantage all of the way through,” McCarthy said. “We accomplished that tonight. But we do need to get healthy as a team, which every team in the league probably is saying that today. But we’ll look at all of our options. But I’m not going to stand here and tell you we want to give away opportunities to win the game. We’re going to play to win the game next week. I’m not real excited about a division opponent coming in here and think we’re not going to do everything we can to get to 15-1. But health is an issue for us. I think that’s stating the obvious.”
So who will start and who will sit against the Lions?
“I don’t have an answer for you,” he said. “I need to see how the players come in here tomorrow. Usually, it takes till Tuesday to really get a handle on the projection of who’s available, who’s at risk, who isn’t.”
The Packers could consider resting quarterback Aaron Rodgers and playing Matt Flynn but taking him out of the lineup could take something away from his timing. The thing is, the roster has only 53 players. Green Bay can only rest so many guys while still playing the game.
“We had I want to say five of the seven that (were inactive vs. Chicago) that were hurt,” McCarthy said. “So we have to look at all of that.”
Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
JAN 20 Tony Villiotti
Following Monday's announcement of those declaring for the Draft, a look at the numbers.
JAN 19 Jeff Fedotin
Chiefs' special teams coordinator has unique football mind.
JAN 16 Tony Villiotti
Are certain positions more reliant on early round picks?