Martellus Bennett won't play against Chicago

Posted Nov 8, 2017

Mike McCarthy optimistic about Justin McCray's availability for Sunday

GREEN BAY – The Packers will again be without tight end Martellus Bennett this Sunday against the Chicago Bears, Head Coach Mike McCarthy confirmed Wednesday.

Bennett sat out of Monday night’s game against Detroit with a shoulder injury. McCarthy said the 10th-year veteran won’t practice this week as Bennett continues to gather more information on the injury.

“I know he was in here (Tuesday),” said McCarthy prior to Wednesday’s practice. “There’s a number of opinions things he’s working through. He met with our medical staff, so we’re still going through the process.”

Without Bennett, Richard Rodgers and Lance Kendricks saw a spike in offensive snaps against the Lions, playing 33 and 29 snaps, respectively. Kendricks showed his athleticism late in the contest, pulling down a 21-yard pass from quarterback Brett Hundley in the middle of the field.

The presence of Rodgers and Kendricks enabled the Packers to stay in their packages with two tight ends, a staple of the offense this season. Their versatility also allows either to fill into the various packages Bennett has played this season.

“I thought they played well,” McCarthy said. “The plan of playing a lot of different personnel groups, it really is tailored to their style because both of those guys can play any position on the line, off the line. You can move them and motion. They give us a lot of flexibility.”

The Packers know they’ll be without right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee/out for season) and safety Morgan Burnett (groin) this week, but McCarthy was optimistic about the outlook for backup offensive lineman Justin McCray.

McCray, stepping in for Bulaga at right tackle, sustained an ankle injury in the final play against the Lions and is projected to start there against Chicago, with Jason Spriggs ineligible to return from injured reserve until next week.

McCray has played in all but one game on offense this season, filling in at both tackle positions and right guard.

“I would think so,” said McCarthy when asked about McCray’s availability for Sunday. “He says he’s ready to go. He was in the meetings today. We’ll see how he moves today and tomorrow.”


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