Skip to main content

Game Notes: Havner Keeps Finding End Zone

It’s unclear at the moment how long Packers tight end Jermichael Finley is going to be sidelined by his sprained knee, but Spencer Havner is filling in pretty well. Havner recorded his first two-touchdown game in the NFL on Sunday, one week after finding the end zone for the first time as a pro. - More Packers-Vikings Game Center

It's unclear at the moment how long Packers tight end Jermichael Finley is going to be sidelined by his sprained knee, but Spencer Havner is filling in pretty well.

Havner recorded his first two-touchdown game in the NFL on Sunday, one week after finding the end zone for the first time as a professional.

Havner caught TD passes from Aaron Rodgers of 16 yards and 5 yards during the Packers' third-quarter rally, giving him three TDs now in Finley's place.

"Both of them were kind of on broken plays," Havner said of the TD catches, his only receptions of the game. "One was on a post route and he scrambled to his left, and the one was a slant route and I kind of just sat in the hole, and he got it to me."

Havner caught the first one with a diving grab while cutting across the end zone. On the second one, he waited patiently in a clearing just across the goal line and Rodgers hit him in the chest. The back-to-back touchdowns brought the Packers within 24-20 late in the third quarter in the eventual 38-26 loss.

After injuring his knee last week in Cleveland, Finley didn't practice at all during the week and was scheduled to work out Sunday morning to see if he could be activated for the game. But Finley was among the team's eight inactive players, leaving Havner as the second tight end again behind Donald Lee.

Havner now has six receptions for 110 yards (18.3 avg.) with the three scores on the season.

Costly penalty

Penalties have been a problem for the Packers much of the season, and even though the six infractions for 45 yards on Sunday weren't egregiously high numbers, one very avoidable penalty was extremely costly.

With the Packers leading 3-0 in the first quarter, the defense had just stopped the Vikings on a third-and-5 from the Green Bay 9-yard line. Linebacker Nick Barnett brought down running back Chester Taylor for a 5-yard loss after a short pass reception, but as defensive end Johnny Jolly made his way over near Barnett to celebrate, Taylor gave Jolly a little shove and Jolly retaliated by head-butting Taylor and drawing a personal foul.

The penalty, assessed half-the-distance from the 14, gave the Vikings a first-and-goal on the 7, and Minnesota capitalized as Adrian Peterson scored on fourth-and-goal from the 1 to make it 7-3. The Packers, instead of getting the ball back tied at 3 after a short field goal, trailed for the remainder of the game.

"Not very smart," said Head Coach Mike McCarthy, who explained that he didn't see what happened but was told about it. "We had them stopped. Personal fouls in that situation and the way it happened, from my understanding, it's unacceptable, to extend the drive like that and it cost us four points."

After the game, Jolly didn't concede that a call like that is going to change the way he plays.

"I play on the edge every game," he said, several times. "I'm going to play hard regardless. They made a call and we have to live with it."

His teammates might take exception to that approach, however. As cornerback Charles Woodson said, "You just can't do it," and Barnett didn't exactly come to Jolly's defense either.

"We definitely have to be smarter as far as penalties go," Barnett said. "We're going to have them because we're an emotional defense, we play hard, and that stuff happens. But we've got to pick and choose."

Another franchise record

Running back Ahman Green saw his first action for the Packers since 2006 on Sunday and in the process he broke a franchise record.

{sportsad300}Green got two carries on offense, moving him past Jim Taylor for the most rushing attempts in team history. Green now has 1,812, one more than Taylor at 1,811.

Green gained just 1 yard on those two rushes, but he added one pass reception for 12 yards and returned seven kickoffs for 141 yards (20.1 avg.). Those were Green's first kickoff returns as a Packer and his first since playing for Seattle in 1999.

The 13 total yards from scrimmage added to the franchise record Green already possessed in that category, giving him 10,883. Adding in the return yardage puts him over 11,000 career combined yards at 11,024, also tops in team history.

Green also now has 2,176 combined attempts (rushing, receiving, returning), extending his own franchise mark.

Injury update

Linebacker Brandon Chillar left the game in the second quarter with a broken hand. He appeared to dive low to help wrap up Peterson on a fourth-and-1 attempt from the Green Bay 7-yard line, which the Packers stopped, and he did not return to the game after that.

He was replaced in the nickel defense by Desmond Bishop, who got his most extensive action from scrimmage this season. Bishop was credited with three tackles (two solo) and he had good coverage on a third-down throw to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe that was incomplete in the third quarter.

McCarthy didn't elaborate on the injury, so it's unclear whether Chillar will miss some time or be able to play with a club cast on his hand. An update is expected on Monday.

Backup safety and special teamer Derrick Martin left the game with a head injury after tackling Jaymar Johnson on a punt return late in the second quarter.

Safety Nick Collins (ankle) and receiver Donald Driver (shoulder) both came out of the game but returned after very brief absences. Receiver Greg Jennings got the wind knocked out of him late in the game.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content