Notebook: Barnett Fights Back His Way

Nick Barnett didn’t exactly appreciate the poke in the eye he took from Oakland center Jeremy Newberry in the final minute of the first half on Sunday. But rather than retaliate in any inappropriate way, Barnett got back on the field in the second half and let his play stand for payback. - More Audio | Video | Packers-Raiders Game Center


Nick Barnett didn't exactly appreciate the poke in the eye he took from Oakland center Jeremy Newberry in the final minute of the first half on Sunday.

But rather than retaliate in any inappropriate way, Barnett got back on the field in the second half and let his play stand for payback during the 38-7 victory.

Within Oakland's first three possessions of the third quarter, Barnett got a couple of clean hits on Raiders quarterback Josh McCown on blitz pressures, and then he tripped up running back LaMont Jordan for a 1-yard loss on third-and-1, forcing a punt.

"It was definitely flowing a little bit," Barnett said of his adrenaline after the injury, which l ed to him wearing a protective shield on his facemask in the second half. "I was very angry when I came in this locker room. Honestly, I had to go in the back room and just sit there for a little bit. I could have come out and tried to do something dirty back, but I didn't want to lose focus on this game and just play football.

"I knew when I was going out there, I was going to try to do what I can. I wasn't going to do anything dirty, but I was going to try to make a couple plays."

Those plays contributed to another strong outing by Barnett, who is angling for his first Pro Bowl appearance. He led the team once again with 10 tackles (seven solo) and has been the team's leading tackler since Week 1.

Barnett believed Newberry's poke to his eye was intentional. Barnett said it started when he was on the ground at the end of a play, and Newberry gave him a knee to the helmet. Thinking that was on purpose, Barnett ran over to him and the two started jawing at each other when Barnett said Newberry pushed him and then poked him through the facemask.

"He kept trying to tell our D-line it was an accident," Barnett said. "No."

Barnett said he got a scratch on his cornea and he was still suffering from some double vision after the game. But he was scheduled to see an eye specialist Sunday evening and he felt he would be fine.

Woodson comes back

After missing the game in Dallas with a toe injury, cornerback Charles Woodson returned to the field on Sunday and played the first three quarters before Head Coach Mike McCarthy pulled him from the game as a precaution.

There was a lot of talk during the week that there was no way Woodson would miss the game against the Raiders, his old team, but Woodson said afterward that had nothing to do with it.

"This game for me was never about the Raiders," Woodson said. "It's about the Green Bay Packers, it's about clinching the division, about moving one step closer to our goals."

Woodson appeared to move around fine with the bad toe. He said he had a different shoe on, along with some inserts and a hefty tape job. He was fully confident he would play after making it all the way through Friday's practice.

In addition to getting himself ready, Woodson also shared some thoughts with his fellow defensive backs about Raiders receivers Jerry Porter and Ronald Curry, with whom he played for several years in Oakland.

"I know those guys pretty well," he said. "We knew we would do a good job against those guys."

Almost a TD

The Packers nearly added to their two special teams touchdowns on Sunday with a defensive score, but Atari Bigby's 70-yard interception return for a score late in the third quarter was called back on a penalty on defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins.

The pass was initially intended for Curry, and safety Nick Collins had tight coverage along the sideline when the ball arrived and bounced off the players into the air. Bigby swooped in, went tumbling to the ground with the interception, jumped back up and raced all the way down the sideline.

But during the return, Jenkins had flattened McCown with a crushing block and was flagged for unnecessary roughness. While referee Ed Hochuli was announcing the penalty to the crowd, Jenkins could be heard via the microphone yelling that all he did was throw a block.

"I was surprised at first," Jenkins said. "When I saw the flag, thought it was a hold or something at first. I didn't think I did anything wrong."

Afterwards he got the explanation from Hochuli.

"He just explained to me you can't do that to the quarterback," Jenkins said. "Any other player, that's an OK hit, and he said that you can't do that to the quarterback. They protect the quarterbacks too much now and you can't do that. At least I know it now. Unfortunately it's a little too late."

Not his best day

Rookie kicker Mason Crosby got a tough introduction to Lambeau Field's winter conditions.

{sportsad300}Crosby, who was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for November, made just one of three field goals on Sunday, connecting from 44 yards out in the third quarter but missing from 43 in the second quarter and from 52 early in the fourth.

His first miss was a low line drive kick that sailed left and appeared to be a footwork problem. The second miss was a solid hit, but the ball just carried too far to the left.

"It's just one of those things where you have to get used to it," Crosby said of the notoriously swirling winds at Lambeau. "You look at the flags, they're blowing one way, and on the field it's moving the other. You just have to trust it and be true, and I'm just going to keep kicking."

Crosby had made six straight before Sunday but is now 25-of-33 on field goals this season, with seven of his eight misses coming from 40 yards or more. It was the third time this season Crosby has missed two kicks in a game, and all three of those games have been at home.

"I hate missing, I hate it more than anything," Crosby said. "It's very frustrating for me. I hate missing multiple kicks in a game. I have to try to put it past me, and just keep going. I've been stringing a lot of kicks together and feeling confident. It's just unfortunate when those don't go through."

Injury update

In addition to Barnett getting poked in the eye, the only other injuries McCarthy mentioned were to offensive tackle Chad Clifton.

Clifton was kicked in the shin during the third quarter on the play Greg Jennings caught an 80-yard touchdown pass, but he did return to the game. McCarthy also said Clifton injured a shoulder later in the second half. He was removed from the game after that and replaced at left tackle by Daryn Colledge.

Clifton said after the game he was fine.

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