With rookie left guard Jason Spitz missing his third straight day of practice Friday, fellow rookie Daryn Colledge will replace him in the starting lineup on Sunday.
Spitz has been out this week with a bruised thigh sustained in last week's game when he was blocked on one of Chicago's interception returns. Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Spitz's availability Sunday would be a game-time decision, but that Colledge would start.
For Colledge, a second-round draft pick, it will be his first NFL regular-season start, and his first start since the preseason opener at San Diego, when he struggled and was moved down to the second team.
"I've tried to make a lot of changes since that San Diego game," Colledge said. "I came in kind of nervous, it's your very first game, a long time since you've played football. Now I'm playing at a lot faster speed, I know what I'm doing and I feel like I've gotten to be a lot better player."
McCarthy said that Colledge's work ethic has been just what you'd expect from a young player who gets demoted.
"It's just like anything else, when someone takes it away from you, you want it back," McCarthy said. "He's taken full advantage of his week of preparation, and we look for him to play well this weekend."
It's an opportunity Colledge wants to maximize on, to be sure.
"If I'm the starter, I'm going to fight to try to keep that job for the week after this one and the week after that," he said. "I'm going in with the anticipation that I'm the left guard for the rest of the year, and I'm going to keep working."
McCarthy said he felt the players this week struck the right balance between fixing what went wrong against Chicago but not dwelling on the ugly loss.
"One thing that's jumped out to me is the urgency of correcting your mistakes, and how important it is to correct and move on and not to dwell on it and over-analyze it," he said. "I thought the tempo and the spirit of practice was good."
One potential danger with young players is to get too hung up on past miscues, which can cause a loss of focus on what's ahead. The veterans don't feel that has happened with this team.
"They've handled it very well," Ahman Green said. "There's nothing we can do about last week. It's over. Win or lose, we have to look forward to the Saints, and that's what we've done all week long."
Added defensive end Aaron Kampman: "I like the attitude. It's not a forget-it, happy-go-lucky type of attitude, but it's hey, let's be singular in our purpose. We've got another opportunity to play at Lambeau Field, and hopefully we can get a win."
Playing with the enemy
The Packers released fullback Vonta Leach earlier this week, and he was picked up by the Saints, who happened to lose two fullbacks to injury in their season opener.
McCarthy expects he'll be asked to share whatever information he can about the Packers' schemes, but he doesn't think it will be a big deal come Sunday.
"Absolutely, he'll go visit with the defensive coordinator, everybody does it," McCarthy said. "I don't even know if there's a rule against it. It's part of the business. I never found that I won a football game because of a player that we acquired from the team before.
"Vonta knows the intricacies of our offense, but quite frankly there's a number of other individuals that know a lot about our offense too. I spent five years there, so those are all things that factor into the game plan."