Notebook: Team Sticking To Road Routine

Despite the short week, the Packers are changing their traveling routine as little as possible as they head to Detroit for the Thanksgiving game. - More Audio | Video | Packers-Lions Game Center Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 21


Despite the short week, the Packers are changing their traveling routine as little as possible as they head to Detroit for the Thanksgiving game.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy said all the adjustments to the team's schedule, as far as meetings and practice time, were made from Monday through noon on Wednesday, when an approximately one-hour walk-through practice ended.

The team left for Detroit mid-afternoon on Wednesday, about an hour later than the usual departure time, but once arriving there the team will have its normal down time, followed by a team meeting at the hotel Wednesday night, and the standard pre-game schedule on Thursday.

"We have a road schedule that I think really plays to that," McCarthy said, explaining why no major adjustments needed to be made to the routine in the opposing city. "We finish all of our work here in Green Bay before we go to any of our opponents, and I kept that exactly the same. We have emphasized hydration all week. We're playing in a dome stadium, so that's always a major emphasis anytime you play inside, and we'll continue to do so.

"But the night schedule the night before the game I keep exactly the same because I'm a big believer in routines."

There's certainly no reason to change anything just for the sake of change. The Packers are 9-3 on the road since McCarthy became head coach in 2006 and dating back to last December have won six straight on the road, the first time the team has accomplished that since Vince Lombardi was at the helm.

In addition, McCarthy is undefeated in NFC North road games with a 4-0 mark. The Packers won at Detroit's Ford Field last year and already have won at Minnesota's Metrodome again this season. The team's annual trip to Chicago's Soldier Field is Dec. 23.

Grant ready to go

Running back Ryan Grant, who twisted his ankle on a fourth-quarter shovel pass last Sunday against Carolina, said the ankle feels fine and he's ready to play on Thursday.

"I'm good to go. I'm good," said Grant, who has rushed for 366 yards over the last four games. "I got a lot of treatment, a lot of work the last couple of days just getting ready. It feels good."

McCarthy said Grant looked "fine" during Wednesday's walk-through. He added that rookie Brandon Jackson would be the No. 2 running back against Detroit.

In addition to Grant, the other five players who were limited in practice on Tuesday - offensive tackles Chad Clifton (knee) and Mark Tauscher (ankle), linebacker Tracy White (ankle), receiver Koren Robinson (knee) and cornerback Charles Woodson (hip) - were all full participants during the walk-through and are listed as probable (virtual certainty to be available for normal duty) for the game.

Cornerback Will Blackmon (foot), tight end Bubba Franks (knee), safety Nick Collins (knee) and defensive tackle Johnny Jolly (shoulder) were ruled out for the game earlier in the week and none of them practiced this week.

{sportsad300}Another wrinkle

McCarthy indicated earlier in the week that preparing for a game on a short week is not the time to put in tricks and gadget plays into the game-plan, but he gave the Lions and future opponents at least one other wrinkle to think about from last Sunday's game.

Late in the first quarter, McCarthy had receiver Donald Driver line up in the shotgun formation to take a direct snap, with quarterback Brett Favre split wide to the left as a receiver.

Driver took the snap and ran to the right for a 5-yard gain on second-and-9. Though the play was not a huge gainer, it showed another innovation McCarthy is willing to try to get the ball into his playmakers' hands as much as possible. Last year, Driver was called upon to run the ball at times, but was handed it on an end-around instead.

"I wish we had blocked it better," McCarthy said. "It had a chance. We had a block that broke down and Brandon Jackson had to clean it up. We were able to get the defense we thought we would in that situation."

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