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Packers focused on getting physically refreshed

McCarthy revisits Clay Matthews penalty again


GREEN BAY – Mike McCarthy is doing his best to make sure the Packers will physically be ready for another potential down-to-the-wire game in warm weather on Sunday.

McCarthy shifted the team's usual Wednesday practice to a walk-through, after seeing the Packers open on a Sunday night and then follow it up by playing a full overtime last Sunday against Minnesota.

Green Bay's Week 3 matchup is the first road game of the regular season, at Washington, where temperatures could remain high this weekend.

Injury-wise, McCarthy said quarterback Aaron Rodgers (knee) is still in "day-by-day mode" regarding practice availability, while cornerback Kevin King (groin) isn't likely to play this week. The hope is King's injury is short-term.

Safety Josh Jones (ankle) also might be back this week, while running back Aaron Jones (suspension) will be activated to the 53-man roster.

The topic of roughing-the-passer rules remains a hot one, and in revisiting the controversial Clay Matthews penalty against the Vikings, McCarthy sounded uncomfortable with the league's assertion that seeing Matthews apparently lifting the leg of Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins was enough to justify a penalty.

"There needs to be some clarity on it," he said. "To say this is a black-and-white, right and wrong, I don't agree with that. But it's irrelevant. I have to coach the team and prepare for a game."

McCarthy noted all the attention to the issue is affecting pass rushers, as evidenced by the Mike Daniels play against Minnesota, where he let up and Cousins escaped a sack because a pump fake convinced Daniels the ball had been thrown.

Those are the trouble spots, but McCarthy emphasized he's confident in the way he and his coaching staff train the team in the fundamentals, and it remains "a constant, everyday deal."

"We haven't changed anything with the way we're coaching our players," he said. "We're not trying to break any rules, not trying to skirt (or) be on the edge of the rules.

"These are things you work through. You'd like to see this worked through in the preseason. To think we're talking about it in the regular season potentially affecting the outcome of games, nobody wants that, and nobody feels worse than Clay Matthews, but we have to play the next game."

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