The first regular season game plan was installed Wednesday as the Packers started practicing in earnest for the 2012 season opener against the San Francisco 49ers in a 3:25 PM kickoff at Lambeau Field. It's a matchup of last year's number one and number two seeds in the NFC, although neither team reached the Super Bowl thanks to the New York Giants. The team worked in pads and the opening week injury list looked like this: the only player ruled out for Sunday is running back James Starks with a turf toe. Tight end Tom Crabtree was limited with a shoulder injury, linebacker Robert Francois was limited with a hamstring, defensive back Davon House was limited with a shoulder, linebacker Jamari Lattimore was limited with an ankle, defensive tackle B.J. Raji was limited with an ankle and safety Sean Richardson did not participate with a hamstring. House was hurt in the first pre-season game last month and has been wearing a harness to protect the shoulder.
The atmosphere in the locker room after practice was one of anticipation and excitement over the start of a new season. Even the most veteran players like Ryan Pickett, sounded like a rookie over another opening day. Greg Jennings was asked some more about comments he made earlier in the week about his contract status. In line for an extension, along with several other front line players on the team, nothing has taken place and Jennings told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he had to at least consider the possibility of playing for another team someday because of the economics. You'll hear comments from Jennings on the link below, along with quotes from Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers.
We heard from 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and quarterback Alex Smith via a conference call from San Francisco Wednesday afternoon and quite honestly, Harbaugh sounded awfully smug. Very terse and unforthcoming answers to reasonable questions, he came off a bit of a jerk. Smith on the other hand was engaging talking about his growth last year, the addition of new weapons like Mario Manningham and an old Packer nemisis Randy Moss, and how he really likes coming to Green Bay and the bus trip through residential neighborhoods to get to Lambeau, giving him a clear understanding of the history of the NFL and how unique the Packers are to the city. More on the matchups as we draw closer to kickoff.