The Atlanta Falcons are coming to town on Sunday.
And Mother Nature is staying in town after bringing her first taste of winter to Green Bay this week.
The forecast isn’t miserable for the Packers’ game at Lambeau Field. On Thursday, it was 19 with blustery winds. According to Weather.com, it’s supposed to be 16 with 12 mph winds on Friday and 13 with 12 mph winds on Saturday. Sunday’s forecast is for 18 with light winds and a slight chance of snow.
Neither team is expecting the weather to be a factor.
“I know we play in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and I’ve visited with people from other teams and so forth and how much they hate to come here,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said on Thursday. “But I told our football team that’s a loser’s mentality. We’re not counting on the weather.”
That message has sunk in with the players.
“I don’t know about the weather favoring us,” defensive tackle Ryan Pickett said on Thursday. “I don’t buy into the weather and this and that. Nah, everybody from Atlanta is not from Atlanta. There’s a lot of them from up north who have dealt with the cold before. I don’t think that’s going to play any part in it.”
It is worth pointing out that Atlanta hasn’t tasted anything resembling these elements this season. The Falcons’ home games are played in a dome. Of their six road games, three have been played in domes – including Sunday against Buffalo, which was played in Toronto’s dome – and the others in Miami, Carolina and Tampa Bay. At kickoff, it was 89 in Miami, 62 at Carolina and 79 at Tampa.
At least it won't be a night game, as previously scheduled.
“It’s one of those things that for both teams, you just have to have your mind right to go out there and play,” Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said on Wednesday. “For me personally, I kind of grew up playing in cold weather so I know what the issues can be, what the issues aren’t. Sometimes, we make it out to be a bigger deal than it is. You just have to go out there and play. You have to have the right mind-set. I think we’ll adjust to it fine.”
Veteran Packers cornerback Tramon Williams has dealt with Green Bay winters since 2006. He knows what it takes to get ready – and stay warm.
“You’re definitely going to spend more time by the heater when you get a chance, but the benches are heated,” he said. “You’re going to have on coats and things like that to make sure you stay warm. What I do is put a couple days of yoga in throughout the week and make sure I stay loose. It’s been helping me out all season. I’ve been feeling really good game time, really loose. It’s been helping.”
Packers injury report
Did not participate: LT David Bakhtiari (illness), C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee/ankle), OLB Mike Neal (abdomen), DT Ryan Pickett (knee), DE C.J. Wilson (ankle). Limited: OLB Nick Perry (foot), QB Aaron Rodgers (collarbone). Full: TE Brandon Bostick (concussion), ILB Jamari Lattimore (quad).
Bakhtiari and Pickett were added to the injury report, and Dietrich-Smith was downgraded after injuring an ankle on Wednesday. Bakhtiari participated in the meetings but was sent home, McCarthy said. The coach is hopeful that Dietrich-Smith can practice on Friday but, “Getting injured on Wednesday is never a good thing.”
Falcons injury report
Limited: TE Tony Gonzalez (toe), S Zeke Motta (hand). Full: C Peter Konz (ankle), LB Sean Weatherspoon (knee).
Konz and Weatherspoon progressed after being limited on Wednesday. Konz, the former Wisconsin standout, started the first nine games at center and two of the last three at right guard.
-- Your daily Rodgers update: There’s nothing to update.
-- Tramon Williams’ wallet is lighter after shoving an official on Thursday at Detroit.
-- McCarthy said safety Sean Richardson “may get some more opportunities” against Atlanta. “I like what he’s done in his limited opportunities,” McCarthy said.
-- Rookie offensive lineman J.C. Tretter took part in his first padded practice since playing at Harvard. Tretter, a fourth-round pick, broke his ankle on the first day of organized team activities. The Packers will have to decide whether to activate him or put him on injured reserve by Thursday. “He did OK,” offensive line coach James Campen said. “It’s his first day. He’s got to get in there, get his knuckles bloody, and move around and bang around. He looked pretty good.”
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.