GREEN BAY, WI (WBAY)- Mike McCarthy's motivational skills will be put to the test these final two games; and so will the leadership on his team as the Packers play out the string.
It starts Saturday night against the Vikings, a team that is still playing for a first round bye and the top overall seed in the NFC. It will be cold, and there could be more veterans than just Aaron Rodgers sitting out for various reasons. You can bet management will be watching closely to see which guys on the field keep up the fight for 60 minutes.
“You talk about judging, or expectation, that's for the guys upstairs to do,” left tackle David Bahktiari said Wednesday. “For me, I'm just going to go out and play my game. I think we'll see guys' characters, who they are. And hopefully if there is any, which I don't intend on seeing; but if there are, then hopefully it's noticed and gets weeded out.”
Added linebacker Blake Martinez, “not only are people going to be looking at that, but it's going to show what certain guys are about. I think at that point, it's hey, where is the passion for the game? Where is the love for the game? Where is that going to show for these next two games? And who is going to put it all out there on the line every single snap because they love winning. And I think that's what is going to show these next two games.”
Leadership will be required these next two games, and no position on the field assumes more leadership responsibilities than quarterback. And barring injury, that’s Brett Hundley for the final two games. “I've just got to play to the best of my abilities. As a leader, I feel like you have to lead by example sometimes more than just screaming at guys, because sometimes that doesn't get the job done,” Hundley said Wednesday. “So this week, it's more about going out there and doing the best that I can to put this team in the best position to win.”
Saturday will be the second time Hundley has faced the Vikings this season; he took over for the injured Rodgers in the first meeting. Minnesota picked him off 3 times, sacked him 4 times, and held him to a season-low passer rating of 39.6. But Hundley believes the NFC North champs will see a different QB Saturday night. “Last time we played them, I mean that was my first extended time ever in the league in a regular season game. It was a bit of a shock; obviously nerves are running high, my heart is about to bust out of my chest, and nerves are going. But now I feel comfortable, I feel like I'm playing my game and just having fun.”
Below is the Packers-Vikings Injury Report for Wednesday: