The Green Bay Packers will enter Sunday’s season opener at San Francisco without the man who led the team in interceptions last year as a rookie. Cornerback Casey Hayward was ruled out against the 49ers with an on-going hamstring injury, according to the Packers team injury report.
Hayward’s hamstring has bothered him since the beginning of training camp, as he sat out all four exhibition games in the preseason. Veteran cornerback Jarrett Bush was also listed on the Packers team injury report with an ankle injury, and he is listed as questionable for Sunday.
“I don’t have a timeline for Casey (Hayward)”, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday. “When you talk to him, he says he feels great, but I hope his status is different next week”.
Luckily, the Packers are relatively deep at cornerback, with the return of veterans Tramon Williams and Sam Shields, third-year player Davon House, and the addition of impressive rookie Micah Hyde. Last season, Williams and Shields together defended 26 passes and intercepted five.
House, who was having an outstanding training camp a year ago before suffering a shoulder injury in the team’s first preseason game, has the size (6’1, 195) to match up with NFL receivers. In nine games in 2012, House recorded 26 total tackles, one sack, and defended five passes.
Hyde, the team’s first of two fifth-round selections in April’s NFL Draft, has impressed position coach Joe Whitt Jr. and head coach Mike McCarthy throughout training camp. In four exhibition games in the preseason, Hyde recorded 12 total tackles and two sacks. With Hayward’s injury, Hyde will most likely fill the team’s void at the nickel-cornerback position in San Francisco.
“He was probably one of the top producers throughout training camp”, McCarthy said. “Our secondary as a group has made a lot of progress, and this is a great opportunity for him. Micah will do whatever is asked of him, and I have a lot of confidence in him”.
Other News and Notes: Tight end Andrew Quarless (knee) is probable for Sunday. Quarless hasn’t appeared in a regular season game since the 2011 season…safety Morgan Burnett (hamstring) and linebacker Brad Jones (hamstring) “looked good” in practice today, according to McCarthy, and both were in full participation throughout practice.
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