- A short week can feel good from a football fan's perspective, but it means more challenges for the Green Bay Packers.
The team is coming off of a strong 30-13 win against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. They face the Chicago Bears at home on Thanksgiving night, and head coach Mike McCarthy says he knows they need to play well, especially after the 31-23 Packers win earlier this year.
"They're a heck of a football team. They're an impressive football team while on tape, and even on the field yesterday," McCarthy said. "So the Vikings are a good football team that we'll play here in four or five weeks, so we're on to the Bears."
The Packers have 15 players on their injury report. However, only three players didn't practice Tuesday, including center Cory Linsley. McCarthy believes the biggest challenge with the short week is staying healthy.
"I've always felt that that was the biggest challenge because—particularly if you have a player that may have an injury that he could get himself back in seven days as opposed to four or five—so I think that's the biggest challenge," McCarthy said.
McCarthy believes a more balanced attack helped take down the Vikings. That strategy could lead to success against the bears on Thanksgiving night.
The Packers had about a 50-50 balance with running and passing plays on Sunday. Eddie Lacy had 22 carries and 100 yards on the ground. That's what McCarthy likes to see with his backs.
"I think more importantly he was given more opportunities," McCarthy said. "That's what running backs need. Twenty-two carries. I thought he was decisive and I thought he ran behind his pads, and I thought he played well."
The Packers have occasionally played in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day over the past few years. McCarthy believes it will be an exciting atmosphere with Brett Favre and Bart Starr at the game this year in Green Bay, but there are challenging differences between day and night games.
"The whole environment is going to be great. But, night time games are a little tougher on the players because you have to wait around all day to play," McCarthy said.
You can watch that game on Newswatch 12 Thursday night. The kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.