Packer notes: No worries about rookie Jones
GREEN BAY—Datone Jones might be a first-round draft choice, but Mike Daniels has been the Green Bay Packers’ most effective pass-rushing defensive lineman in the first two games.
“You could make a case for that,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “He played his (expletive) off against Washington. He’s been very productive.”
Mike Trgovac, who coaches the defensive line, agreed.
“That was one of his better games,” said Trgovac. “He’s really coming on strong.”
Daniels tied his career-high with 32 snaps against the Redskins, which also was high among defensive linemen. He had two pressures and 2½ tackles for loss.
In the 2012 draft, Daniels lasted until the fourth round because of his height (6 feet, 0½ inches) and history of shoulder and head injuries at Iowa.
“He’s that leverage, former-wrestler, explosive, heart-of-a-lion guy,” McCarthy said. “Just outworks you.
“He’s kind of a personnel guy’s nightmare but a coach’s dream. Because he just plays football the right way.”
After ranking sixth on the unit with 269 snaps as a rookie, Daniels is fourth now with 51. B.J. Raji leads with 82, followed by Ryan Pickett (70), Johnny Jolly (58), Daniels, Jones (36), Mike Neal (24) and C.J. Wilson (18).
Neal and Jones have been the starting tackles in sub defenses both weeks, but Daniels, Jolly and Raji also have had chances.
As for Jones, Trgovac said, “Datone’s had 35 professional snaps. Half of those were against San Francisco, and on a lot of them he was pressuring and running in his lane. Datone’s going to be a good player.”
MOVING ON UP
Free agent Chris Banjo could be in line for expanded playing time if not his first start Sunday in Cincinnati after safety Morgan Burnett was declared out of a third straight game with a hamstring injury.
“You could see more and more (of Banjo),” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said.
Against Washington, starters M.D. Jennings (61) and Jerron McMillian (48) each gave up a fourth-quarter touchdown pass.
Jennings was beat on a 9-yard corner route by Santana Moss much like he got beat on a corner route by San Francisco’s Vernon Davis for a 20-yard touchdown. McMillian vacated a zone in which Jordan Reed caught a 3-yard scoring pass from Robert Griffin III.
Banjo, who played 29 snaps, missed a tackle 8 yards downfield on a run by AlfredMorris that ruptured for 32.
“We’ll see. I’m not exactly sure,” said Banjo. “Regardless of what my role is, I just have to make sure I’m ready.
“If my role gets increased, there may be more margin for error. So that’s what I want to take pride in—doing my job, limiting those errors.”
Burnett’s hamstring, according to McCarthy, has “kind of stayed the same.”
McCarthy refused to rule out running back Eddie Lacy, who is questionable after missing a third day of practice with a concussion. Early in the week, the medical staff indicated he’d be ready.
“We still have time,” said McCarthy. “I know that Eddie Lacy wants to play so we’ll see what happens.”
Meanwhile, fullback John Kuhn (hamstring) sat for a third day and was questionable.
Cornerback Jarrett Bush, who suffered a hamstring injury Aug. 17 against St. Louis, said he would return after the bye week.
“It is hard,” said Bush. “I’m not used to missing games. Just got to let the body heal. I feel good now.”
Everyone else except cornerback Casey Hayward (hamstring) will play.
In Cincinnati, the Bengals were down to three healthy cornerbacks Friday and might be forced to activate Chris Lewis-Harris from the practice squad Saturday.
Adam Jones, their No. 3 corner, practiced on a limited basis Friday and is questionable (abdomen). Backups Dre Kirkpatrick and Brandon Ghee won’t play.
The other issue is if No. 3 tackle Anthony Collins (knee) will play. He’s questionable after sitting out Friday.
Of the 106 players on the rosters of the two teams when they met last in Cincinnati (October 2005), the only one left is quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Quarterback Seneca Wallace completed his third week in Green Bay after basically replacing Vince Young as Rodgers’ backup.
“He has a lot more history and a lot more to link this (offense) to than Vince did,” quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo said. “His background in what we do is vast. Vince’s background in what we do was very minimal.
“He’s a bright guy. He’s picked it up pretty quick. He’s been a good addition.”
Both the 49ers and Redskins hurt the Packers with stacks or bunches of receivers lined up close to the line of scrimmage.
“We haven’t defended them as well as we should,” cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt said. “We need to do a better job of taking the air out of coverages.
“It’s not necessarily the cornerbacks that are having an issue with that. It’s a team issue. If you’re in underneath coverage you need to play underneath. If a receiver is coming your way you need to help on him. Everybody has to do their job.”
The focus today will be on wide receiver A.J. Green.
“He’s a lot like Jordy (Nelson) in that the deeper he gets down the field the faster he gets,” said Whitt. “Calvin (Johnson) is another great example of that.
“The thing that separates him from Jordy, his short-area quickness is better. He can get the ball on a hitch route and get vertical as good as anybody. Where Jordy can still make that play but he does it with strength and breaks tackles.”
Tyler Dunne of the Journal Sentinel staff contribute to this report.