The Green Bay Packers limped home to Lambeau Field after their first loss of the season and prepare to host a Buffalo Bills team on Sunday that has renewed confidence after an eye-opening win over one of the Packers’ NFC North rivals.
After opening with their worst two-game start in team history, the Bills (1-2) were led by rookie quarterback Josh Allen to a 27-6 victory last week in Minnesota, the first win in 23 years by an NFL team that was an underdog by 17 points or more.
Green Bay (1-1-1) struggled on defense for the second week in a row, allowing 386 yards and four first-half touchdowns in a 31-17 loss at Washington. The Packers gave up 480 yards and a late 13-point lead in a tie with Minnesota in their previous game.
Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers continues to wear a large brace on the left knee he injured in Week 1. Hobbled by the injury on scrambles, Rodgers threw for 265 yards and two touchdowns against Washington.
Rodgers is being held out of midweek practices but expects to start against the Bills.
“I’m not out there actually making the throws at practice and communicating with them in the moment, but we’re still getting the same conversations that we need to have,” Rodgers said. “That has obviously been a struggle for me. ... But that’s how I’m able to play. That’s the trade-off.”
The Packers have also lost defensive lineman Mike Daniels (ankle) and cornerback Davon House (shoulder) to season-ending injuries. They added veteran cornerback Bashaud Breeland, a starter in Washington last year who signed a three-year, $24 million contract with Carolina in free agency before a failed physical voided the deal.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Breeland adds experience in the secondary and is “an excellent addition, especially at this point in the season.”
Buffalo won last week without Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy (ribs), who was still limited in practice Wednesday but doesn’t expect to miss another game.
“I’m playing,” McCoy said. “Felt good today. Still some pain, but I’ll be alright. I can deal with that during the game.”
Without McCoy, Allen had an impressive outing in his second career start, passing for 196 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions and hurdling defenders on his way to 39 yards and two more touchdowns rushing.
“It’s no secret that he’s our franchise guy,” McCoy said. “I love his talent, and he’s out there just playing. Everything is like a learning experience for him, but for the most part, he’s just got the natural feel for the game.”
—Field Level Media