GREEN BAY — The NFL has given the Green Bay Packers a choice: take your bye in Week 6, immediately after your transatlantic trip to London, or save the bye week for later in the season.
The Packers chose to postpone it. On Friday, coach Matt LaFleur admitted they probably picked the wrong one.
Instead of having a chance to regroup and recover after their loss to the New York Giants at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in Londonthe Packers followed with four more losses.
And following another loss Thursday night to the visiting Tennessee Titans, LaFleur guessed his decision out loud.
“Hindsight is 20/20 as to whether or not we should have taken (goodbye) after the trip to London,” LaFleur said in his usual Q&A the day after the game with reporters who followed Thursday night 27-17 loss to the Titans — the Packers’ sixth loss in seven games. “Chosen not to, and that’s kind of where we are right now.”
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Thursday night’s game provides a mini-weekend off for players and coaches, who have Saturday and Sunday off before returning to work Monday ahead of the Nov. 27 game in Philadelphia.
But in a moment of candor, LaFleur clearly saw his decision to suspend the bye — scheduled after the team’s Dec. 4 game in Chicago — as at least a factor in his team’s downfall.
“Any time things aren’t going to the level you want, you have to look at everything critically,” LaFleur said. “Absolutely, I struggled with that. All you can do is move on and learn from every experience, good or bad.
“It’s a tough lesson, I would say, given where we are, but that was the decision we made – I made – at the time and what I thought was best for our team. And it’s hard to say if it was the right decision.
LaFleur said Friday he believes quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ injured right (throw) thumb, which Rodgers injured in aborted play by Hail Mary late in loss to Giants and has been a problem ever since, is healthy enough to continue playing it, even with his spotty performance against the Titans.
“I believe him. I know he fights through it,” LaFleur said. quarterback in this league.
When asked why he was so accurate in a 31-28 win over the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday and then missed so many critical shots against the Titans, Rodgers said he didn’t want to use the injury as an excuse, but also declared his grip. on the ball wasn’t very good on Thursday night.
“I’m not going to make excuses for my thumb. It’s been the same from New York,” said Rodgers, who finished the game 24 of 39 for 227 yards and two touchdowns (94.7 rating). “I felt like I was fundamentally well placed. I just didn’t have the same kind of consistent grip and the ball came out the same. I threw a lot of wobblers.
LaFleur didn’t seem optimistic about rookie wide receiver Romeo Doubs (sprained ankle) returning for the Eagles game. “I think he’s getting close, but I think it’s a little premature to say now,” LaFleur said. … When asked why rookie wide receiver Samori Toure only played four of the Packers’ 61 offensive snaps while veteran Sammy Watkins played 22, LaFleur replied, “Each week we’ll have a plan. I think (Touré) is another guy that we definitely need to integrate a bit more into the mix. … LaFleur said players and coaches are out Saturday and Sunday before returning to work Monday. “I think it’s important for them to get away, everyone is taking a deep breath,” LaFleur said. “We’ll meet again on Monday, (and) we’ll have a nice few days to move forward for the next game.”