Injuries might force the Packers to rely heavily on No. 3 running back and rookie Jamaal Williams in Sunday’s game against the Ravens. But defensive coordinator Dean Pees would not rule out the possibility of Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy throwing a curveball by using wide receivers Randall Cobb or Davante Adams in the backfield.
“They’ve got guys everywhere,” Pees said before Thursday afternoon’s practice. “They can do anything. I just think they’ve got enough talent on offense, and I think Mike’s got such a good repertoire in his offensive playbook. I think he can build a formation out of any group. I showed [film to the players] this week and said, ‘You guys tell me — without me telling you — what personnel group they’re in right here,’ and you don’t know. It could be base personnel, it could be two backs in the backfield, it could be one back or no backs, and it all looks like the same formation. So he’s got a good handle on it, and he can run his offense from it.”
Cobb and Adams might be pressed into duty because of injuries to Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery. Jones sprained the MCL in his left knee in the Packers’ 23-16 win at the Chicago Bears on Sunday and is expected to miss multiple weeks. Montgomery aggravated cracked ribs that he suffered earlier in the season, and his availability is cloudy.
Williams, Green Bay’s fourth-round pick in the NFL draft in April, rushed for 67 yards on 20 carries against Chicago. That might not seem like much, but Ravens middle linebacker C.J. Mosley was impressed enough to compare Williams’ running style to that of former Raven Bernard Pierce.
“He’s a physical runner,” Mosley said. “He finds the hole and tries to hit it and get those tough yards. So we’ve got to make sure that we get everybody to the ball and wrap up.”
Since surrendering at least 100 rushing yards to three running backs in a four-game stretch, the defense has limited the Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans to no more than 71 yards in the past two games. But free safety Eric Weddle said that as long as the unit ranks 28th in the league against the run, he expects opponents to test the Ravens.
“They are going to try to run the ball,” Weddle said. “Teams think they can run the ball against us. So go ahead and try. That is fine with us. We will be ready, and we are excited for the challenge of an offense that is as potent as this that runs the ball, play-action with shots.”