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NFL: Mike McCarthy will return to Lambeau Field for the Cowboys game against the Packers

Follow the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at 4 p.m. on RDS2.

PRE-MATCH

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The circumstances surrounding the return to Lambeau Field of Mike McCarthy, now head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, to face his former team are far different from what observers expected.

Originally, everyone was anticipating a mid-season duel between two teams with high expectations, after qualifying for the playoffs a year earlier.

While the Cowboys (6-2) managed to deliver the goods, the Green Bay Packers (3-6) have just suffered five straight losses, a lethargy like they hadn’t experienced since 2008.

The Packers must deal with numerous injuries, which will try to ruin McCarthy’s return to Green Bay while keeping alive their chances to extend their season beyond the regular season.

“Nobody really cares what you’re going through, the circumstances,” said Matt LaFleur, who succeeded McCarthy at the helm of the Packers.

“You are expected to win, especially here. We know we’re up against a great rival – one of the best teams in the National Football League. »

McCarthy became the Packers’ head coach in 2005 and posted a 125-77-2 record before being fired late in the 2018 season. Packers in the Super Bowl in the 2010 season.

A road near Lambeau Field is called Mike McCarthy Way.

The Cowboys head coach got emotional this week when he started recounting his fondest memories of Green Bay. Among other things, he noted how this match will have a special flavor for his family.

However, he also wants to make sure that none of these elements will disrupt his team’s concentration.

” Trust me; I’m the last person who wants to create any form of distraction or questioning in someone else, because we’re at that point in the year, at the start of the third quarter of the season, where we know what’s necessary to win a football game,” McCarthy said.

Aaron Rodgers, the Packers quarterback who won two of his four league MVP titles while playing for McCarthy, says he appreciates the way his former coach exposed his sentimental side in the days leading up to this game.

“Mike is the typical Pittsburgh toughness and toughness on the outside, and the big soft teddy bear on the inside,” Rodgers said. “I think it’s a great combination to own. »

Battered Packers

Outside linebacker Rashan Gary, the Packers’ leader with six quarterback sacks, suffered a season-ending knee injury in Sunday’s 15-9 loss at Detroit. Moreover, several team players could be unavailable against the Cowboys.

Cornerback Erick Stokes (knee/ankle) and wide receiver Romeo Doubs (ankle) were also injured against the Lions and are expected to be out. The name of wideout Randall Cobb (ankle) was placed on the Packers’ injured reserve list, which counted 17 players Wednesday.

Elliott, an uncertain case

Running back Ezekiel Elliott seemed less than certain he would play after missing the Cowboys’ bye week game with a right knee injury. Elliott said the goal is for him to play. If so, it will probably be with a splint.

Elliott missed just one game through injury in his first six seasons. Last year, he played despite a knee injury that limited his effectiveness. Even before his most recent injury, he shared the work in the backfield more than at any other time in his career.

In Elliott’s absence against the Chicago Bears on Oct. 30, Tony Pollard tied career highs in rushes (14) and rushing yards (131).

Pollard notably scored a touchdown on a 54-yard play in the Cowboys’ 49-29 victory.

“I would say there is urgency. But I think what’s important is to make sure my knee is OK,” Elliott admitted, while saying he wants to make the playoffs and get as far as possible.

In addition, Sunday’s game will allow young star defensive player Micah Parsons to face Rodgers for the very first time, having faced Tom Brady on two occasions, last year in his rookie season and again this year during of the first match of the calendar.

“He’s an idol and a personality in this league that you look up to with respect,” Parsons said of Rodgers.

” I admire him. He’s been in this league for a long time and he’s done it the right way. He is a great player and no one can take that away from him. »

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