GREEN BAY – Mike Neal impressed the Green Bay Packers coaching staff with his work in practice all week, but that doesn’t mean the reinstated defensive end will be activated by the 3 p.m. deadline Saturday in order for him to play in the team’s game at Indianapolis on Sunday.
Coach Mike McCarthy and defensive line coach Mike Trgovac both said Friday after practice that Neal’s status is still up in the air.
“We haven’t made any decisions yet on Mike Neal’s situation. We have some more talking, meetings, discussion that we need to go through,” McCarthy said.
Added Trgovac: “I don’t know what’s going to happen with what Coach is going to do, but he’s a good football player. He looks big, strong, quick. He looked good. He had a good week of practice. He had a great retention of the defense. You’re not going to be perfect, but he looked good. He looked like he had fresh legs out there.”
While pleased with his week of practice, which he said he spent mostly with the scout team while mixing some work with the regulars, Neal said he had not gotten any sort of indication from the coaching staff on whether they’ll activate him for the game.
“It’s not my decision. If I had some clue, I would (say). But it’s whatever they decide to do, and whatever they decide to do is obviously the right thing to do. So you just have to go with it,” Neal said.
Neal, who grew up in Indiana and played at Purdue, said he has 20 or so family and friends coming to the game and admitted he’d be disappointed if he didn’t play.
“That would make it more of a disappointment because I did get a lot of tickets. But you know how it is, you take the good with the bad. I’ve been through enough. If I don’t play, I’ve been through worse,” Neal said. “Even if I don’t (play), my friends and family have always been supportive. Me playing or not playing, the big thing is just to be able to see them. They make me happy. If I don’t play, even seeing them after the game will be enough for me.”
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