Packers D seeks improvement after mini-break
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - The Green Bay Packers says they're refreshed and energized after a mini-break during the Thanksgiving Day weekend.
They're looking to get over that 40-10 loss to the Detroit Lions.
Perhaps about the only positive from that game for Green Bay is the few extra days of rest ahead of Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Packers had a Week 4 bye, and have had to push through a run of injuries over a nine-week stretch without a breather. They're 0-4-1 since quarterback Aaron Rodgers fractured his left collarbone.
Cornerback Tramon Williams says the break helped, and there's renewed energy in practice. Green Bay hopes the run defense can regain its early season form after allowing 185 yards a game over the five-game slide.
Falcons' woeful run D braces for Packers' Lacy
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Falcons don't know if they'll be facing Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday.
They do know they'll have to try to stop rookie running back Eddie Lacy, and that's a major concern for the NFL's 30th-ranked run defense.
Atlanta has struggled against the run all season and showed no improvement even when snapping their five-game losing streak last week against Buffalo. C.J. Spiller had a season-high 149 yards rushing in the Bills' overtime loss. The Falcons are worried the powerful Lacy could be even more difficult to contain.
If Rodgers is held out as he continues to recover from a broken collarbone, the Falcons could follow the trend of other defenses who have loaded the box to focus on slowing Lacy's runs.
Pack CB Williams fined for contact with official
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Packers cornerback Tramon Williams has been fined $26,250 for contact with an official, per NFL guidelines.
Williams told reporters Thursday that he planned to appeal. He said he didn't realize he had made contact with the official, and meant no harm.
The contact occurred after a Lions touchdown early in the fourth quarter of Green Bay's 40-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day. A replay appeared to show Williams looking away while walking forward, just behind Lions center Dominic Raiola, when the official crossed in between the two players. Williams received a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Williams said he had been shoved by Raiola just after the touchdown. He said he was frustrated on the play.
Brewers trade Aoki, likely means Braun to RF
MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Brewers have traded outfielder Norichika Aoki to the Kansas City Royals, a move that likely means Ryan Braun will move from left to right field in 2014.
Milwaukee acquired left-handed pitcher Will Smith from Kansas City in exchange for Aoki, who hit .286 with eight homers, 37 RBIs, 20 steals and 80 runs scored last season.
Braun is expected back after his season-ending, 65-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's anti-drug agreement. Rookie Khris Davis emerged down the stretch filling in for Braun in left by hitting .279 with 11 homers.
The Brewers could go into next season now with Davis in left, Gold Glove-winner Carlos Gomez in center, and Braun in right.
Aoki would become the first Japanese-born position player to suit up for the Royals.
Walker still undecided on mascots bill
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker still isn't saying whether he will sign a Republican bill that would make it harder to strip schools of American Indian mascots.
Walker said Thursday that he isn't focused on the measure that passed in November. Walker says he will "look at it some point in the future."
Walker can sign it into law or veto it at any time. If he doesn't take any action by Dec. 12, he has six days to act before the bill becomes law automatically.
Opponents of the bill are pressuring Walker to veto it, saying it is racist. But supporters say the current system for forcing removal of race-based mascots is flawed.
Walker was asked about the bill following the Capitol Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
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