GREEN BAY, Wis. Carolina Hurricanes Shirts . - The Packers locker room was noticeably quiet Monday, other than the ruckus caused by a couple dozen players scrambling in following a meeting, then scooting out the door for a few days off.Its just the way they wanted to start the post-season, a day after a rousing victory over the Detroit Lions secured a fourth straight NFC North title and first-round bye. Practice resumes Friday.This is a time, obviously, to step away from it, just enjoy what you accomplished ... Youll know we have the holiday here, coach Mike McCarthy said.So hydration testing on Friday morning will be the first thing we do, he added with a sly smile.Holiday cheer, indeed.Some players may be taking it a little easier, notably limping quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The two-touchdown performance in the 30-20 victory over Detroit is still drawing raves from teammates and coaches after Rodgers fought through a lingering left calf injury.McCarthy spoke to Rodgers on Monday morning. His quarterback had some tests but feels good, he said. A rehab plan is in place for this week, though its apparently not arduous enough that it would force Rodgers to stay in town during the time off.Weve got a good plan for him, McCarthy said. Frankly, Im not sure if he is staying.The Packers (12-4) earned the time off after piecing together perhaps two of their most complete games of the season to finish with two straight wins following a loss at Buffalo.Sure, Green Bays passing game might be shifted down a gear with Rodgers calf injury. It has limited his mobility the last two weeks.But an injured Rodgers might be better than most healthy quarterbacks. From the press box, offensive co-ordinator Tom Clements said he didnt even know that Rodgers was thinking about coming back into the Lions game in the middle of the third quarter after being carted into the locker room late in the second.The defence got just as much of a lift from Rodgers return as the offence.If you cant find anything to play for, play for No. 12, play for the offence, defensive end Datone Jones said. He was pressuring Matthew Stafford when the quarterback was whistled for intentional grounding while in the end zone, which gave the Packers a safety late in the game.Theyve backed us up so much, there are times when weve got to back them up, Jones said.Actually, the defence had been playing well even before Rodgers got hurt. Coordinator Dom Capers crew has tightened up against the run since the middle of the season, in part because the Packers are using Clay Matthews and Sam Barrington more at inside linebacker to add athleticism.Receiver Calvin Johnson scored two touchdowns, though Capers proudly noted Monday that the Packers were able to limit Johnson and fellow playmaking receiver Golden Tate to a combined seven catches for 84 yards.Rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and second-year player Micah Hyde are a big improvement at free safety over last season, while strong safety Morgan Burnett is having one of his best seasons, especially against the run. The steady Burnett is so respected that he was chosen a playoff captain, along with linebacker-end Julius Peppers.Just keep an even-keeled mindset, Burnett said when asked about the defensive performance the last three weeks. You cant dwell on the past. ... Just keep pushing forward and find ways to get better.The last three games, in particular, the Packers have held opponents to 21 points or less. If the defence can keep it up when Green Bay plays its first post-season game on Jan. 11, it will be more than enough cushion for the potent offence — assuming Rodgers doesnt have a major setback.__AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFLStitched Hurricanes Jerseys .C. -- Marcus Paige and his North Carolina teammates have endured so many wild swings -- big wins, surprising losses, NCAA drama -- that no one can blame their Hall of Fame coach for wondering whats next. Custom Carolina Hurricanes Jerseys . Top-seeded Djokovic, who is making only his second appearance this year after reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, was a 6-3, 6-3 winner over 54th-ranked Istomin of Uzbekistan. "It wasnt as easy as the scoreline indicates," said Djokovic, who has won in Dubai on four occasions.OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators have sent Jean-Gabriel Pageau to Binghamton of the AHL. The 20-year-old centre had one goal and a minus-3 rating in eight games so far this season. In 17 career regular-season NHL games, Pageau has three goals and two assists. It is yet another move from the Senators, who are off to a disappointing 4-6-2 start. Carolina Hurricanes Pro Shop. Last week Ottawa recalled forward Mika Zibanejad from the minors after he failed to make the team out of camp. At practice Thursday, Cory Conacher and Chris Neil flanked captain Jason Spezza, while Kyle Turris centred Clarke MacArthur and Bobby Ryan. ' ' '
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