GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The final play of Monday night's loss to the Detroit Lions was meaningless -- other than the fact that the Green Bay Packers' touchdown on an untimed down impacted the over/under point total -- so it was nothing more than another play in which someone could have gotten hurt.
And sure enough, that happened to the Packers.
Right tackle Justin McCray rolled his ankle on Jamaal Williams' 1-yard touchdown run that made the final score 30-17. That could be a critical injury considering McCray had replaced Bryan Bulaga earlier in the game after the starting right tackle tore his ACL and was lost for the season.
Still, coach Mike McCarthy said he felt the final play -- which only occurred because of a pass interference penalty on the Lions with no time on the clock and because a game can't end on a defensive penalty -- was important to run even though Williams' touchdown only cut the final losing margin from 20 points to 13 and changed the over/under of 42.5 to the over.
"Accepted risk," McCarthy said. "I'm not trying to be cold about this. There's a reason why I called the timeouts [on the previous drive on defense]. We needed that drive."
It turned out to be a six-play, 75-yard drive in a two-minute situation with no timeouts remaining. McCarthy wanted his new quarterback, Brett Hundley, to have more live reps in that situation.
"We had four practices last week, and we had two-minute drives in each one of them for both sides," McCarthy said. "Detroit coming into the game and it's been like that probably the last couple years, they have more two-minute drives than any team that we've competed against. Our defense needed the work and, frankly, we needed the work with Brett and so forth. We needed that drive. It was an opportunity to get better, to improve. You don't want to see any of your players get hurt but we're out there to play 60 minutes. To me, yeah, you finish the game."
Where that leaves the Packers at right tackle, however, remains to be seen. McCarthy said McCray has been at Lambeau Field for treatment. McCray, who has started four games this season (two at right tackle, two at guard), would be the first choice to replace Bulaga on Sunday against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
"We'll see how we line up," McCarthy said. "Obviously, that's how we played [after Bulaga's injury]."
Backup tackle Jason Spriggs, who returned to practice last week, remains on injured reserve but has one of the two designated to return tags. However, IR rules say that Spriggs isn't eligible to play until next week.
Injuries have hit the Packers hard this season, especially on the offensive line, where the preferred No. 1 group lined up together for only 57 snaps all season.
The Packers have lost three straight games. They were 4-1 heading to Minnesota, where quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone.
"First things first, availability," McCarthy said. "We're still going through this injury phase. It's, in [general manager] Ted [Thompson's] words, ‘remarkable.' It's just, we can't get out of the spiral that we're in, so availability No. 1. Just make sure that we're getting guys to be available not only for practice, because the practice leading into the game is important -- that's obviously why you have it -- and accountability. We need to focus, everybody needs to clean their own house. It needs to get cleaned up. It's all in the details. You don't need to look further than that. You guys do an incredible job with your analysis, but we do a pretty good, too, in house. So we're going to stick to our analysis and we're going to pay attention to the details. We need to clear our house up. It's not where it needs to be."