GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers are so confident in their new-and-improved cornerback group that they released the player who shadowed Atlanta Falcons star receiver Julio Jones in last season’s NFC championship game.
LaDarius Gunter, who drew the unenviable assignment of covering Jones in January, was let go this week. He dropped down the depth chart after Green Bay brought back veteran Davon House in free agency and used its first draft pick in April on Kevin King. Returning players Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins, who were slowed by groin injuries last season, are healthy.
The Packers relied on House, Randall and Rollins to help limit Russell Wilson to 14-of-27 passing for 158 yards in a 17-9 victory over the Seattle Seahawks fueled by defense. The challenge will be much bigger on Sunday night when the Packers return to Atlanta for a rematch against the Falcons.
Atlanta, with reigning MVP quarterback Matt Ryan and Jones leading the way, have one of the NFL’s top offenses. In the championship game, Ryan threw for 392 yards and four touchdowns. Jones caught a 5-yard touchdown pass just before halftime and then ran through the Packers’ secondary for a 73-yard touchdown to start the third quarter. That made it 31-0 en route to a 44-21 victory.
“We’re just going to do what we have to do to slow him down and just try to slow down the Atlanta offense,” Randall said. “They’ve got more than just Julio. They have a ton of great guys.”
Randall, the team’s first-round pick in 2015, is looking forward to the matchup after enduring a miserable second season. He missed five games…
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