GREEN BAY — The peaking San Francisco 49ers will travel to Green Bay next weekend after upsetting the Dallas Cowboys Sunday in an NFC Super Wildcard Weekend game.
The nail-biting 23-17 win by the sixth-seeded 49ers over the third-seeded Cowboys put an end to fan talk of a return to Lambeau Field of former Head Coach Mike McCarthy, now the head coach of Dallas, and perhaps the Ice Bowl II.
The Packers can now start game planning for a familiar foe.
Green Bay holds a two-game winning streak over San Francisco, after defeating them in the regular season the past two years, most recently a 30-28 win in September on a Mason Crosby game-winning field goal.
The Packers head into the game healthier than they have been perhaps all season.
All-pro left tackle David Bakhtiari and center Josh Meyers returned to the field in limited action during the Packers final game of the season loss to the Detroit Lions.
Cornerback Jaire Alexander also could play, giving the Packers a nice problem to have when deciding on who to put on the field in the secondary.
Alexander leads a list of players who have returned to practice that includes outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith, who has not played since the season opener because of back surgery; receiver Randall Cobb, who underwent core muscle surgery in late November; and right tackle Billy Turner, who missed the last four games because of a knee injury.
Green Bay can thank a steady group of backups for getting them the No. 1 seed in teh NFC, including Yosh Nijman who filled in admirably for Bakhtiari, and Rasul Douglas, who as a mid-season pickup at defensive back had two clutch game-sealing interceptions this season.
At a news conference earlier in the week, Aaron Rdogers, on the verge of winnig his fourth MVP award, said rest is not only important for the team but for him personally as well.
With his ailing big toe somewhat on the mend, Rogers said he’s looking forward to the bye week.
“I”m going to clean my house, I’m going to get some rest, I’m going to read some books and I’m going to relax,” Rogers said.
The schedule for the Divisional round games will be released after Monday night’s game.