GREEN BAY, Wis. — Washington's Taylor Heinicke grew up watching Green Bay Packers games on television and idolizing Brett Favre, their Hall of Fame quarterback.

Now the 28-year-old quarterback is about to match up with Favre's successor as Washington tries to cool off reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers and snap the Packers' five-game winning streak.

"Brett Favre is the reason I started loving football," Heinicke said. "I had so many of his jerseys. I remember watching the Packers game every Sunday with my dad, and during halftime, I would go out in the backyard and pretend like I was him and come back, watch second half. It's a really cool deal."

Heinicke has been to Lambeau Field as an opposing player before during his years with the Minnesota Vikings. The difference this time is he will be in uniform rather than in street clothes.

"To actually be on the field competing, it's going to be a dream come true," Heinicke said.

The records of both teams suggest Heinicke could be in for a rude awakening.

Green Bay (5-1) hasn't lost since falling to the New Orleans Saints on the season's opening week. Washington (2-4) is trying to avoid a third consecutive defeat.

The way Green Bay's schedule is constructed, this shapes up as a potential trap game for the Packers.

Green Bay is coming off consecutive road wins at Cincinnati and Chicago. The Packers visit the unbeaten Arizona Cardinals just four nights after the Washington game. They follow that up by traveling to Kansas City.

With two demanding road tests on the horizon, Green Bay could be tempted to look past Sunday's game. The Packers want to make sure that doesn't happen.

"I know what's after this game," Rodgers said. "A short week against an undefeated opponent. A long week against the Kansas City Chiefs, defending representative in the Super Bowl from the AFC. So we know what's in front of us. Personally, I don't ever look past anybody, but you know what's on the schedule. That's just kind of normal. Anybody who doesn't say that is probably just doing cliché talk."


Since throwing two interceptions and no touchdowns in the Packers' season-opening loss, Rodgers has returned to his usual form. The three-time MVP has 12 touchdown passes and only one interception during the Packers' winning streak.

Rodgers is benefiting from Davante Adams' continued rise. Adams has followed up his 2020 All-Pro season by leading the NFL in yards receiving (668) and sharing the NFL lead in catches (46).NEW WASHINGTON KICKER

Washington released kicker Dustin Hopkins and signed Chris Blewitt, a 26-year-old who will be making his NFL regular-season debut Sunday.

Hopkins, who was in his seventh season with Washington, missed a 42-yard field goal in a 31-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend. He was 12 of 14 on field-goal attempts this season but had missed two extra points in an Oct. 3 victory at Atlanta."(We) really appreciate everything Dustin has done for us," Washington coach Ron Rivera said. "He's a solid football player. He'll get an opportunity to play again. I just felt at this time it was something that I felt we had to do going forward. This was my move, my decision, and I'll live with it."


Washington running back Antonio Gibson (shin) and wide receiver Terry McLaurin (hamstring) didn't practice Wednesday, putting their availability for Sunday's game in question.

Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari is practicing with the Packers again after opening the season on the physically unable to perform list, which meant he couldn't play in the first six games. The Packers aren't saying yet just when Bakhtiari will return as he comes back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Green Bay outside linebacker Preston Smith, who played for Washington from 2015-18, injured his oblique in a 24-14 victory at Chicago last weekend. His status for Sunday's game is uncertain.


With many of his teammates on defense out with injuries, Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark has stepped forward lately. Clark recorded two sacks against the Bears and already has exceeded his 2020 season totals in sacks and tackles for loss.

Washington's Chase Young has 1½ sacks over his last two games after getting none in his first four.


Washington's J.D. McKissic had a career-high 110 yards from scrimmage in the Chiefs game, as he caught eight passes for 65 yards and had eight carries for 45 yards. He could get even more opportunities Sunday if Gibson is unavailable.


Sunday, 12 p.m., CDT, Fox

OPENING LINE: Packers by 8 1/2, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Washington 1-5; Packers 5-1.

SERIES RECORD: Packers lead 21-16-1.

LAST MEETING: Packers beat Washington 20-15 in Green Bay on Dec. 8, 2019.

LAST WEEK: Washington lost 31-13 at home to Chiefs; Packers beat Bears 24-14 in Chicago.





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Washington minus-2; Packers plus-4.

WASHINGTON PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Taylor Heinicke grew up idolizing Brett Favre, so playing at Lambeau Field means something to him. Heinicke has nine touchdowns and six interceptions since replacing injured starter Ryan Fitzpatrick in the season opener, and the coaching staff needs him to be more precise throwing the ball.

PACKERS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Aaron Rodgers has thrown 12 touchdown passes with only one interception during the Packers’ five-game winning streak. The reigning MVP also has run for a touchdown in two of Green Bay’s last three games.

KEY MATCHUP: Packers offensive line vs. Washington defensive line. Washington’s starting defensive line features four former first-round draft picks in Chase Young, Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen and Montez Sweat. But even with those guys up front, Washington ranks just 20th in the NFL in sacks per game and is last in the league in scoring defense and pass defense. Washington must put pressure on Rodgers to have any shot at pulling the upset.

KEY INJURIES: Washington RB Antonio Gibson (shin) and WR Terry McLaurin (hamstring) didn't practice Wednesday, putting their availability for Sunday's game in question. Other Washington players who didn't practice included offensive tackle Sam Cosmi (ankle), wide receiver Curtis Samuel (groin), guard Brandon Scherff (knee), tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (quadriceps) and wide receiver Cam Sims (hamstring). ... Green Bay OT David Bakhtiari is practicing again after missing the first six games of the season to recover from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but the Packers aren’t saying when he will make his 2021 debut. … Packers C Josh Myers (knee) isn’t expected to play. … Packers OLB Preston Smith is dealing with an oblique injury. …Packers S Darnell Savage is in concussion protocol. … Packers OLB Za’Darius Smith (back) and CB Jaire Alexander (shoulder) are on injured reserve.

SERIES NOTES: The Packers have won their last five home matchups with Washington. The last time Washington won at Lambeau Field was in 1988. … Washington has won two of the last three overall meetings in this series. Green Bay lost 42-24 in 2016 and 31-17 in 2018 at Washington before wining 20-15 at Lambeau Field in 2019. … The Packers won 35-18 at Washington in an NFC wild-card game on Jan. 10, 2016.

STATS AND STUFF: Washington has lost two in a row. ... Heinicke was 24 of 39 for 172 yards, a TD and an INT against Kansas City. ... Counting the wild-card round of the playoffs last season, Heinicke will be making his seventh career NFL start. ... RB J.D. McKissic would get the bulk of the work if Gibson cannot play. Rookie Jaret Patterson is next on the depth chart. ... McLaurin has at least four catches in each of the first six games this season. ... Seals-Jones has nine catches for 99 yards and a TD since taking over for injured starter Logan Thomas. ... Young had 1 1/2 sacks over his past two games after getting none in his first four. ... LB Cole Holcomb had 10 tackles and a forced fumble against the Chiefs. ... CB Kendall Fuller and S Bobby McCain intercepted KC QB Patrick Mahomes last week. ... Washington cut longtime K Dustin Hopkins after his second missed field-goal attempt of the season and replaced him with 26-year-old Chris Blewitt, who has never kicked in an NFL game. … This is the Packers’ lone home contest in a five-game stretch. They won at Cincinnati and at Chicago the last two weeks. They follow this game with consecutive trips to Arizona and Kansas City. … This is the third straight year that the Packers have won five of their first six games. … Packers WR Davante Adams leads the NFL with 668 yards receiving. His 46 catches put him in a tie for first place with Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams and Tyreek Hill of Kansas City. … Green Bay is 15-2 in regular-season home games during Matt LaFleur’s three-year coaching tenure. … Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy played for Washington from 1977-84 and was a co-captain from 1980-84. … LaFleur was Washington’s quarterbacks coach from 2010-13. … Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry had the same job with Washington from 2015-16.

FANTASY TIP: McKissic is worth picking up if he's still on your league's waiver wire. He should have the ball in his hands quite often if Gibson is unavailable.