11

January

Packers News: Cobb, Nelson, Starks probable, Justin Smith ready

Jordy Nelson is probable for Saturday against the 49ers.

Jordy Nelson is probable for Saturday against the 49ers.

The Green Bay Packers have been bitten by the injury bug perhaps more than any NFL team this season. But headed into their divisional round matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers are getting healthier.

Running back James Starks (knee) is set to return to the field for the Packers. Starks hasn’t played since Dec. 2 when he carried the ball 15 times for 66 yards and a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings.

Prior to his injury, Starks had taken over as the team’s feature back. He had carried the ball at least 15 times in three of the team’s previous four games.

But since being forced to sit out, DuJuan Harris has taken over as the starting running back. In the past two weeks, Harris has carried the ball 31 times for 117 yards and a touchdown. He’s only caught seven passes for 70 yards.

Exactly what the Packers plan to do at running back is unknown, but one would expect Harris to get the bulk of the work against the 49ers.

Wide receivers Jordy Nelson (ankle) and Randall Cobb (flu) both practiced in full on Friday. Like Starks, both players are listed as probable and are scheduled to play in San Francisco, giving the Packers their full repertoire of core wide receivers for the second-consecutive week. Greg Jennings and James Jones are also healthy and ready to go.

Fellow wide receiver Jarrett Boykin will not play this week. Boykin suffered an ankle injury in week 17 against the Vikings.

The flu has been making its way around the Packers’ locker room recently. Tramon Williams was sent home with flu-like symptoms in the week leading up to last week’s game, and several players have caught the illness since, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“I know this sickness thing is going around. I think I didn’t get the real bad stuff, that some of the guys have that had to go home, not that I would have been able to go home anyway if I wasn’t feeling; if I was feeling horrendous. … I’m hoping with a couple of good nights of sleep I will be 100 percent.”

On his weekly radio show, Rodgers told Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee he’s not worried about the illness.

13

January

Packers-Giants: Friday Injury Report

Clifton missed Friday's practice but will start at LT Sunday for the Packers.

With the Green Bay Packers’ Divisional Round matchup with the New York Giants just two days away, let’s take a quick look at each team’s official injury situation as of Friday:

Packers: Green Bay will come into this game as healthy as they’ve been all season. Chad Clifton did not participate Friday, but that’s been the typical plan for him—practice Wednesday and Thursday, take Friday off—during healthy weeks. Second-year tackle Marshall Newhouse took his snaps.

WR/KR Randall Cobb was also limited with a groin injury, but coach Mike McCarthy has said multiple times that he fully expects Cobb to play Sunday. At this point, it seems more an issue with soreness than anything, and he’ll have significant time between today and Sunday to rest the groin.

Both Clifton and Cobb are listed as probable, along with the rest of the Packers injury report save linebacker Robert Francois, who is a doubtful with a hamstring. Evan Dietrich-Smith missed Friday due to an illness.

Giants: New York officially ruled out rookie linebacker Mark Herzlich Friday, but the rest of the news on the injury front was optimistic. Both D.J. Ware and Aaron Ross practiced fully after dealing with respective concussions and are expected to play.

Running back Ahmad Bradshaw was back as a full participant after missing the past two days with a foot and back issue. Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee), Corey Webster (hamstring) and Deon Grant (quad) were limited Friday but each is listed as probable.

——————

Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.

——————

14

October

Packers Friday Injury Report: S Burnett Breaks Hand, Plans to Play Sunday

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy informed reporters Friday that safety Morgan Burnett suffered a broken hand in practice on Thursday, but he’s still expected to play Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. Despite missing Friday’s practice, Burnett is listed as probable and could play with a club around the broken hand. Undrafted rookie M.D. Jennings took Burnett’s snaps in practice today.

McCarthy also said that RT Bryan Bulaga (knee) is “prepared to play” and the “team feels good about his availability for Sunday.” If Bulaga does start against the Rams after missing two straight weeks, he’ll likely play at right tackle with Marshall Newhouse staying on the left side. Newhouse shifted to left tackle against the Falcons after Chad Clifton hurt his hamstring, and played well.

Clifton (hamstring) and DE Mike Neal (knee) are both out, but neither was close or practiced. G Josh Sitton was limited with an ankle injury but is listed as probable. G/C Evan Dietrich-Smith (foot) is questionable after being limited in both Thursday and Friday practices.

WR Greg Jennings (groin) was a full go on Friday after limited participation on Thursday. He’s probable for Sunday and almost certainly will play. Both Clay Matthews (quad) and Charles Woodson (foot/ankle) returned to practice after missing Wednesday and Thursday.

LB Frank Zombo (shoulder) was a full participant all week and plans to play Sunday. Zombo has missed the entire 2011 regular season after breaking his scapula against the Cardinals in the preseason.

TE Andrew Quarless (knee) and CB Pat Lee (ankle) are both listed as probable.

——————

Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.

——————