GREEN BAY – While ruling wide receiver Greg Jennings out – meaning the Green Bay Packers two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver will miss his third game this season and second in a row – coach Mike McCarthy is sticking with his plan to take his decisions on defensive tackle B.J. Raji and tight end Jermichael Finley right up to game time Sunday night in Houston.
Here’s a look at the official injury report from Friday:
Jennings, who has been bothered by the groin injury since it happened Sept. 9 in the regular-season opener, sounded like he expected to sit out when he spoke with reporters on Thursday. On Friday, McCarthy said Jennings has made progress but the medical staff does not want to make the same mistake again and push him too quickly. Jennings returned from the injury to play at Seattle on Sept. 24 but then aggravated it Sept. 30 against New Orleans.
“We feel he’s probably at the spot where he was before he played against the Saints. So we’re going to go probably another six days before we even attempt to test him,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy said Finley, who suffered a slight dislocation in the A/C joint of his right shoulder against Indianapolis, and Williams, who tweaked his hamstring at the end of practice Wednesday, each took an equal number of 11-on-11 reps in practice after passing the rehabilitation tests earlier.
“We got them as many reps as we possibly could. We’ll see how both those guys are in the morning,” McCarthy said. Asked if Finley tested his shoulder with contact, McCarthy replied, “We did some sled work. That’s part of our plan to get the players on the field and make sure they’re ready. Obviously, we were in shells today so we weren’t able to do any padded work. We’ve done the best we can as far as the physical part. Now it’s just about seeing how they are in the morning. Possibly, we’ll work both those guys out before the game.”
The news wasn’t as encouraging on Raji, who didn’t make it out of rehab work to practice. But that doesn’t mean Raji won’t be able to gain clearance to play before the inactive list is due 90 minutes before kickoff Sunday night. Given the challenge that Foster presents – he has carried 132 times for 532 yards (4.0 yards per carry, 106.4 yards per game) and five touchdowns this season – the Packers defense needs Raji in the line rotation.
“We had to prepare all week to go without B.J. That’s the way you have to approach it from a coaching perspective,” McCarthy said. “But B.J.’s definitely at the point of his career, if he’s ready to go then we’ll give him the opportunity to do that.”
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