GREEN BAY – And the hits just keep on comin’ for Mike McCarthy and the Green Bay Packers.
While safety Charles Woodson and cornerback Sam Shields were both practicing Wednesday and could possibly play Sunday night against Detroit, there was more bad news than good. McCarthy said running back James Starks will miss “multiple weeks” with a knee injury, and the coach also sounded a troubling chord on defensive end Mike Neal, whose shoulder injury was still being evaluated.
And to top it off, veteran center Jeff Saturday found his way onto the injury list with a foot injury.
Here’s the full, official injury report from Wednesday:
The Packers signed veteran Ryan Grant to replace Starks, although the corresponding roster move to get Grant on the 53 was placing Johnny White on injured reserve.
“James Starks, it will definitely be multiple weeks. He won’t be ready this week,” McCarthy said. “He just thought he had a bruise. They wanted to check it. They didn’t like what they saw. James thought he was fine to play. Then they did some more tests and did not like what they saw. It will definitely be a multiple-week injury.”
Neal, who like Starks has a long injury history, hurt his shoulder against the Vikings. It’s unclear whether it’s the same shoulder that ended his rookie season in 2010, but it didn’t sound good.
“The circumstances around his injury, we probably won’t be able to get the information we need until tomorrow,” McCarthy said. “I don’t feel really good about what the medical staff told me today about Mike, but we’ll be able to get more information tomorrow."
McCarthy said Nelson and Matthews’ hamstring injuries were “getting better,” but “I don’t know if they’ll be ready this week.”
Woodson returned to practice for the first time since breaking his collarbone at St. Louis on Oct. 21. Shields, who had been practicing before suffering a setback recently, could play for the first time since suffering his ankle injury Oct. 14 at Houston.
“It was great to have Charles out there. He’s getting close,” McCarthy said, not dismissing the idea that Woodson could practice in pads Thursday. “He was able to do the competitive drill and worked throughout the team. It’s a good start. We’ll obviously evaluate him as we go through the week.”
McCarthy said Saturday was just “sore” and didn’t sound worried about his availability for Sunday.
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There are no games scheduled for today.