GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers will have to wait another week – which, when you think about it, just might’ve been their plan all along – before getting back three of their biggest name players.
Whether or not they’ll have veteran offensive lineman T.J. Lang on Sunday night against Detroit, well, that’s anybody’s guess.
Here’s a look at Friday’s full, official injury report:
Packers coach Mike McCarthy made Friday’s practice a jogthrough because of all the injuries on his team, and while Lang participated, he wasn’t expected to do so and didn’t do a ton of work.
“He looked OK. He’s questionable,” McCarthy said. “I wasn’t expecting him to practice. I don’t have a feeling one way or the other. He did very little today.”
McCarthy said Lang and Neal will be given “every chance to play in the game.” He also said the Packers prepared all week for undrafted rookie Don Barclay to start at right tackle, which could mean that Lang, if he convinces the medical and coaching staffs to let him play, may be headed back to left guard.
Neal’s shoulder injury, which earlier in the week was feared to be major, turned out not to be, although he still may not play.
“The news was good news, based on what your fear. But he’s not doing very well today as far as testing,” McCarthy said.
“Right now, we’re hoping we have 46 here in the next 48 hours. So that’s where our focus is.”
If Neal and Lang both can’t play, the Packers will have to decide whether to add an offensive or defensive lineman to the 53-man roster as insurance. The Packers have offensive tackle Andrew Datko, guard Joe Gibbs and defensive tackle Jordan Miller on the practice squad.
“If you look at the roster – something that I don’t like to do but sometimes you do – last week we were 20 defensive players and 23 on offense (active),” McCarthy said. “so you don’t want to make a regular habit of that. So that’s something we do look at, and that’ll factor into the decision if we have to make that move tomorrow.”
As for Matthews, Nelson and Woodson, Nelson wouldn’t address his hamstring injury, Woodson appears a pretty sure bet to face the Bears and McCarthy wasn’t very illuminating on Matthews.
“I’ve told you he’s been close every week. Closer? Closest? We’re getting close,” McCarthy said. “He feels good about it. But I think it’s very important for Clay, no different with Charles, that when we do bring those guys back it’s not potentially just a one-week situation. So we’re trying to do everything we can medically, and ultimately you’re talking about veteran players that know their bodies better than anybody. So we’re conscious of the long term here.”
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There are no games scheduled for today.