GREEN BAY – Here comes the cavalry – except without Charles Woodson.
The injury-plagued Green Bay Packers could get a host of their players back this week for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Minnesota Vikings, including wide receiver Jordy Nelson, run-stuffing defensive end C.J. Wilson and running back Alex Green.
“I hope so. That’s what you want,” Nelson said of possibly getting so many players back. “Continuing to win games I think has allowed guys to take more time than what maybe was first thought, but it’s great to see guys step up – especially these young guys when they got the opportunity to make plays. It’s only made our team better. It gives our coaches on offense and defense more opportunities with different guys. Hopefully everyone’s ready to go come playoff time. We have to take care of business this week to make sure we have some more time.”
Here’s a look at the full, official injury report from Wednesday:
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Sunday could be the first time in a while that he’ll have to deactivate healthy players on game day. Woodson was ruled out after it appeared he might play for the first time since breaking his collarbone Oct. 21 at St. Louis.
“(The decision is) clearly based on the doctor’s recommendation. So we had all kind of targeted the Minnesota game, was hopeful this was going to be the game,” McCarthy said. “I think it’s going to be the fourth week he’s been going through practice. I know that he’s disappointed. This is a game that he really would like to play in. But this is clearly based on Dr. (Pat) McKenzie’s recommendation.”
McCarthy said Nelson, who hasn’t played since reinjuring his hamstring against Minnesota on Dec. 2, “looked good” in practice, running routes both in drills and in 11-on-11 work. Asked if he thought Nelson could reintegrate himself into the offense after missing the past three games, McCarthy replied, “You hope so. I don’t think anybody just goes back seamlessly. That’s why there’s always a difference between the real game and the practice environment. So it’s always an adjustment to come back in. I think it’s important for us to be smart with Jordy and I look for him to make the transition as smooth as possible.”
McCarthy said he was “hopeful” that Sitton would be cleared Thursday, while Thursday would be “a big day” for Wilson, who hasn’t played since Nov. 25 against the New York Giants. McCarthy will use his final allotted regular-season in-pads practice on Thursday.
Crosby showed “flu-like symptoms,” McCarthy said, joining a long list of players who’ve battled illness of late.
“Anytime one of our players has those symptoms we send them home because of the fact we try not to get the rest of the team sick,” McCarthy said. “So we’ve had a number of those guys the last couple of weeks. It’s that time of year and Mason has it.”
While McCarthy said he wasn’t worried about Dietrich-Smith’s knee injury, Cobb is less likely to play after injuring both his ankle and his knee against Tennessee last Sunday.
“The plan for Randall is he’ll be limited today, he’ll be limited again tomorrow and then he’s going to go through a test on Friday,” McCarthy said. “And then how he feels Saturday will determine his availability.”
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There are no games scheduled for today.