Green Bay Packers look to healthier days on the horizon : Packers Insider

Green Bay Packers look to healthier days on the horizon

November 4, 2010 by  
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Nov 4, 2010 ~ by Pete Dougherty

~The Green Bay Packers have five injured starters they’re not getting back this season.

But with planning and luck, they could be in decent shape for the stretch run of the season coming out of next week’s bye.

Cullen Jenkins and Ryan Pickett both have been playing injured. Pickett has missed most of the past four games with his ankle injury.

The Packers have two important starters (Donald Driver, Ryan Pickett) who might sit out this week against Dallas and thus get two full weeks of rest, plus another (Cullen Jenkins) who’s been playing hurt but probably can get close to full strength over the bye if he can get out of the Dallas game healthy.

Combined with the return of two defensive backs (Al Harris and Atari Bigby) likely to be activated off the physically unable to perform list by Monday, the Packers have a chance to weather their unusually bad injury storm with a 6-3 record, provided they beat Dallas, and a relatively healthy roster for the final seven games.

“We want to get to 6-3, get to the bye and get healthy,” coach Mike McCarthy said.

The Packers have ruled out Driver for this week because of a quadriceps injury that has been getting progressively worse while he’s tried to play through it the past three games. He last missed a game because of injury in 2003, and despite his relatively small frame (6-foot, 194 pounds) has a remarkable history of durability: He’s missed only four of 164 games since becoming a regular in 2000.

“Now that he is going to miss games, that obviously tells you the significance of his injury,” McCarthy said. “Talking to Donald, he thinks he’ll be ready to go for Minnesota (on Nov. 21), so that’s what we’re shooting for.”

Pickett has an ankle injury that sidelined him for most or all of the past four games, including all of last week’s game against the New York Jets. He aggravated it once by trying to come back too early two weeks ago.

Though the Packers want to get Pickett on the field as a key piece of their run defense, they also might feel better about sitting him for another game after the performance by Howard Green, the 360-pound defensive lineman they picked up off waivers last week. Green played about half the snaps against the Jets and was effective taking up blockers and space in the middle of the line.

Pickett didn’t do much during the media portion of practice Wednesday and was listed as a limited participant, so McCarthy is keeping open the possibility of playing him Sunday. But even if McCarthy won’t say it because he has a game to win this week, he at least has to consider the long-term benefits of giving Pickett another week off.

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