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Josh Sitton questionable; Packers offensive line has options

Posted Dec 14, 2012

T.J. Lang returning from injury, but Sitton's status could determine lineup for Sunday's game against Bears at Soldier Field

GREEN BAY—Another new injury has cropped up for the Green Bay Packers, though this latest one might not be a big deal.

Right guard Josh Sitton sat out Friday’s practice with a hip problem that flared up on him after Thursday’s practice, and he’s listed as questionable on the injury report for Sunday’s game in Chicago.

Neither Head Coach Mike McCarthy nor Sitton himself sounded overly concerned about the injury, but there remained some uncertainty about it.

“I don’t have all the information,” McCarthy said following practice on Friday. “I’m hopeful he’ll be ready to go.

“It wouldn’t be a normal week if something didn’t pop up.”

When asked if he’d be good to go on Sunday, Sitton was non-committal but optimistic.

“We’ll see. I don’t know,” he said. “Should be good. I want to be on the field. Should be.”

If Sitton isn’t able to play, the question of whether to start T.J. Lang at left guard or right tackle will be answered for the Packers. Lang, coming back from an ankle injury this week, would definitely play left guard, with Evan Dietrich-Smith taking Sitton’s place at right guard.

If Sitton does play, the Packers have options. Lang could stay at left guard, giving rookie right tackle Don Barclay his second start, or Lang could play right tackle and Dietrich-Smith could play left guard, the alignment the Packers employed prior to Lang’s injury.

In the portions of practice open to reporters this week, Lang took most of his snaps at left guard.

“T.J. is ready to go in a couple different places. He feels good,” McCarthy said. “Evan is obviously ready for all three positions inside. We’ll see how Josh is tomorrow.

“We’ll let this work out and solve that tomorrow.”

In addition to Lang, the Packers also expect to get defensive end Mike Neal (shoulder) and outside linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) back from injuries. Both are listed as probable.

“I thought he looked good all week,” McCarthy said of Matthews. “I’ve had no indication from him that he wouldn’t be (ready). I look for Clay to play and make an impact in the game.”

Matthews’ snaps might be limited in his first game back, McCarthy said, after having missed four straight games.

“I think it would be smart to watch his reps,” McCarthy said. “It’s something that we’ve talked about with him personally and a number of guys coming back. This is an important game, but there’s more left to be played after this game.”

That’s the perspective being applied to defensive back Charles Woodson’s case, too. Woodson, who is recovering from a broken collarbone, will miss his seventh straight game on Sunday despite practicing all but one day in the last two weeks.

McCarthy reiterated that the medical staff doesn’t feel Woodson’s collarbone is ready for full contact yet, a cautiousness the head coach said his frustrated defensive leader might appreciate “probably 20 years from now.”

“I don’t think any of us would be doing our jobs if he went out there this week and something happened,” McCarthy said.

Additional coverage - Dec. 14

 
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