It's hard to imagine anyone on the Packers with worse luck than cornerback and return man Will Blackmon.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy told reporters on Thursday that Blackmon broke his right foot in the final team drill during Wednesday's practice. It's the same foot Blackmon, a fourth-round draft choice out of Boston College in 2006, broke last year in May during the final mini-camp practice.
McCarthy didn't say how long Blackmon would be out. Team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie is conducting some tests on the foot to gauge the severity of the injury.
"It was very unfortunate," McCarthy said. "I feel terrible for Will. Will was coming on strong."
Blackmon had essentially won the job this season as the team's No. 1 kickoff and punt returner in the second preseason game against Seattle, running back a kickoff 83 yards to set up a touchdown and taking a punt back 16 yards. He was also competing in a crowded defensive backfield for the nickel cornerback, or No. 3, spot.
But Blackmon sustained a Bennett's fracture of his thumb, and the cast he's been required to wear since then has prevented him from assuming any return duties in the regular season.
He has been playing on defense and special teams with the cast, and was pushing Jarrett Bush for the No. 3 cornerback spot the past couple of weeks. He nearly had an interception last week at Minnesota, and likely would have increased his chances of catching it had he not been wearing the cast for his thumb.
"We all saw what he did as a returner, and we felt that he and Jarrett Bush were right there neck-and-neck as the No. 3 corner," McCarthy said. "It's a shame, because he was contributing on special teams and was really making a move."
This marks the second time in his two seasons in the NFL that Blackmon will miss significant time due to injuries. When he broke his foot in May 2006, he missed all of training camp and couldn't return to practice until Sept. 4, one week before the season opener.
A setback in his rehab followed by a rib injury allowed him to be active for only four of the first 11 games last season, and then he was placed on injured reserve Nov. 25.
Whether or not this foot injury ends his season hasn't been determined.
For now, Bush will hold onto the No. 3 job while Frank Walker and rookie Tramon Williams will battle for the No. 4 cornerback spot.
"Both of those guys have been working there," McCarthy said.
In other injury news, defensive tackle Colin Cole sustained a slight concussion in Wednesday's practice and was held out of Thursday's practice for what McCarthy termed light-sensitivity. If his availability is in question for Sunday's game, it could open the door for rookies Justin Harrell and Daniel Muir to get some action. Both have been inactive for the season's first four games.
"We keep it very competitive, and those guys have all been sharing reps throughout the last couple weeks," McCarthy said. "So we'll be fine there."
Running back Vernand Morency is still battling some soreness in his knee, but McCarthy re-iterated that his workload could increase on Sunday. Meanwhile running back Brandon Jackson is still battling a shin injury and "not making the progress I think he'd like to make," McCarthy said, terming him doubtful for Sunday's game.
McCarthy also said that, other than Blackmon's situation, the defensive backfield is getting healthier. Cornerbacks Al Harris (back) and Charles Woodson (foot) are both doing better, while safety Nick Collins (knee) is limited in practice but still has a good chance of playing on Sunday.