The 1-5 Packers received another dose of bad news Monday. Five-time Pro Bowl running back Ahman Green will miss the rest of the season after rupturing a tendon in his quadriceps.
"It's a significant injury," head coach Mike Sherman said. "This one is significant enough to keep him out the rest of the season."
Green will undergo surgery soon, but Sherman did not know the recovery period. He remained cautiously optimistic that he could return next season.
"My understanding is that he'd be ready to go next year," he said. "But I can't validate that."
Green injured his thigh during Sunday's game when he took a handoff off right tackle and was tackled by Minnesota Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson. Green aggravated the injury, which had forced him to miss the last game.
He finished the day having rushed for 49 yards on 16 carries in the game and for 255 yards on the year.
Without Green and Najeh Davenport (season-ending ankle injury), the Packers will turn to their No. 3 running back Tony Fisher, an adept third-down back, as their starter against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
"He's been a very resilient, reliable back for us," Sherman said. "He's a different type of back and someone we'll have to lean on."
ReShard Lee, signed on Oct. 6, also will see action, and the Packers likely will sign another back.
"We have to find another back to add to the guys that we have," Sherman said. "Our personnel staff is diligently working at that."
Green's work ethic -- he is often the first one in and the last person out of the weight room -- bodes well for his chances of rehabilitating quickly.
"I'm hopeful of that. He's certainly one of those guys like Javon Walker who will embrace that and do everything he can to get back on the field," Sherman said. "This guy's a mentally tough kid, and he'll fight and he'll find a way to get back to 100 percent. I have no doubt in my mind about that."
Green, who has surpassed 1,000 rushing yards five times and has 7,432 yards in his career, joins Davenport, Terrence Murphy (neck) and Walker (knee) on injured reserve.
"You can't replace an Ahman Green at this point in the season. You can't replace a Javon Walker. You have the cards you're dealt, but you have to reshuffle the deck," Sherman said. "Expectations of this team don't change because of injuries."