Having already lost their top two running backs, Ahman Green (quadriceps tendon) and Najeh Davenport (ankle) for the season, the Green Bay Packers have prepared in case running back Tony Fisher cannot play on Sunday.
"This is the NFL. That's what happens. It's a contact sport," running back ReShard Lee said. "That's why you always have to have good backups."
Because of a rib contusion near the top of his back, running back Tony Fisher missed practice on Friday, and the Packers have listed him as questionable for Sunday's game.
Fisher does not know how he suffered the injury or its extent. The X-rays showed nothing wrong, and he has not received the results from his MRI exam. Fisher remains baffled.
"I have no answers," he said. "I don't know what's going on just yet. I'm just gonna wait and see what the doc says. Hopefully it's not really too serious."
As he sat at his locker on Friday, Fisher said he felt better because of daily deep-tissue massages.
Fisher experienced some soreness after Sunday's game but said the sensation seemed like the normal aches and pains following a game. The starting running back against the Cincinnati Bengals, Fisher rushed 17 times for 51 yards and caught two passes for seven yards.
Although he does not want to risk puncturing a lung, Fisher, who has 31 rushes for 71 yards and a touchdown on the season, vowed to do everything he can to play.
"My gut feeling is that I'm playing," he said. "I expect to be out there."
If Fisher cannot go, Head Coach Mike Sherman said he will start Lee, who the Packers signed on Oct. 6. Lee has never started a game but has proved very effective on special teams, averaging 23 yards on kickoff returns. He has eight carries for 11 yards on the season.
Lee would welcome the opportunity to start.
"It'd be huge for anybody," he said. "If you're a competitor, that's what you shoot for."
Lee has studied the playbook diligently. But, while expressing confidence in him, Sherman said the Packers may have to scale back their offense because Lee is so new to the team.
"It does limit you a little bit," he said.
Running back Walt Williams, who the Packers released after training camp and re-signed on Oct. 25, could see more action as third-down back. He did not receive any offensive work during his first game action of the season on Sunday but has spent the week of practice concentrating on learning the pass protection schemes.
"Walt Williams will be able to step in," Sherman said. "We've schooled him up in that area specifically. So he'd be a guy we could feel comfortable with on third down."
Having suffered injuries to several key players, the Packers have become used to filling in with other players and rolling with the punches.
"These things are out of our control. And you can't worry about things you can't control," Sherman said. "You have to move forward."