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Injury Questions Face Both Sides Of The Ball


Following the Packers' three-touchdown win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman had a list of big-name players on his injury report.

A day later, Sherman delivered an update on the status of the injuries, and announced another ding or two.

Mentioned first on the list both Sunday and Monday was quarterback Brett Favre, who injured his throwing hand when he hit it on a Dallas player's helmet on a second quarter pass to William Henderson Sunday afternoon.

As was stated after the game, Favre sprained his right hand, but Sherman said that he believes the signal-caller's record-setting consecutive games streak is not in jeopardy. Favre will most likely be listed as probable when the team submits its first mandatory injury report of the week Wednesday to the league.

Also appearing on the medical staff's list were two of the four starting members of the secondary.

Sherman said that an MRI taken Monday confirmed that safety Darren Sharper had indeed sprained his PCL and that a knee brace was on the way for the veteran defensive back. The coach said that Sharper was walking around well, but did not want to speculate on his availability for Sunday's game at Washington.

Added to the injury list Monday was cornerback Al Harris. Like his backfield-mate Sharper, Harris incurred a sprained knee in the contest with the Cowboys. The cornerback's sprain was of his MCL, and will probably keep him off of the practice field for at least part of this week.

"He doesn't know when it happened," Sherman said of Harris' injury. "We're going to keep an eye on that. He more than likely will not practice a whole lot this week as we work through those issues."

It's clear that if Sharper is unable to go Sunday, he will be replaced in the lineup by Bhawoh Jue, who took over his safety spot and made seven tackles after Sharper left the Cowboys contest in the first quarter.

What is less definite is who would fill the right cornerback position if Harris is unable to play. Sherman said Monday that either Joey Thomas or Jason Horton, both first-year players, would most likely line up opposite Ahmad Carroll.

Michael Hawthorne, who started the first five games of the season at left cornerback before being unseated by the first-rounder Carroll, has been shifted on the depth chart to free safety, but could still be an option at corner, according to Sherman.

"We started the season with a rookie corner and wanted to bring him along, and Hawthorne allowed us to do that," Sherman said. "But I think we all believe - as does he - that the safety position is a good position for him. He does have the versatility because of his work at cornerback to be able to play both."

Rounding out the injury report, right guard Marco Rivera was still feeling the effects of the sprained ankle that forced him from Sunday's game late in the third quarter. The nine-year veteran was on crutches Monday, but it is hoped that the notoriously quick-healing lineman will be able to make his 91st consecutive start this week against the Redskins.

"(The crutches are) to keep the weight off of his ankle, but he had a significant ankle sprain that he couldn't finish the ballgame," said Sherman. Marco has always come back from injury pretty quickly - as has Al Harris - so hopefully that will be the case here."

None of the players listed have been ruled out of the upcoming contest, and they will all work hard to be in the lineup Sunday. Sherman said that regardless of the fact that the Packers will reach their bye week after the Washington game, he will not risk putting anyone who is less than healthy on the field, even with a two-week layoff coming up.

"I'm not going to play anybody whether we have a bye or not have a bye if it's going to hurt our season or their season," the coach said. "We have a big football game coming up here against the Redskins and everybody that can play will play. Those that can't won't and they'll hopefully be back after the bye."

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