Testing out a new protective cast that covers his broken left thumb and much of his wrist and forearm, fullback Nick Luchey returned to the practice field Friday still clinging to the hope that he can be in the lineup Monday night against the Chicago Bears.
"It's sore, but for the most part it's a lot better than what I expected," said Luchey, who broke the thumb at practice Wednesday when a tipped pass deflected awkwardly into his hand.
"If I have to play through pain, it wouldn't really be a problem. We're just worried about those bones moving that's been shattered."
As things are now, Luchey believes he can avoid surgery and let the hand heal naturally. If further damage were done to his thumb however, metal pins would have to be surgically inserted for stability, sidelining him for a matter of weeks.
Because the cast covers so much of Luchey's hand, doing anything beyond blocking could prove problematic for the 6-foot-2, 270-pounder. However, the Packers don't call many runs with their fullback and Luchey did have moderate success trying to catch passes Friday.
"As long as it's within my chest and down I can trap the ball and catch it with my body," Luchey said. "If it's over my shoulder then it might be tough."
After impressing during the preseason, Luchey missed both the Detroit and Arizona games with a strained calf.
He said he's overcome that injury and is eager to get back out on the field.
Listed as questionable on the injury report, Luchey believes his status will be determined on game day, but said his performance Wednesday offered "a big ray of hope."
Robert Ferguson, who has played injured the past two games, sat out of Friday's practice to rest his sprained knee.
Earlier in the week GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman suggested that he'd consider resting Ferguson at Chicago if the short-term sacrifice would yield better long-term results. However, Ferguson is still listed as probable on the injury report.
"If I feel like I can go, I'm going to (play)," Ferguson said. "As long as I'm not hurting the team ... then I'll play."
Despite battling through ankle and knee injuries this season, Ferguson is leading the Packers' receiving corps with 12 catches for 116 yards and one touchdown.
Defensive linemen Cletidus Hunt (knee) and Aaron Kampman (ankle) also were held out of practice Friday. Both remain probable.
Struggling to avoid injury this season, maybe all Luchey needs is a little love from his mom.
This week, Luchey's mother, Beverly Joyner, was one of 13 NFL moms honored by Campbell's Chunky Soup with a 'Most Valuable Mom' award.
Joyner won the award thanks to her son, who wrote a two-page nomination letter during training camp.
"I lost my father at a young age to cancer and she raised me and my brother and my sister by herself," Luchey said. "I just can't say enough about her. I love her to death and it was just a pleasure."
Along with the other 'MVMs' Joyner was honored in a special ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
"She's the most famous in the family right now," Luchey said. "I'm going to try and get an autograph."