The Packers had five players make their first NFL start in Week 1 against Philadelphia, and third-year offensive lineman Junius Coston will become the sixth of this season on Sunday.
Coston is scheduled to replace right guard Jason Spitz, who is questionable with a strained calf injury that has bugged him off and on for several weeks.
Coston has been a "super sub" of sorts, taking snaps at every position except center on the offensive line in training camp. That versatility helped him prove his value to the team, but it has made it difficult for Coston to refine his blocking techniques, because they vary somewhat at different positions.
"I take my hat off to the people that can move around like that and stay sound in what they do technique-wise," Coston said.
Still, Coston has proven his capabilities, and getting to spend a full week concentrating on one position was helpful, according to Head Coach Mike McCarthy.
Whether or not Coston becomes a long-term starter on the offensive line is probably up to him and how he performs on Sunday. Last year, as a rookie, Daryn Colledge lost his starting job at left guard in training camp but was back in as a starter in Week 2 due to an injury to Spitz, who then moved to right guard when he was healthy again. Colledge has started every game since.
"I'm sure it's possible," Coston said of Sunday being more than a one-game assignment. "They wouldn't put me out there right now if they didn't think it was possible for me to start in the future."
WR group in flux
With wide receivers Greg Jennings (hamstring) and Carlyle Holiday (knee) both missing practice on Friday and being listed as questionable for Sunday's game, it's possible the Packers will go into New York with just three healthy receivers in Donald Driver, James Jones and Ruvell Martin.
If so, Martin could be a player to keep an eye on. In last year's season finale, when Jennings missed the game due to the birth of a child, Martin posted a career-best seven catches for 118 yards in Chicago.
He says the group is up for the challenge, much like it was last week with Jennings out. Martin said Holiday only played a handful of snaps against the Eagles, so the offense went with three wideouts most of the day anyway.
"As long as those three stay healthy, I don't think it would change too much," Martin said. "But it's nice to have extra guys out there, and we'll see how it goes. I don't even know if it's only going to be three, I have no idea what's going to happen. But if that's the case, that's what we'll have to work with."
McCarthy said one option might be to sign Chris Francies or rookie David Clowney from the practice squad to give the team a fourth receiver if Holiday and Jennings are both out, but he was going to wait and see how both injured players feel on Saturday.
The good news is that tight end Donald Lee (knee) is probable, and Lee told reporters in the locker room he won't miss the game. But with only two tight ends and possibly three healthy receivers, conditioning will be at a premium.
"It just means we have a lot of work to do," Jones said. "Better rest your legs and get ready to go, because it's going to be a long day."
Manning practices on a limited basis
Friday's injury report said Giants quarterback Eli Manning was a limited participant in practice, the first time he has practiced all week. He is listed as questionable.
If Manning can't play, the Giants would go with lefty Jared Lorenzen at quarterback, but all week the Packers have been saying they don't feel New York's game plan will be much different, no matter who the quarterback is.
"Obviously the ccheme has been based around Eli," said cornerback Frank Walker, a former Giant. "But we don't feel like a team will change what they put together for weeks and weeks in mini-camps and summer camps, just for a change at quarterback."
More on injuries
For the Packers, safety Nick Collins and running back Ryan Grant (knee) were removed from the injury report. Collins missed practice on Wednesday for personal reasons.
Cornerback Al Harris (elbow) and defensive end Aaron Kampman (rib/side) are listed as probable, while running back Vernand Morency (knee) is questionable, safety Aaron Rouse (hamstring) is doubtful, and offensive tackle Tony Moll (neck/stinger) and defensive end Michael Montgomery (knee) are out.
Among the players on the Giants' injury list, two starters are listed as probable. Defensive end Osi Umenyiora (knee) and safety Gibril Wilson (quad) both were full participants in practice on Friday and are expected to play.
Several NFL teams have selected season-long team captains for the 2007 season, and those players are wearing a special "C" on their jerseys, similar to hockey captains.
This season, the Packers are maintaining a long-standing tradition of appointing weekly captains. The Packers select one player on offense, one on defense and one on special teams to serve as the team's three captains for a given game, and those three players take the field for the opening coin toss.
This week, the captains will be center Scott Wells on offense, Kampman on defense, and Jarrett Bush on special teams.
Baltimore, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Philadelphia and Washington are among the teams also appointing weekly captains.