Linebacker A.J. Hawk practiced for the second straight day Friday, and although the decision of whether he plays Monday night against the Vikings will not be his to make, he remains optimistic about his chances to be on the field.
Hawk, who sustained a chest injury in the first quarter of the preseason opener against the Bengals, reiterated on Friday that his fate for the season opener will ultimately be determined by team physician, Pat McKenzie. He is listed as questionable for the game on the team's injury report and said Friday he has not been cleared to play yet.
For a player who has played all 32 games during his first two seasons and never missed a game during his four years at Ohio State, the last few weeks have been challenging for Hawk.
"Obviously it's tough," Hawk said. "I've never been off the field like that for that long of a period before. It's good to at least get back to practice. It feels good to be out there and almost be part of the team again.
"I think with how everything is going and how I feel and how the doctor is going, I trust him and I've been listening to him, doing everything he said and seeing when he is going to let me go."
Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday that Hawk "was flying around at practice" and looked like his normal self. If he is unable to play Monday night, offseason free agent acquisition Brandon Chillar will get the starting nod at the 'Will' linebacker position in Hawk's place.
Hawk said there is the possibility of re-aggravating the injury if he returns to action too soon, a risk the team will have to factor in.
"There always is (a chance of that) I guess, and that's why it's still up in the air a little bit with the doctor," Hawk said. "We're still meeting with him up until the game, and that's why I have been out this long I guess."
Despite his frustration with being sidelined for three preseason games and now potentially the first regular-season game of his career, Hawk said he has a lot of respect for how his injury has been handled by the team's medical staff, General Manager Ted Thompson and the coaches.
"They have really listened to me and how I feel and how rehab is going and really been watching me," Hawk said. "So I appreciate that out of them, and now we're just going to see where it goes and hopefully things keep progressing like they have been the last couple of weeks."
Book signing Sunday
Jerry Parins, Packers senior security advisor, will sign copies of his new book, Bodyguard to the Packers: Beat Cops, Brett Favre, and Beating Cancer, at the Packers Pro Shop Sunday, Sept. 7, from 2 to 4 p.m.
The book chronicles Parins' career from his time as a policeman in Green Bay, through his years as director of security for the Green Bay Packers. Diagnosed with colon cancer, Parins endured chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, and encourages his readers to overcome their fears of life-saving medical screenings.
Published by Titletown Publishing, the 272-page book is available for purchase at the Packers Pro Shop for $24.95. To purchase the book online, click here.
Monday night's television broadcast by ESPN will feature an innovative graphic enhancement, ESPN Axis, for the first time ever in an NFL game. The technology was introduced to viewers during the UEFA European Football Championship this summer.
ESPN Axis creates "virtual" replays as the images fed from the game cameras are processed via computers to create virtual freeze-frames from multiple angles. The angles of view may be tilted upwards by 90 degrees -- from field level to direct overhead shots -- creating three-dimensional, birds-eye views of key plays from multiple vantage points.
ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski will use graphic telestrations to highlight the locations and movements of players on the field, and can also highlight players and graphically move them on the screen to demonstrate how a play developed, or even how it hypothetically could have gone if a player or players had reacted differently.
For the Packers, guard Josh Sitton (knee) is listed as out for Monday night's game, and wide receiver James Jones (knee) is doubtful.
Joining Hawk as questionable for the game are safety Charlie Peprah (hamstring) and center Scott Wells (back).
Safety Atari Bigby (ankle), tackle Chad Clifton (knees/chest), defensive ends Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (knee) and Jeremy Thompson (groin), running back Ryan Grant (hamstring) and linebacker Tracy White (ankle) are all listed as probable. Gbaja-Biamila and Grant did not participate in Friday's practice.
For Minnesota, safety Madieu Williams (neck) is out for Monday night's game and running back Maurice Hicks, the team's top kick returner, is doubtful with a foot injury.