Just who is going to take the field at the offensive skill positions for the Packers on Sunday remains in flux, but the picture is a little clearer at running back than it is at wide receiver.
In explaining the team's injury report following Friday's practice, Head Coach Mike McCarthy said running back Brandon Jackson would be probable for Sunday's game, having participated fully in Friday's practice, but fellow back Vernand Morency did not practice and is questionable.
At receiver, the good news is Donald Driver participated fully in practice for the first time since spraining his foot on Aug. 23 and is probable. The bad news is Greg Jennings, who tweaked a hamstring in practice on Wednesday and was limited Thursday, did not practice at all on Friday and is questionable.
Jackson missed the preseason finale last week at Tennessee due to a mild concussion, and he said Friday he's had no setbacks. After a head injury like Jackson's, players take a computerized reaction test and the results are compared to a baseline test from the beginning of training camp, and Jackson said he passed the test last week and hasn't had to re-take it at all this week.
"It went great this week, real fast and real crisp," Jackson said of practice. "Everything went well."
Meanwhile Morency, who practiced on a limited basis this week, had soreness in his injured knee and did not practice at all on Friday. He is listed as questionable for the game, and if he can't go, it's likely rookie DeShawn Wynn will be Jackson's primary backup.
Newly acquired Ryan Grant, who has been limited in practice due to a hamstring, participated fully on Friday and said he feels ready to go. McCarthy said Grant is questionable because the trainers need to see how he feels in the morning after going through an entire practice, but McCarthy sounded confident he would have three healthy ball carriers for Sunday's game against the Eagles.
"You want to take three halfbacks into the game," McCarthy said. "Going into the game with two is something you really don't want to do. So once again, the health of that group needs to improve from top to bottom. But I feel better today than I did probably two days ago."
How the carries might be split up is anyone's guess, but with 40 carries in the first three preseason games, Jackson said he can handle 20 or 25 carries if needed, and McCarthy agreed.
"Hopefully the other backs get in and get their carries, and share the ball," Jackson said. "If not, if I have to carry the load if need be, I'll do it."
At receiver, Driver's foot injury from the Jacksonville game two weeks ago has gotten considerably better, and McCarthy said he didn't expect Driver to have any problems playing.
But Jennings was not able to practice on Friday and instead was rehabilitating his injury. He is listed as questionable. McCarthy said he talked to Jennings, and the second-year receiver expressed optimism about being ready by Sunday, but the opinion of the medical staff will be sought as well.
"I'll just go on what he tells me and what the trainers tell me," McCarthy said. "Hopefully they tell me the same thing. That's sometimes a problem."
Other injury news
Defensive end Aaron Kampman was added to the injury report on Friday, having experienced a "twinge in his side" this week, according to McCarthy. He was limited in practice Friday but is probable for the game.
Offensive lineman Tony Moll (neck/stinger) and rookie safety Aaron Rouse (hamstring) are both doubtful for Sunday, while defensive end Michael Montgomery (knee) is out.
First NFL starts
Safety Atari Bigby is slated to make his first NFL start on Sunday, but he may not be the only one for the Packers. Second-year defensive tackle Johnny Jolly is also expected to start for the first time.
If the offense opens up in a two-back formation, rookie fullback Korey Hall will get the start. And if Jennings can't play, rookie James Jones would start as the No. 2 receiver (even if Jennings plays, Jones could start anyway if the offense opens in a three-receiver formation).
"This is my first NFL start, my dreams are coming true," said Bigby, in essence speaking for all the aforementioned rookies. "I'm getting a chance to live them out."