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Notebook: Jennings Closer To Returning


Wide receiver Greg Jennings is making progress in his recovery from an ankle injury, Head Coach Mike McCarthy said on Wednesday, and he could be healthy enough to get through a full practice by week's end.

Jennings is still listed as questionable on this week's injury report, but he did participate in the opening jog-through and individual drills at practice on Wednesday. He then was pulled out of practice to continue his rehab, and McCarthy said he's hopeful Jennings will be able to get through all of Thursday's practice.

"Sunday he was close," McCarthy said. "He's kind of working his way back. He made a lot of progress last week, and we're just trying to get over the last hurdle."

Jennings injured his ankle while landing awkwardly after a second-quarter catch at Miami on Oct. 22. He worked out before last Sunday's game against Arizona but did not play.

If Jennings can participate in a full practice and not have any setbacks following that, he more than likely would be able to play on Sunday at Buffalo.

Other injuries

Cornerback Charles Woodson, who hyper-extended his knee early in last Sunday's game but returned to finish it, is listed as doubtful on the injury report, and McCarthy said if he practices at all this week, it would be on Friday at the earliest.

Even if Woodson doesn't practice, though, that doesn't necessarily mean he won't play. After injuring a knee against St. Louis on Oct. 8, Woodson didn't practice during the bye week or the week leading up to the Miami game, but he played against the Dolphins and had probably his best game as a Packer, making five solo tackles and returning an interception for a touchdown.

But this new knee injury could be slightly more problematic. He was listed as questionable before the Miami game but is doubtful this week.

Among other injured players, linebacker Abdul Hodge returned to practice for the first time in a month. Hodge badly bruised his knee against Philadelphia on Oct. 2 and has missed the last three games, but he confirmed on Wednesday that even though the injury has taken a long time to heal, it was not knee ligament damage, only a bruise.

"They didn't want me to go out there and keep banging on it, banging on it and make it worse," said Hodge, who is practicing with a knee brace and, if he plays, will wear it in games as well for now. "I'm ready to go. I felt really good running around, change of direction and stuff."

Hodge is listed as questionable, as is defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins, who hasn't played since injuring his ankle in the St. Louis game. Jenkins did some early work in practice but did not participate in any team drills, though he feels light years ahead of where he's been the past couple of weeks.

"This is the first Sunday I've been anywhere close," Jenkins said. "Previously I haven't really been able to walk. This has been rough."

Jenkins said he expects to be available to play.

{sportsad300}Running back Ahman Green (knee) and defensive tackles Corey Williams (knee) and Johnny Jolly (ankle) were all held out of team drills on Wednesday, but all are listed as probable on the injury report. Williams said he expects to return to practice full-time on Thursday.

New kid on the block

Running back P.J. Pope, signed off the Chicago Bears' practice squad on Tuesday, practiced with the Packers for the first time and is getting what he called a "crash course" in the playbook.

Pope said it wasn't easy to leave Chicago because he had grown somewhat comfortable there, but he believes he has a chance to move up the depth chart much faster here than with the Bears.

"It was a tough decision," Pope said. "I got used to coaching staff and everybody in the program. But when the opportunity presents itself, you have to run with the chance."

Pope, a non-drafted rookie out of Bowling Green, made a favorable early impression with his burst and his all-around skills.

"He's an explosive young man, has a nice run style and he puts his foot down," McCarthy said. "He has a one-cut mentality, which is what we're looking for in our run game. He was pretty stout in the pass protection today in our blitz drills, so I was impressed with him for his first day of practice."

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