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Notebook: Team Expecting Lions' Best Effort

The Packers might be entering Sunday’s game with a five-game winning streak against Detroit, but are anticipating a motivated Lions team looking to redeem themselves after struggling in their opener last Sunday in Atlanta. - More Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Sept. 12

The Packers might be entering Sunday's game with a five-game winning streak against Detroit, but they are anticipating a motivated Lions team looking to redeem themselves after struggling in their opener last Sunday in Atlanta.

"It would be a mistake to look past the Lions," linebacker Nick Barnett said. "That's like fighting a man that is right in front of your face and trying to see who is behind him. You'll get hit in the chin, so you've got to keep yourself focused on who is in front of you and handle that battle first."

Detroit fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter against the Falcons in the 34-21 loss, and allowed an Atlanta franchise-record 318 rushing yards, including 220 from running back Michael Turner.

"I think we have done a great job of talking about it and believing it, the fact that we will see their best shot on Sunday," defensive end Aaron Kampman said. "The reputation of Coach (Rod) Marinelli is a fiery guy, an intense guy ready to get his guys ready. They are proud people over there and I think we will see their best shot."

Detroit was 6-2 at the midpoint of last season, but has now lost eight of its last nine games.

"Whenever a team goes out and doesn't live up to the expectations that they have set for themselves, the following week they come back and they play very well," linebacker Brady Poppinga said. "We know these guys are capable of beating us. We know that and they know that, so therefore we need to come out and play our best game and improve as a team to be in position to win the game."

The Packers will return home next Sunday to face the Dallas Cowboys, who are expected to once again be one of the top teams in the NFC. But Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday he is confident in his team's focus and approach in preparation for Detroit.

"I think everybody has to guard against looking forward or the same thing, looking backwards too, coming off a big game, short week, Monday Night Football, the things you were able to accomplish in that game," McCarthy said. "That's not the way they're coached and that's not the atmosphere we work in.

"So they know exactly how I feel about where we stand today and what we need to get done this week to beat Detroit, and that's all we really talk about."

Grant returns, Woodson still out

Running back Ryan Grant, still battling a sore hamstring, participated fully in Friday's practice after being limited the previous two days.

"He looked good," McCarthy said. "Really the question for Ryan will be tomorrow, same thing we went through last week. How does the hamstring feel in the morning?

"They worked it. They pushed him as far as he probably could go today, and we'll see how he is tomorrow."

Grant said his hamstring felt better Friday than it did last Saturday, two days before the Monday night opener against the Vikings, in which he posted 92 yards on 12 carries. Although he is listed as questionable for Sunday, Grant expressed confidence that he would play.

"The fact that I am feeling better each day and the fact that I felt better today than I felt last week going into the game, that's a good thing," Grant said. "I was able to manage and come out of that and put work on it.

"We still have a good 48 hours before the game even starts, so I expect to get some good treatment in and feel even better."

{sportsad300}Another starter on the opposite side of the ball also listed as questionable is cornerback Charles Woodson, who did not participate in practice Friday for a third straight day because of a broken toe that he sustained in Monday night's game against the Vikings.

McCarthy said that in speaking with the medical staff, there is a very small chance that Woodson would make the injury worse by playing.

"He's just trying to get the swelling out of there," McCarthy said. "He's spent a lot of extra time, they have a routine with a lot more extra film, and he's spent a lot of one-on-one with Lionel Washington.

"It's just a concern because you're playing on field turf. The surface is, you'd like to be on grass. But we've got another 48 hours to give him a chance to get it ready."

Woodson has battled injuries during his first two seasons in Green Bay, including an injury to a different toe last season that caused him to miss the game at Dallas. He has started 30 of 32 games as a Packer, including all 16 in '06 despite playing with a painful shoulder injury for much of the season.

"I want to give Charles Woodson all the way up till noon on Sunday to see if he can play," McCarthy said. "He's earned that trust and confidence in our medical staff and with myself, because he's shown that he can handle that."

McCarthy said if Woodson is unable to play Sunday, Tramon Williams would start in his place with Will Blackmon sliding into the nickel spot.

Hanner dies

Dave Hanner, a longtime player, coach and scout for the Packers, passed away Thursday at the age of 78 at a Florida hospital after suffering a heart attack on Tuesday.

Hanner played defensive tackle for 13 seasons in Green Bay (1952-64) and appeared in 160 games, the 13th most in franchise history. He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection (1953-54).

Following his playing career, Hanner was named defensive line coach for the Packers in 1965, and held various positions on the coaching staff for a total of 16 seasons. He was named the first defensive coordinator in team history in 1972, a position he held for eight seasons.

Hanner also worked as a scout for the Packers for 16 years before his retirement in 1996.

Injury/participation update

Guard Josh Sitton (knee) and center Scott Wells (back) are listed as out for Sunday's game.

In addition to Grant and Woodson, wide receiver Ruvell Martin (finger) and safeties Charlie Peprah (hamstring) and Aaron Rouse (ankle) are questionable for Sunday. Rouse did not participate in Friday's practice.

Safety Atari Bigby (bicep), linebacker Brandon Chillar (back), tackle Chad Clifton (knees), defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (knee), running back Brandon Jackson (concussion) and wide receiver James Jones (knee) are all listed as probable.

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