Notebook: Woodson, 'KGB' Questionable For Now; Collins Ready To Start

text - More | Audio | Video | Packers-Cowboys Game Center Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Nov. 27


Cornerback Charles Woodson and defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila were both listed as limited participants in practice on Tuesday, and Head Coach Mike McCarthy said he would consider them both questionable at this point for Thursday's game in Dallas.

"They have 50-plus hours until game time," McCarthy said after Tuesday's practice. "We're going to give them the full amount to get ready."

Meanwhile safety Nick Collins was a full participant in practice and appears ready to make his first start since injuring his knee Nov. 4 in Kansas City.

Official designations of doubtful, questionable or probable on injured players will be made on Wednesday.

Woodson, who injured his toe in Detroit on Thanksgiving, was on the field for the jog-through portion of practice, getting updated on all the defensive adjustments for the game. McCarthy said he's been in the training room getting treatment on his toe pretty much around-the-clock and will be a game-time decision.

Fellow cornerback Will Blackmon, who has been out since Week 4 with a broken foot, was a full participant in practice and could be available for extra depth at that position. If Woodson can't play, Jarrett Bush would become the starting cornerback opposite Al Harris, and either Frank Walker or Tramon Williams would take the nickel spot.

Collins' return eases a bit of the uncertainty in the secondary because rookie Aaron

Rouse, who replaced Collins in the starting lineup the past three games, was still limited on Tuesday with his knee injury and is considered questionable.

"Nick's had a very good week of practice," McCarthy said. "He looked good."

Collins said he hasn't felt rusty on the practice field and that the rehab on his knee went very well. He said while he was out he kept up with playbook and the game plans to help out Rouse as well as make his own transition back to the field as smooth as possible.

"The doctors did what they had to do to get me right for this game, and they did a great job doing it," Collins said. "I'm very excited. I can't be more happy. I'm just glad to be a part of what we have going today. I didn't want to miss out on anything."

Gbaja-Biamila did what McCarthy termed mostly a "rehab workout" and he'll be re-evaluated on Wednesday.

"Today we tested it out, and now we just take it day by day," said 'KGB', who is second on the team with 9 1/2 sacks. "It feels good right now, so we'll see how it feels tomorrow and how it feels leading up the game, and the coaches will make their decision on gameday."

'KGB' would be a valuable component to the pass rush if he's able to play, especially against a quarterback like the Cowboys' Tony Romo, who is known to scramble around and keep plays alive for long periods of time. If he's unavailable, second-year pro Jason Hunter would likely be the situational pass rusher off the edge.

Gbaja-Biamila admitted he escaped more serious injury after seeing the film of what happened in Detroit. His leg was bent awkwardly as he completed a sack of quarterback Jon Kitna last Thursday.

"They say (the way it looked) it should have been a season-ending injury, but they said due to my flexibility I was able to come out of it with just a knee and ankle issue," Gbaja-Biamila said. "All that feels good today."

More on injuries

Of the other players on the injury report, only defensive tackle Johnny Jolly (shoulder) has been ruled out for the game.

Tight end Bubba Franks, who had returned to practice earlier in the week, sat out on Tuesday after suffering a setback with his knee injury at the end of practice on Monday.

Right tackle Mark Tauscher was limited with his ankle injury, which McCarthy said wasn't helped by playing on a short week in Detroit. Tony Moll and Junius Coston have taken snaps at right tackle this week while Tauscher has rested, with Moll getting the majority of them. But as with others who are injured, McCarthy is going to give Tauscher up until game time to get ready.

Also limited were wide receiver Ruvell Martin (ankle) and linebacker Tracy White (ankle). Running back Ryan Grant is listed on the report with a rib injury, but he was a full participant and said he's fine.

Good look

Backup quarterback Aaron Rodgers, as is his duty every week, played the part of the opposing team's quarterback, Dallas' Tony Romo, on the scout team in practice this week. The assignment of the mobile Romo was in stark contrast to two weeks ago, when he was Carolina's Vinny Testaverde, a more classic pocket passer.

{sportsad300}Romo's style of sprinting out and making throws on the run has been much more natural for Rodgers to imitate, and the coaching staff has commended him for helping the defense get ready this week.

"That's the way he likes to play," McCarthy said. "He just did it more this week than he normally does."

For Rodgers, it was a heck of a lot more fun, too.

"No offense against Vinny, because he's in great shape for a 44-year-old, but I like to get out of the pocket if things aren't open in practice, and they were really keeping me in the pocket the whole time (that week)," Rodgers said. "I like to get out of the pocket and make some plays."

Almost a great catch

Receiver Donald Driver is one of the few Packers who played in Green Bay's last game in Dallas, on Nov. 14, 1999. It was actually Driver's first game as a pro, after being listed as inactive the first eight games of the season.

Unfortunately, Driver didn't make his first NFL reception in that game, though he almost did. In the game's final minute with the Packers trailing 20-13, Driver nearly hauled in an overthrown pass in the back of the end zone that would have tied the game. Moments later, former Packers safety George Teague intercepted a pass and returned it 95 yards for a touchdown to seal the Cowboys' 27-13 victory.

"Almost had one," Driver said. "A great moment for me."

There have been plenty greater moments since, and for that Driver is thankful. He had just three catches for 31 yards and a touchdown as a rookie but is now closing in on his fifth 1,000-yard season in the last six years.

"I'm glad they kept me around," Driver said. "They could have sent me on my way, but they kept me around a little longer."

Simple scenario

Though the winner of Thursday's game gets a leg up in the race for the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs, the Packers technically have to clinch a playoff berth first.

They can do so by beating the Cowboys and getting their 11th win. That would lock up a playoff spot. A win plus a loss by Detroit on Sunday would clinch the NFC North division title and at least one home playoff game.

Live look-ins on

A new segment of the league's official website,, will have highlights, studio analysis, and live look-ins to Thursday night's game in Dallas. For fans who do not get NFL Network at home, it provides a way to keep up on the game. The live look-ins will be provided at times teams are on the verge of scoring. is an interactive broadcast companion to the eight games on NFL Network, a slate that began on Thanksgiving night and continues with Thursday and Saturday games between now and the end of the regular season.

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