Notebook: Woodson Questionable; Spitz, Coston To Start At G


Cornerback Charles Woodson continued to make progress in his recovery from a toe injury and appears to stand a good chance of playing if his body responds positively on Saturday morning to a rather strenuous Friday.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy is listing Woodson as questionable, with the medical report on Saturday morning likely determining his status. Woodson went through most of the team drills in practice on Friday and took his fair share of snaps.

"I thought he looked pretty good," McCarthy said. "It'll be interesting to see how he responds in the morning after practicing. He's really picked up the progress as far as rehab and what he's been doing on the treadmill all week, and he looked pretty natural out there today. So tomorrow will be a big day for him."

Woodson injured the toe on Thanksgiving in Detroit and missed last week's showdown in Dallas. He wanted to play last week given the magnitude of the game, and his desire to play hasn't waned this week with the opponent being his former employer, the Oakland Raiders.

But McCarthy said Woodson's long-term health ultimately would be the deciding factor. The Packers will want their starting cornerback fully healthy for any playoff games next month and won't jeopardize that by bringing him back too soon.

"I've said it all along: We'll be cautious with Charles," McCarthy said.

If Woodson doesn't play, Jarrett Bush would likely get his second straight start at cornerback, though McCarthy said he would rotate all four of the reserve corners - Bush, Will Blackmon, Tramon Williams and Frank Walker - during the game.

That's presumably to see if anyone is going to challenge Bush for the nickel corner spot when both Al Harris and Woodson play.

Bush was pulled from last Thursday's game in Dallas in the second quarter during a rough outing, and though McCarthy has complimented the young cornerback and special teams demon for how he's responded in practice this week, there's too much competition for his job to be secure.

"I just have to take it like any other week, just go in there and compete," Bush said. "I have to keep getting better."

Guards set for Sunday

McCarthy made it official, announcing that Jason Spitz and Junius Coston would start at left and right guard, respectively, with previous starter Daryn Colledge sliding into a backup role.

Coston started at right guard in Weeks 2-5 before an ankle injury in practice shelved him for a while. He was back in the lineup in the second quarter last week at Dallas when Colledge was pulled and Spitz shifted over to the left side.

Coston is hoping he'll lock down a starting job on Sunday as well as help the coaching staff settle on a starting five on the offensive line for the remainder of the season. Due to both injuries and performance issues, Sunday's starting group will be the fourth different line combination to begin a game for the Packers this season.

"In this game you always want to have guys you can count on without having to rotate every week," Coston said. "Different guys bring different stuff to the table, so you definitely want to have guys set in stone with one line. We're definitely looking to do that."

{sportsad300}Injury report

Five of the 10 players listed on Friday's injury report are probable, meaning there's a virtual certainty they'll be available for normal duty. They are offensive tackles Chad Clifton (knee) and Mark Tauscher (ankle), defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (ankle), defensive tackle Corey Williams (back) and quarterback Brett Favre (elbow, shoulder).

Williams was a late addition to the injury report with the back problem, but McCarthy said he held Williams back in practice just to make sure he'd be fully rested for Sunday's game after playing more snaps than usual last week in Dallas.

Favre was a full participant in practice for the first time this week and "threw the ball well," McCarthy said.

Receiver Koren Robinson was removed from the injury report and will play.

Defensive tackle Johnny Jolly (shoulder) is out while backup quarterback Aaron Rodgers (hamstring), linebacker Tracy White (ankle) and tight end Bubba Franks (knee) are doubtful.

McCarthy said Franks is aiming to be ready for next week's game at St. Louis.

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