Notebook: Woodson Returns To Practice


Cornerback Charles Woodson returned to practice on Friday for the first time since injuring his leg two weeks ago against St. Louis, and Head Coach Mike McCarthy said he's "hopeful" Woodson will be able to play Sunday.

If Woodson does play, McCarthy said it would be a game-time decision whether to continue using him as the No. 1 punt returner, or whether he'd play strictly cornerback and the punt return duties would go to receiver Greg Jennings.

"That's something we'll talk about Sunday," McCarthy said. "We'll go through pre-game, see how he feels. But I think anytime you can put the ball in Charles Woodson's hands, it benefits your football team. So we'll talk about that more."

Also, if Woodson plays, Patrick Dendy would remain the nickel back and take the field when the Packers go to five defensive backs. The sixth defensive back for the dime package has been rookie safety Tyrone Culver, though rookie cornerback Will Blackmon would also be a candidate after he completed his first full week of practice since the season began. McCarthy said it's possible Blackmon would be active on Sunday.

"We'll take this all the way to game day as far as the combination of who exactly is going to be the extra guys there in the secondary," McCarthy said.

Dendy would most likely get the start if Woodson is unable to play, and Jennings would almost certainly be the punt returner.

"I'm very comfortable catching punts," Jennings said. "I've done it pretty much at every level, so I'm used to doing it in games. I did it in the preseason a couple times. It's all about catching the ball and making some guys miss."

McCarthy has shown no reservations about playing starters in key roles on special teams, and that approach wouldn't change with Jennings either.

"We're playing to win the game, not playing scared," McCarthy said.

Kick return job

Running back Vernand Morency will be the No. 1 kick returner on Sunday, with fellow running back Noah Herron also available for the duty.

Since joining the Packers during Week 2, Morency has been the second option on the kick return unit alongside Koren Robinson. But Morency now moves into the primary spot in a game he'll be playing in front of his home crowd. Morency, one of several Packers from South Florida, was born and raised in Miami and said he'll have several friends and family members in attendance.

Ready and waiting

On Sunday it will be 14 days since the Packers last played a game, and while the rest has done some good, it also has made the entire team anxious to hit the field again.

"I'm excited to be able to play another game," defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila said. "I feel fresh."

The bye week did allow for extra scouting and preparation for Miami, but it appears the players have had their fill of working on one opponent.

"I know they're not looking forward to practicing anymore on the Miami Dolphins," McCarthy said. "I think we all have a time clock as far as preparation that goes on in each player and coach's mind. We're very routine oriented, and we've spent a lot of extra time.

"So from that factor, we're ready to get down there and get after the Dolphins."

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