Packers banged up heading into final week

McCarthy hoping to have 46 healthy players for Detroit


GREEN BAY -- As expected after another round of injuries struck last Saturday vs. Minnesota, the Packers will begin preparations for Detroit with a "large group" of players in rehab rather than on the practice field.

That group includes wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who exited the Vikings game with a shoulder injury. Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday "it'll be tough" for Nelson to play this week.

Fellow receiver Davante Adams also has not been cleared from the concussion protocol, while rookie running back Aaron Jones has another knee injury that is "most likely" going to keep him out of the Lions game.

The Packers also played against the Vikings without linebackers Clay Matthews and Nick Perry and cornerback Damarious Randall, and their statuses will be monitored this week as well.

The injuries could open the door for more in-game snaps for young players like receiver Michael Clark and running back Devante Mays, along with young defenders who made an impression in the Vikings game like linebacker Reggie Gilbert and cornerback Lenzy Pipkins, but McCarthy said the focus is not on putting players in the game just so they get a chance to play.

"It's important to play to win. To me this isn't preseason," McCarthy said. "That would be the wrong message to send to locker room, and a terrible message to send to your fans. We're going there to win, and if our players are healthy I expect them to play."

That said, with a lengthy injury list McCarthy isn't sure he'll have 46 healthy players for Sunday's game-day roster. He's hoping to get there by the end of the week. will have more following practice and locker room interviews.

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