With a 52-man roster, the Green Bay Packers will have to declare six inactives by an hour-and-a-half before Sunday’s game against Arizona.
That will be a brainless chore for coach Mike McCarthy, who ruled out six players on Friday. Fullback John Kuhn (hamstring), defensive backs Charles Woodson (collarbone) and Sam Shields (ankle), outside linebacker Nick Perry (knee/wrist), receiver Greg Jennings (abdomen) and defensive lineman Jerel Worthy (concussion) are no-gos, McCarthy announced with the week’s final injury report.
Two other players are questionable: receiver Jordy Nelson (hamstring) and safety Jerron McMillian (back). With their uncertain status, the Packers might be one or two players short, barring the addition of tight end Andrew Quarless and/or outside linebacker Frank Zombo from the physically unable to perform list.
The Packers were without Jennings and Nelson last week against Jacksonville and the Packers’ passing game struggled as a result, with Aaron Rodgers posting his worst yardage total since a concussion knocked him out of the 2010 game at Detroit. Nelson has missed practice the last two weeks and hasn’t stepped on the field since the Oct. 21 game at St. Louis.
“Jordy’s work today went well,” McCarthy said of Nelson’s rehab workout. “They pushed him farther than they have all week. So, we’ll see how he is in the morning, and we’ll give him the opportunity to take it to the game.”
Receiver isn’t the only position group that’s potentially shorthanded. With Worthy out, the Packers need Mike Neal (probable; ankle) to make an impact on passing downs, even though he’ll be less than full strength. He’s been limited at practice the last two days.
“Yeah, that’s what his role is here. Hopefully, we keep him in that,” defensive line coach Mike Trgovac said.
Packers injury report
Out: DB Charles Woodson (collarbone), FB John Kuhn (hamstring), CB Sam Shields (ankle), OLB Nick Perry (knee/wrist); WR Greg Jennings (abdomen); DE Jerel Worthy (concussion). Questionable: S Jerron McMillian (back); WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring; did not participate). Probable: QB Aaron Rodgers (calf; full); G T.J. Lang (elbow/wrist; full); WR Donald Driver (neck/thumb; full); TE Jermichael Finley (full; shoulder); NT B.J. Raji (ankle); DE Mike Neal (ankle; limited).
McCarthy said McMillian’s back “locked up on him last night.” McCarthy was hopeful the safety/dime defensive back would be able to go.
Cardinals injury report
Out: QB Kevin Kolb (ribs); G Adam Snyder. Questionable: TE Todd Heap (knee); FS Kerry Rhodes (back); CB Greg Toler (hamstring). Probable: T D’Anthony Batiste (toe); DT Darnell Dockett (hamstring); TE Jim Dray (knee); CB Jamell Fleming (back); LS Mike Leach (back); FB Anthony Sherman (knee).
All three of the players listed as questionable — Rhodes is the only starter — were limited at practice.
-- How was the week of practice? “I think the energy has been outstanding,” McCarthy said. “I think they really cranked it up with the sense of urgency to win this football game. It hasn’t been as clean as I’d like. There’s been a segment in all three practices that was not quite where it needs to be. But for the most part, it’s been a good week.”
-- Running back James Starks has looked like his “old self” the last two weeks and figures to have a role on Sunday, McCarthy said. Just how much of a role hasn’t been determined but McCarthy again said Alex Green has “earned these opportunities that he’s been given.”
-- Without Kuhn, Green will handle the third-down duties for the second consecutive week. That’s a key role this week, given the Cardinals’ blitzing ways.
-- The injuries to Worthy and Neal will mean a bigger role for rookie defensive lineman Mike Daniels, particularly in passing situations.