Packers Grant, Woodson expected to suit up vs. Cowboys
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers should be in good shape for their Sunday night game against Dallas, listing running back Ryan Grant and cornerback Charles Woodson as probable on the injury report.
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Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after practice Friday that Grant and Woodson would play Sunday. Grant went through the full practice after being off the field most of the week to allow extra recovery for a sore hamstring that has bothered him since early in the preseason.
"He looked good," McCarthy said. "I thought he had more bounce in his step. I thought he looked better this week than last week."
Woodson didn't practice the entire week to rest a broken right toe, but he was on a similar schedule last week and responded with one of the best performances of his 11-year pro career. Woodson intercepted two passes late in the game, returning the second for a touchdown to seal the Packers' 48-25 win at Detroit.
"I'd be surprised if he doesn't (play Sunday)," McCarthy said.
McCarthy added he's never coached a player who had the resilience of Woodson to miss significant time in practice because of injury and manage to play so well.
"To do it off of the film study and the meetings and the walkthroughs and things like that, I haven't seen anybody perform at that level," McCarthy said. "He's also experienced, too. He has a ton of experience and is a very smart football player. But, the ability to pull it all together and deal with the pain threshold and things like that, I think it's very unique what he's been able to do."
Woodson didn't play in the Packers' late-season loss at Dallas last year after injuring a different toe in the previous game.
The Cowboys exploited the Woodson-less secondary. Terrell Owens had seven catches for 156 yards and a touchdown. Patrick Crayton caught two touchdown passes. Tight end Jason Witten had six receptions.
The Packers will again be a starter down in the secondary Sunday. Safety Atari Bigby is their only player listed as out for the game (strained hamstring).
Aaron Rouse will start in Bigby's spot. McCarthy gave Rouse a vote of confidence after the second-year player had a couple of breakdowns in pass coverage after replacing Bigby in the second half last Sunday.
"The big thing for young players is to get those quality reps, whether it's during the week and ultimately in the game," McCarthy said. "With (Rouse's) ability to get the first-unit reps this week, that in itself will really help him.
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"The one thing about Aaron is he's been very productive with the opportunities he's had, so we have full confidence in him."
McCarthy indicated center Scott Wells would be available in some capacity for the first time this season. Wells practiced the last three days after being out for two weeks because of a chronic back injury.
"I thought Scott had a very good week," McCarthy said. "He looked like his old self out there today. He came out of Wednesday and Thursday's practices pain-free. We'll see how Scott is in the morning, and we'll move forward accordingly."
McCarthy, who first wanted to meet with his assistants and the medical staff, hasn't decided whether to give Wells his starting job back right away.
"It's either start him, or he'll be the backup. Those are the two options," McCarthy said.
If Wells is in the starting lineup Sunday, Jason Spitz would move from center to right guard, where Tony Moll played the first two games.
Spitz said Friday he had a 50-50 split of reps at center and right guard in practice this week.
Good news, last time we played dallas we didnt have woodson.