[img_r]http://cmsimg.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=U0&Date=20080911&Category=PKR01&ArtNo=80911109&Ref=AR&Profile=1058&MaxW=318&Border=0[/img_r]No one knows better than Allen Barbre that a golden opportunity has passed him by.
Entering training camp, the second-year pro seemed to have the inside track on Daryn Colledge to be the Green Bay Packers left guard.
Then, rookie Josh Sitton emerged as a starting candidate.
Then, Sitton got hurt and Colledge regained his job.
Then, center Scott Wells went down and Tony Moll took over the fifth spot on the offensive line.
Somewhere in there, Barbre became the 305-pound invisible man.
So, what happened?
You know, maybe it just didnt work out, the soft-spoken Barbre said this week. Daryn, he competed. I think hes done a good job. We got the team better.
To be honest with you, its not my decision who starts. But I just can keep working hard and take care of what I can take care of.
That includes being more consistent in his assignments and improving his inside technique, which remains a work-in-progress 16 months after he commenced his transition from left tackle the position he played almost exclusively during an all-America career at Division II Missouri Southern to left guard.
A fourth-round draft pick in 2007, Barbre is noticeably more chiseled than he was as a rookie, thanks to an improved diet and major strides made in the offseason strength and conditioning program. He also says hes grown comfortable with the quickness and congestion of the interior. But he didnt show enough in camp to earn him the nod over Colledge, who has the benefit of 35 NFL starts, or keep him ahead of Sitton and Moll.
Trying to work hard, and then not achieving your goal, its just going to push you to work harder, Barbre said. Thats how Ive got to look at it.
The way things have gone for the line so far, Barbre might get another chance sooner than later.
Sitton hasnt practiced since spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in the Aug. 22 preseason game at Denver, and Wells status remains tenuous as he tries to get his recurring lower back problem under control. The only other backup lineman is rookie tackle Breno Giacomini, who isnt ready to play, so one more injury or perhaps a poor showing by Moll would get Barbre on the field.
The opportunitys coming, Barbre said. Its the National Football League. People do get hurt. I wouldnt wish that upon anyone on my team, but you just never know.
[ul]The Packers will wait to see how starting running back Ryan Grant looks in practice Friday before deciding whether hell play on Sunday at Detroit.
I know Ryan wants to play, and his communication will be that hell want to play, Im sure, McCarthy said of Grant, who has battled a sore hamstring for a month. But once he practices (Friday), the information from how he feels Saturday morning factors into it, and (team doctor) Pat McKenzie, Ted (Thompson, the general manager) and I will make a decision.
Grant rushed for 92 yards on only 12 carries in Mondays opening win over Minnesota, but he left the game after his 57-yard run in the fourth quarter and hasnt practiced the past two days. He said on Thursday theres no question in his mind hell play against the Lions.
Asked whether hes given any thought to taking a week or two off to recover, Grant cut off the question. No, no, no, he said. As long as I dont do any more damage to it, I should be OK.
Grant also is sporting a shiner over his right eye, the product of a hit that bashed his helmet into his forehead on Monday.
Backup running back Brandon Jackson (concussion) participated in the jog-through before departing for rehab, leaving undrafted rookie Kregg Lumpkin to take all the snaps during team drills for the second consecutive day. McCarthy said he would be surprised if Jackson isnt cleared to play on Sunday.[/ul]
[ul]Backup safety Aaron Rouse sprained an ankle in practice, casting into question his availability for Sundays game.
I dont know much yet, Rouse said.
Like Rouse, linebacker Brandon Chillar (back) was added to the injury report as a limited participant in practice, but Chillar said he merely has tightness and plans to practice Friday. Safety Atari Bigby (bicep), Grant and Jackson also were listed as limited.
Wells, Sitton and cornerback Charles Woodson (broken toe) did not participate. Sitton is out for Sunday and Wells almost certainly wont play, while Woodson is expected to start.
Five players were listed on the injury report as full participants: tackle Chad Clifton (knees), end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (knee), receivers James Jones (knee) and Ruvell Martin (finger) and safety Charlie Peprah.
Martin practiced with a large, club-like cast on his fractured left hand and was catching balls one-handed.
Detroit again listed three players on the injury report: linebackers Paris Lenon (knee, full participation) and Ernie Sims (ankle, limited) and backup quarterback Drew Stanton (right thumb, limited).
[ul]Place-kicker Mason Crosby confirmed his kick was low on the 33-yard field-goal attempt that was blocked at the end of the first half on Monday.
A playing field moistened by afternoon showers didnt help.
It was a little slick, said Crosby, who hit a 42-yarder earlier in the half and had two touchbacks on five kickoffs.
My cleats did all right. It was a bit mushy, and I felt like on that one in particular, I could tell I kind of sunk down and I might have hit the ground a little bit behind the ball.
It was the second time in 43 NFL field-goal attempts Crosby has had a kick blocked. The other also was the result of a low kick at Lambeau Field, on a 49-yarder against the Carolina Panthers last Nov. 18. Julius Peppers got that one in the middle of the line; Cedric Griffin had Mondays from the offensive left edge.
Mondays game was Crosbys first with new long snapper Brett Goode and new holder Derrick Frost. He echoed McCarthys sentiment that the operation was smooth.
The snaps seemed to be right on the spot and (Frost) was putting the ball down quick and getting it there for me, Crosby said. Its just a process. Weve just got to keep working on that comfort level, and Ive just got to make sure I attack the ball and make sure I hit it the same way.[/ul]
[ul]Adrian Peterson cracked the 100-yard mark on Monday, but co-defensive line coach Robert Nunn was pleased with his units performance against the Vikings star running back.
He broke the big run there in the first half, but we had him pretty well contained, Nunn said. If you do that, youre playing. Theres not going to be a lot of people that do that.[/ul]