Bolts-Packers Pregame Snapshot

Antonio Gates and LaDainian Tomlinson have carried the passing game, catching nearly 65 percent of Philip Rivers' completions. So why are the Chargers planning to limit their involvement in the passing game? Learn why, and catch up on the Green Bay Packers lengthy list of injuries, with these pregame snapshots.

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 9/23/07
SURFACE: Grass
TV: CBS, Jim Nantz, Phil Simms

SERIES: 9th meeting. Packers lead series, 7-1. Green Bay has won the past four meetings, including the last one in Wisconsin -- 42-10 in 1996. The Chargers' only win in the series did come at Lambeau Field, where they prevailed 34-28 in 1984. This marks only the Chargers' fourth regular-season visit to Green Bay.

PREDICTION: Chargers 30-21

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Chargers desperately want to get RB LaDainian Tomlinson (110 total yards) untracked, but that's going to be a difficult proposition until QB Philip Rivers is able to stretch the field. WRs Vincent Jackson and rookie Craig Davis have to start hurting teams vertically, and will have plenty of opportunity to work one-on-one against CBs Al Harris and Charles Woodson.

Defenses with 3-4 schemes have had their way with the Packers in recent years, and it doesn't help that the young backfield of rookie RBs Brandon Jacobs and DeShawn Wynn isn't finding much running room. To compensate for the lack of a ground game -- and thwart the Chargers' pass rush -- look for QB Brett Favre to rely heavily on short drops and getting rid of the ball quickly.

KEY INJURIES:

Chargers: RT Shane Olivea (back) and ILB Matt Wilhelm (calf) appear unlikely to play; DT Jamal Williams (elbow) will play.

Packers: RB Vernand Morency (knee) is still limited and his status is uncertain; WR Greg Jennings (hamstring) might return this week; LT Chad Clifton (ankle) is expected to play.

FAST FACTS: The Packers are 2-10 against the AFC the past three seasons. ... Chargers OLB Shawne Merriman has multiple sacks in eight of 24 career games.

PACKERS PERSONNEL:

--OL Tony Palmer was placed on injured reserve Thursday. The second-year backup suffered a small bone fracture in his neck while blocking on a kickoff return in the Sunday road win over the Giants and spent the night in a New Jersey hospital for further tests. Palmer will wear a neck brace for the next six weeks. The Packers have yet to fill Palmer's spot on the 53-man roster.

--RB Vernand Morency was limited in practice for the second straight day. He continues to experience soreness in his sprained right knee, which has dissuaded the medical staff from clearing him for game action. Morency likely will be held out another week, leaving rookies Brandon Jackson and DeShawn Wynn to split the bulk of the snaps at halfback in the game.

--WR Greg Jennings tested his sore hamstring in a limited capacity Thursday after being out the previous day. Jennings is expected to try to make it through the full practice Friday before a determination is made on whether the No. 2 receiver will be activated for the first time this season.

--LT Chad Clifton (ankle) was limited for the second straight day, though he figures to make the start Sunday. Clifton might require an extended break from time to time in the game, however, which would prompt a line shift of LG Daryn Colledge to left tackle, RG Junius Coston to left guard and Jason Spitz in at right guard. Spitz (calf) also has been limited in practice the past two days.

--TE Bubba Franks (knee) returned to practice Thursday, albeit on a limited basis. He should be good to go Sunday.

INSIDE PACKERS CAMP: Make it 16 players on the team's injury report for Sunday's game against the Chargers.

Rookie receiver James Jones, who started the first two games in place of an injured Greg Jennings, was added to the eye-catching list after he dropped out of practice Thursday with a hamstring injury.

Head coach Mike McCarthy said afterward that Jones tweaked the hamstring and gave no indication that the injury is serious.

Of greater concern for the 2-0 Packers is whether they'll be able to run out enough healthy players to put up a resistance to a San Diego offense determined to rediscover its high-powered attack.

Five Green Bay defensive starters are on the injury report. Ends Aaron Kampman (rib) and Cullen Jenkins (wrist) were limited for the second straight day, while tackle Corey Williams (ankle) joined them in a limited capacity after a one-day absence.

Cornerbacks Al Harris (back) and Charles Woodson (hip) remained out, however. Their injuries aren't considered serious, but the veterans have been given extra time this week to heal with the hope they'll practice Friday and be ready for the weekend.

The Packers' strength on defense from a personnel standpoint lies with their line, so they might be able to weather any physical setbacks that would crop up Sunday. Tackle Johnny Jolly, who made the opening-day start over Williams, has been limited this week because of a heel injury.

The rash of injuries across the line magnifies the challenge an improved Green Bay defense will face as it tries to contain halfback LaDainian Tomlinson, the reigning league MVP, while also training its sights on Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates.

"It starts up front. We definitely have to slow down LaDainian Tomlinson. That's what everybody says when you play San Diego, then you start from there," nose tackle Ryan Pickett said. "By stopping L.T., that's not easy. We've got our work cut out for us."


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