Notebook: Packers Lead Eagles 11-0

The bad news is that's the tally on the official injury report, with Clifton, Woodson added to the list. Plus, the Packers have reason to be confident that they'll be able to run the ball, and much more from Friday.

The scoreboard reads "Green Bay Packers 11, Philadelphia Eagles 0."

By that tally, though, the Eagles are the winner.

The Packers listed 11 players on their injury report on Friday, though, fortunately for their sake, eight of those players are listed as probable for Sunday's season-opening clash at Philadelphia.

The Eagles, on the other hand, didn't list a player on their injury report all week.

New to the list for the Packers were three of their most important players: left tackle Chad Clifton, cornerback Charles Woodson and safety/special teams leader Derrick Martin. All three are among the probables, and coach Mike McCarthy didn't voice any concern. The 34-year-old, 11-year pro Clifton will be getting Fridays off throughout the season. Martin also got the day off to make sure his surgically repaired ankle is fresh for Sunday's game.

As for Woodson, it's the same toe that's plagued him the past few seasons.

"He jammed it on the field today, near the end of practice," McCarthy said. "Just stepped on the back of one of our receiver's foot. Just being cautious and we sent him up to the training room for some rehab."

The bad news is cornerback Brandon Underwood was ruled out with his injured shoulder, meaning Sam Shields probably will be the third corner. Linebacker Desmond Bishop (hamstring) and defensive end Mike Neal (side) are listed as questionable. Neither practiced on Friday, though Bishop did some running and backpedalling while the defense ran through plays at the start of practice.

If Neal is limited or held out, that means a bigger role for Justin Harrell.

"Justin has been a part of the rotation all week, so he is ready to go," McCarthy said. "I fully anticipated Justin would be (active) when we met Monday. Mike Neal is also part of that. We are going to give him every opportunity. He will be a game-time decision. Mike has had a very good training camp. He has really improved with all of his opportunities, so we're going to give Mike Neal every opportunity up until game time to get ready."

Packers injury report

Out: Underwood (shoulder). Questionable: Bishop (hamstring) and Neal (side). Probable: T/G Bryan Bulaga (hip), T Clifton (knee), DE Cullen Jenkins (calf), LB Brad Jones (shoulder), S Martin (ankle), LB Clay Matthews (hamstring), LB Brady Poppinga (knee), CB Woodson (toe).

Eagles injury report

No players listed.

Born to run

The Packers attempted 173 passes (including sacks) during four preseason games compared to 122 rushes, which is pretty close to six passes out of every 10 plays. That's "balance" in today's NFL. However, while Aaron Rodgers threw 53 passes, featured running back Ryan Grant got just 16 rushes.

Nonetheless, the Packers have talked confidently that the running game will be ready to roll from the start.

"Practices count in my view," McCarthy said. "It's all part of the training camp process that I talked about throughout the whole training camp. There's phases that you go through that are important that you hit targets. The first part is the installation phase of it. It's a very competitive time. The defense is installing, the offense is installing. Sometimes you're running the ball into bad looks, which to me are good opportunities because sometimes football isn't always about being right schematically. It's an attitude and it's a technique and it's a mindset. The padded work we have throughout training camp, the opportunities we did have in the preseason games, we feel confident in where we are and we're going to exercise our game plan for the Eagles and go up there. I have no qualms about running, protection or passing game going into this game."

Working in the Packers' favor is their No. 1 offensive line worked together the entire offseason and training camp. That group didn't have that luxury last year.

"The best offensive lines that I have been a part of are the ones that have the ability to start 16 games, then 32, and you start having the opportunity to really get into a rhythm and handle the challenges that defenses present to you and make the adjustments," McCarthy said. "People think that you are out there making adjustments by first making a call. Those guys don't have time to make calls. It has to happen on the move, and a big part of that is the continuity that they were able to establish through training camp."

Four-point stance

— Does McCarthy have to temper his players' enthusiasm in a season opener? "I agree with that. I think it is all part of the maturity of your team, the maturity of your coaching staff, so I feel we are in a good place mentally right now. It is important when you go on the road to really focus and be ready for the waves of emotion, the momentum swings that occur more so in my opinion on the road than they do in the home games. I feel like we are ready for that."

— On Thursday, the Saints and Vikings players walked onto the field and raised their index finger as if to say, "We're No. 1." Rather, it was to show solidarity in the upcoming labor battle with the league. Linebacker Clay Matthews said he was not aware if anything like that was planned by the Packers.

— If Neal can't play, that means seventh-round pick C.J. Wilson will be on the active list. "He's a good athlete for a big guy," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. "Mike's ahead of C.J., and so we'll go and hold out hope that Mike will be available. C.J.'s a young guy that I think has a good body type for this defense and I think he's a guy that'll work at it and get better as we move along into the season."

— Practice is over for the week but the work continues. We asked cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt if his young guys were ready. "We don't have to be ready till Sunday," he said.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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