Notebook: Injuries Slam Linebackers

Inside linebackers Nick Barnett and Brandon Chillar need second opinions on their injuries and could be out for an extended period. Plus, it's a case of 'Deal or No Deal' in the NFC, and much more from an eventful Wednesday.

It's a good thing the Packers didn't trade Desmond Bishop or A.J. Hawk during training camp because that might be the starting duo at inside linebacker for this week and beyond.

Nick Barnett, who played through an injured wrist sustained last week, will be getting a second opinion on the injury, and coach Mike McCarthy said "there is a definite possibility" that Barnett could be lost for an extended period. Compound that with Brandon Chillar's injured shoulder — he, too, will be getting a second opinion this week — and the Packers' injury situation is going from bad to horrific.

ESPN reported on Wednesday night that Barnett will be out for the season with the same injury that ended Brian Urlacher's season last year. While that might wind up being true, it's jumping the gun — hence, the second opinion.

"A significant decision has to be made," a source told Packer Report, but emphasizing that the injury has not been definitely diagnosed and that Barnett's future for the season has not been finalized.

Barnett, who needs only eight tackles to pass John Anderson's franchise record of 1,020, is one of the vocal and emotional leaders of the defense. He exited briefly in the first half against Detroit but returned and finished the game.

"I think I sprained it, but we got X-rays and they were negative. So, we'll see what else we can do to try to fix it," Barnett said after the game. "But it was fine after I taped it up. As long as the tape works, I'll finish the season with that nice wrist."

Barnett missed the final seven games of the 2008 season with a torn ACL, with the Packers going 2-5 in those games. Other than that, he's been extremely durable, with one missed game as a rookie in 2003 (sprained ankle) and another missed game in 2006 (broken hand).

As for Chillar, McCarthy didn't think the shoulder was a season-ending type of injury but was doubtful that Chillar would play this week. That would be a major blow, considering how the Redskins use tight end Chris Cooley and how the Lions exploited the Chillar-less Packers defense with their tight ends.

Wheeling and dealing (or not)

While the Vikings bolstered their offense by sending a third-round pick to New England for receiver Randy Moss, the Packers declined to do the same with Buffalo for running back Marshawn Lynch.

"I think it is very obvious we are staying the course," McCarthy said when asked about some fans' unhappiness. "I'm more concerned on getting my football team prepared to win a game in Washington. ... As far as player acquisitions that go on through the course of the year, I've never taken questions on them in the past and won't answer any today because it is really not in my focus."

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers endorsed the idea of getting Lynch, his former teammate at Cal, a couple weeks ago. However, Rodgers was only answering a reporter's question and wasn't pressing the front office to make a move. And he reiterated that during a conversation with a handful of reporters after the TV cameras left.

"I like our guys. I do. I think we can win with them," he said. "Obviously, you'd never turn down a talented player. I like our guys. I don't have any frustration. That's not my decision. That's a personnel decision. So I think I just realize, you can have requests or wants or needs, and I'm not saying that Lynch was one of them. I never once said anything to the personnel department about Marshawn Lynch. But you guys asked me how I feel about it, I said, 'Bring it on.' You can't have enough good players. But that's not my place. I play, they make those decisions."

While Rodgers didn't get Lynch, the Vikings got Moss.

"Well, I think the NFC North was already a tough division, with Detroit obviously being improved and the way Chicago's playing. Randy just adds another superstar to the mix," Rodgers said. "He's a guy who's played at a Hall of Fame level for the majority of his career, I think Minnesota obviously wanted him, and they got the player they wanted."

On the "Jim Rome Show," host Jim Rome asked Charles Woodson about the Moss deal: "I think things just got interesting again in the NFC North. That's a big deal for those guys. They have some personnel issues and felt like they needed another guy to come in with Sidney (Rice) being out and not getting some production from some other guys. Bring Randy in, who's played here before, and you know he's going to come in and (be) an added threat for those guys. NFC North, man, it's a big division."

Packers injury report

In all, 12 players are on the initial injury list, with Barnett, Chillar, offensive tackles Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher, safety Nick Collins, and cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Sam Shields not participating.

Tauscher has a shoulder sprain sustained during the Detroit game but is feeling "much better" than on Monday, McCarthy said. Clifton, Collins and Woodson got the day off to rest some nagging injuries.

Out: S Morgan Burnett (knee). Did not participate: Barnett (wrist), Chillar (shoulder), Clifton (knee), Collins (knee), FB Quinn Johnson (glute), Shields (calf), Tauscher (shoulder), Woodson (toe). Full participation: DE Cullen Jenkins (hand), S Derrick Martin (ankle), S Charlie Peprah (quad).

Redskins injury report

Out: RB Clinton Portis (groin). Did not participate: P Josh Bidwell (hip). Limited participation: T Trent Williams (toe). Full participation: S Chris Horton (ankle), S LaRon Landry (wrist), G Kory Lichtensteiger (knee), QB Donovan McNabb (thigh).

Portis will be out for four to six weeks, according to coach Mike Shanahan. Ryan Torain, who ran well against Philadelphia, will get the start.

Four-point stance

— Woodson was named the NFC defensive player of the week after his interception-return touchdown, two late pass breakups and career-high 14 tackles against the Lions.

— In a conference call with Packers beat reporters, Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb called the victory over his old team, Philadelphia, "special," and said he didn't talk to Brett Favre about Favre's experience coming back to Green Bay. "Last year, when Brian Dawkins came back, they gave him a standing ovation and I was part of that. To come back and receive pretty much the same cheers and kind of emotions and feelings from this crowd is something special."

— In his conference call, Shanahan was asked about his talented malcontent defensive tackle, Albert Haynesworth, who finally showed up with four tackles and two drawn holding penalties last week: "We're going to play the best players and it's based on practice and how they perform in games. He played very well last week against, obviously Philly, made some big plays and helped us win."

— Rodgers, on being voted the team's union rep: "I think it's important in that this is the most important negotiation of my career, and I think it's important we have guys that are player reps who are passionate about their sport, and want to see it advanced to the next generation. That's why I'm looking forward to this challenge."

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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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