Notebook: IR For Finley, Barnett?

That's a possibility, coach Mike McCarthy said, in a day driven by news on a mountain of injuries. Plus, there's no pity party in the Packers' locker room, despite the long list of injuries.

With a focus on their long-term future rather than any short-term contributions they could make for the team, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said injured reserve is "definitely an option" for tight end Jermichael Finley and linebacker Nick Barnett.

Finley had surgery on a torn meniscus in his knee on Tuesday and Barnett had surgery on his wrist on Wednesday. Both surgeries were successful.

"Jermichael's surgery revealed more than we initially thought, so his timeline for recovery is longer than we expected," McCarthy said after Wednesday's practice. "It was a procedure that Dr. Pat McKenzie did in the best interest of Jermichael's long-term health, so with that we are looking at all of the options involved there, and IR is definitely an option, and the same with Nick Barnett. His surgery was performed with the same mind-set, with his long-term health as the focus. He is going to have a significant rehab also."

No immediate decisions have been made in regards to their roster spots, with McCarthy saying there's "a little more urgency" to do so next week.

In all, 13 players are on this week's injury report, including five players who did not participate. NFL sacks leader Clay Matthews and backup tight end Donald Lee are optimistic that they'll be ready to face the Dolphins on Sunday but McCarthy said the team doctors don't necessarily share their opinion. At best, Matthews might practice on Friday.

A third player who did not participate, right tackle Mark Tauscher, had a second opinion on his injured shoulder and McCarthy didn't think the problem is anything that will end the veteran's season.

No pity party

With an alarming number of injuries taking out stalwarts such as Rodgers, Matthews, Finley, Ryan Pickett and Ryan Grant, there is much doom and gloom among Packer Nation.

That's not an opinion shared in the locker room.

"There is no ‘woe is me' here," McCarthy said. "This is the National Football League. It's a dynamic business. Not at the extent of getting players hurt, I like where we are at as a team. I think this is an excellent opportunity for us to show what we are about. I know there is probably doubt outside the room. The way they practiced today, the way they are working to get back on the field, the guys that have been here Monday, Tuesday, and again this morning. So, we'll be ready to go Sunday, I can promise you that."

Tauscher's injury allowed first-round pick Bryan Bulaga to make his first NFL start.

"I don't think anyone's mind-set is, ‘Gosh, if we lose so-and-so or so-and-so, we're really S.O.L.,'" Bulaga said. "I don't think anyone's thinking that. I think we're confident with the guys that are in the locker room, and I think the staff is confident with the guys in the locker room, and that's why they're here."

When a key player goes down, another player has to step up — like Bulaga did. But how many more "steps up" can be made?

"As an offensive unit, the more guys, the more steps you can take," receiver Greg Jennings said. "If we all take one step, that's at least 20-some of our guys taking steps. That's quite a bit of steps."

Packers injury report

Out: LB Nick Barnett (wrist), TE Jermichael Finley (knee). Did not participate: TE Donald Lee (chest), LB Clay Matthews (hamstring), DE Ryan Pickett (ankle), QB Aaron Rodgers (concussion), T Mark Tauscher (shoulder). Limited participation: LB Brandon Chillar (shoulder), T Chad Clifton (knee), S Nick Collins (knee), DE Cullen Jenkins (hand/hamstring). Full participation: FB Quinn Johnson (glute), CB Sam Shields (calf).

Dolphins injury report

Limited participation: T Jake Long (knee), DE Jared Odrick (ankle). Full participation: LB Channing Crowder (ankle).

Long, who is one of the marquee offensive tackles in the NFL, injured his left knee in the season opener. He hasn't missed a game but he hasn't been his dominating best.

"For me, after the quarterback it's been the left tackle for as long as I've been in this business," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano told reporters in Miami. "He plays against the hardest guys every week and I think that when you look at the guy that you have out there and you know that never mind how he plays in the game, but all the other qualities he brings to the table with his leadership skills and the way he practices and the way he goes about his business and how he carries himself as a professional. I mean, sometimes you forget the guy's still a young player. You think you're looking at a 10-year guy and you're only looking at a three-year guy."

Four-point stance

— McCarthy explained his clock management at the end of the game, with Rodgers taking his time before clocking the ball with 8 seconds to go. "That's a game situation that we practice, and it's called a church play," McCarthy said. "But it usually entails when you have a timeout. To spike that ball at 12 seconds and then take the chance of getting the play completed for another 7, 8 yards and relying on another clock play, that's not practical. You can't get the offense lined up. Now, if you're up around 20, above 18, that's a different story. Now, if you have a timeout, we're spiking it at 12, and now we're in a church situation is what we call it. The game management, frankly, we probably should have spiked it later, if you want to be critical. It should have been spiked at 3 or 4 seconds."

— This week, Rodgers has to pass mental and physical exams to be cleared to play. His mental test will be compared to a version he took before training camp. Any thought to intentionally bombing the baseline test to look better after a concussion? "We were joking that some guys on the team didn't pass it when they didn't have to, so they're never diagnosed with a concussion," backup quarterback Matt Flynn said.

Tramon Williams had a 64-yard interception return and a 52-yard punt return against the Redskins. Not only is that the first time a Packer had a 60-yard interception return and a 50-yard punt return in the same game, but it's the first time a player did both in the same season. The only players in NFL history to pull off that feat are Denver's Darrent Williams in 2005 and Deion Sanders in 1998.

— And yet they still lost: According to the Packers (via Elias), Sunday's game at Washington marked the first time in franchise history in which they topped 150 rushing yards (157) in fewer than 20 carries (17) in a regular-season game. The Packers did do so during their 1983 playoff loss at Dallas, with 158 yards on 17 carries. Like the Washington game, when Brandon Jackson had a 71-yard run, James Lofton had a 71-yard run against Dallas.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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