Notebook: Good News For D-Line

Cullen Jenkins think he'll play Sunday vs. the Jets; nose tackle Howard Green will be active despite just one practice; plus more as the Packers wrap up preparations for their Week 8 game.

Barring a setback, the Green Bay Packers will have starting defensive end Cullen Jenkins on the field for Sunday's game at the New York Jets.

"Looked fine," defensive line coach Mike Trgovac said after Friday's practice. "We'll probably be smart with him and play him a certain amount of snaps. I feel like I've got some extra guys now so I won't feel like I've got to play him every snap."

Jenkins missed last week's game against Minnesota because of a calf injury sustained during pregame warmups. He was listed as limited at practice all week and is questionable for Sunday, as is fellow starting end Ryan Pickett. Jenkins, however, did some work during team drills for the first time and appears in better position to help a shorthanded defense on Sunday.

"I guess you put pressure on yourself," Jenkins said. "You'd like to be out there and help your team. You want to go out there and be able to play, be able to produce. I guess any type of input you can do on the field, but at the same time you don't want to hurt ‘em. You don't want to say you're ready and you go out there and not be ready and leave them kind of shorthanded. We're going to take tonight and tomorrow and see how it feels, you know, go day-to-day, and probably will be until Sunday for they make a final decision."

Ready or not

One practice will be enough for Howard Green.

The big nose tackle, who was signed off waivers from the Jets, practiced for the first time on Friday and coach Mike McCarthy said it's a "safe bet" that Green will be on the 45-man roster for the game.

"Hopefully he'll help us," Trgovac said. "We'll just have to be smart on what you do with him. Obviously, you can't bring him up to the whole playbook but we have some things he'll be able to handle. He's been in the league a long time so there's carryover. Dom (defensive coordinator Dom Capers) drafted him when he was at Houston. We sat for awhile last night and he had some recall on some of the things that Dom ran when he was at Houston."

No Harris; maybe Bigby

It will be at least another week for cornerback Al Harris to make his season debut but McCarthy hasn't ruled out activating safety Atari Bigby from the physically unable to perform list.

"The more time you can give guys coming back, I think the better it is because they've been away from it for a long time," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. "I think Al's making progress and practicing well. So many times your roster, your makeup of your roster dictates that, in terms of how many guys you need at one position or another position."

The Packers had three weeks to either activate Harris and Bigby, put them on season-ending injured reserve or release them. That three-week window expires after next week.

Packers injury report

Questionable: DE Cullen Jenkins (calf), DE Ryan Pickett (ankle), T Mark Tauscher (shoulder). Probable: T Chad Clifton (knee), S Nick Collins (knee), WR Donald Driver (quad), G/T Marshall Newhouse (back), CB Charles Woodson (toe).

Driver feels better after getting Wednesday and Thursday off, McCarthy said. He was a limited participant on Friday.

Jets injury report

Probable: C Nick Mangold (shoulder), LB Calvin Pace (foot), DE Darrelle Revis (hamstring).

Four-point stance

— We covered this two weeks ago, but reporters are still asking about Charles Woodson's lack of big plays. "I think they come in bunches many times," Capers said. "You look around the league, he's probably made as much as a lot of good players,but you come to think that he's Superman because of what he's done in the past. The years like he had last year doesn't come around very often. That's why he was the defensive player of the year. You think even in the opener against Philadelphia, they have to review, he's got that interception, he's around the ball. Then out here with the Lions, without his interception, we probably don't beat the Lions."

— We wrote two stories on the Packers' passing offense facing the Jets' blitzing pass defense on Thursday. One stat that we somehow forgot to mention: The Jets are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete just 49.5 percent of their passes. That's No. 1 in the league by a wide margin, with Seattle No. 2 at 53.7 percent.

— The Packers don't have a losing history against many teams but the Jets have dominated the all-time series, with an 8-2 lead including 4-0 at home. The Jets have won the last two games – the 2002 matchup in New York and the 2006 game at Lambeau Field — by a combined 80-27.

— And since many Packers fans want to know, Brett Favre did some throwing and jogging at practice on Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday at New England. Favre, who suffered fractures in his ankle and heel during the third quarter at Green Bay, has started a league-record 291 consecutive games.


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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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