Notebook: Waiting Game Continues

A decision for Sunday's game will be made Saturday on PUP'ers Al Harris, Atari Bigby and James Starks; Charlie Peprah likely will keep his job regardless of Bigby's status; plus much more from Friday.

Green Bay Packers coach McCarthy, sticking to his guns, said no decisions would be made until Saturday on activating cornerback Al Harris, safety Atari Bigby or running back James Starks from the physically unable to perform list. There is one open roster spot.

Harris and Bigby have said they're ready.

"I think those guys are competitors," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said on Friday. "Obviously, they'd like to be out there playing every down. I think you've got to be smart. These guys haven't played football for awhile. We're at a point now where they've practiced. Their situation for Sunday night, we'll meet on this game management meeting. I think they're right on schedule for what we kind of had planned in terms of bringing them back."

When Bigby returns, there's no guarantee that he'll supplant Charlie Peprah, who has played well the last couple of games — and especially so last week against the Jets. Capers said as much, saying he's not going to "jerk him out" but there might be more of a rotation, which would give Nick Collins a break periodically, as well.

"It's competitive, and that's healthy," safeties coach Darren Perry said. "Because it keeps everybody on their toes. It lets all the guys know, ‘Hey, I don't have too much room for error, because there's somebody waiting in the wings to show what they can do.' From a coach's standpoint, anytime you can have a competitive situation like that it's only going to make your football team better. Atari understands the situation, and he knows he'll have his opportunity. It's just a matter of time and making sure we give him the best scenario in terms of making sure he's ready before we stick him back out there."

A little healthier

Knock on wood, but the Packers' injury report is improving entering this final game before the bye.

Guard Daryn Colledge, who was held out on Thursday because of a sore back, bounced back and was a full participant at Friday's practice and is listed as probable. On the other side of the ball, defensive end Ryan Pickett is listed as questionable but "looked the best he's looked in a number of weeks," McCarthy said.

Pickett has played in nine snaps over the last four games, including being deactivated for the Jets game after aggravating the injury against Minnesota. Pickett was listed as limited participation but he said he did everything. When asked if he might be better off taking this week off and giving the ankle another week to heal with the bye, he said he's much further long now than two weeks ago.

"Something like an ankle, I'll probably feel it a little the rest of the year," he said. "It felt good and strong. It's a big game, man. We need to win this. There's no holding back and saying, ‘Oh, the bye's coming.' We need a win."

Colledge has started all 40 games over the last two-and-a-half years.

"Three hundred pounds caused it," Colledge said. "But, something happened in the game. I think it's one of those things, it was sore over the weekend, but then you get to practice on Wednesday and it kind of rears its head again. It's just one of those things, it happens, it's just part of the game, and you've got to try to recover from it.

Packers injury report

Out: WR Donald Driver (quad); CB Pat Lee (ankle). Questionable: DE Ryan Pickett (ankle); TE Andrew Quarless (shoulder); T Mark Tauscher (shoulder). Probable: T Chad Clifton (hamstring/knee); G Daryn Colledge (back); S Nick Collins (knee); DE Cullen Jenkins (calf); LB Clay Matthews (shin); RB Dimitri Nance (ankle); QB Aaron Rodgers (ankle); CB Charles Woodson (toe).

Cowboys injury report

Out: DE Jason Hatcher (groin); G Montrae Holland (groin); S Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (ankle); QB Tony Romo (shoulder). Probable: T Marc Colombo (back); LB Bradie James (knee); RB Felix Jones (ankle); G Kyle Kosier (guard); CB Terence Newman (ribs).

Kosier, the starter at left guard, missed the last two games with his injury.

Four-point stance

— On Starks, McCarthy said: "James looks good. He's a talented young man, and we're excited to get him back out there, but he's very young. He has a lot to learn. Just the opportunity to go through a week's practice, game plan, this has been a very good experience for him. But he has missed so much time. There's so much fundamental work that he needs to benefit from."

— Special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum, on Mason Crosby: "I think he's been solid. For him, and for us, he needs to hit one of these game-winners again. If I remember right, he made one his rookie year against Philly, and he's hit the upright twice (since). Say what you want to say, look at it however you want to look at it, kickers are known for their last made kick. I like the way Mason kicks. Hopefully, he'll have an opportunity to do that in the future."

— Slocum listed the usual suspects as kick return prospects in place of the injured Lee — Jordy Nelson, Tramon Williams and Nance — but also mentioned Starks and Sam Shields. We'll have more on this later.

— Of Woodson's 47 career interceptions, his most (five) have come against Sunday's quarterback, Jon Kitna. He's picked off Elvis Grbac and Kordell Stewart three times, and he's got a heist on 34 quarterbacks in all.

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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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