Newhouse Ready, Despite Absence

Marshall Newhouse, who will square off against Jared Allen, missed practice for personal reasons. Also absent was Ryan Pickett with a concussion. Plus, the final injury reports and more from Friday as the team wrapped up preparations for the Vikings.

Awaiting the biggest test of his young career, second-year offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse was absent from the Green Bay Packers' final practice before facing the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

With Newhouse set to lock horns with perennial Pro Bowler and NFL sacks leader Jared Allen, Newhouse was gone for a personal matter.

"Marshall's ready to play in the game Sunday," coach Mike McCarthy said after Friday's practice. "He's where he needs to be, with his family right now. I'm very confident in Marshall's preparation."

The Packers depart for Minneapolis at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, with McCarthy expecting Newhouse to be back in Green Bay in time to travel with the team.

Guard Ray Dominguez also was absent for a personal reason. He's expected to travel with the team, too.

Walking wounded

While Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews are listed as probable, the Packers almost certainly will be without third cornerback Sam Shields and might be without starting defensive end Ryan Pickett.

Shields did not practice all week because of a concussion and Pickett sustained a concussion during Thursday's practice and was held out on Friday. Of the two, McCarthy indicated Pickett has a decent chance of playing.

"Oh, absolutely," McCarthy said when asked if there was time for Pickett to progress through the league-mandated concussion protocol. "They're not very concerned about Ryan. Just walking off the field with Pepper (Burress, the head trainer), he feels very confident that Ryan will be cleared tomorrow."

As for Shields' absence, cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt said the team will use Jarrett Bush and Pat Lee as the third and, as needed, fourth cornerbacks. Rookie Davon House is not an option.

"Jarrett's played a lot," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. "Jarrett's played really well for us when he has played. I think we all as coaches have confidence in Jarrett Bush and what he does. He plays a lot of different places. You have to have that nowadays because you're always one play away from moving a guy around. I feel good. Jarrett's had a lot of good reps in practice this week."

Packers injury report

Out — LT Chad Clifton (hamstring); LB Jamari Lattimore (shoulder); DE Mike Neal (knee); LB Frank Zombo (knee). Doubtful — CB Sam Shields (concussion; did not participate). Questionable — DE Ryan Pickett (concussion; did not participate). Probable — S Morgan Burnett (hand; limited); LB Clay Matthews (quad; did not participate); TE Andrew Quarless (knee; full); G Josh Sitton (knee; did not participate); CB Charles Woodson (foot/knee; limited).

Without Zombo and Lattimore, So'oto figures to be on the gameday roster.

"Vic has an opportunity (to contribute on defense)," McCarthy said. "It really depends on how the game goes and whether he's active and so forth. He's been getting ready on special teams and the outside linebacker position. But really the flow of the game and the decisions that really we'll talk about today — we have more to talk about today than we have in prior weeks because we're going to have to rely on some medical evaluations that we'll go through tomorrow. Our inactive list isn't really where you'd like it to be come Friday afternoon."

Vikings injury report

Doubtful — S Jamarca Sanford (concussion; did not participate); C John Sullivan (concussion; did not participate); CB Antoine Winfield (neck; limited). Probable — WR Percy Harvin (ribs; limited); LB E.J. Henderson (knee; full); G Steve Hutchinson (knee; full); T Phil Loadholt (knee; limited); LB Benny Onatolu (hamstring; limited).

Sullivan, Sanford and Winfield are starters. Assuming they can't go, Joe Berger will play center, Tyrell Johnson safety and Chris Cook at corner, with Asher Allen replacing Cook as the third corner.

"I think it's more week to week at this point," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said on Friday of Winfield, who's missed the last two games. "He's made a lot of progress, to the point where he's very close to getting on the field. So, I think he's still kind of day to day right now."

Four-point stance

— Gale Gillingham, one of the finest offensive linemen in Packers history, died Thursday. Gillingham, a first-round pick out of Minnesota in 1966, was the starting left guard as a second-year player in 1967, when the Packers won Super Bowl II. Gillingham was selected to five Pro Bowls. Only Forrest Gregg (nine) and Jim Ringo (seven) had more in Packers history. He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1982.

— For the third consecutive week, Aaron Rodgers was voted by fans as the FedEx Air Player of the Week. FedEx is making a $2,000 donation in Rodgers' name to the local Junior Achievement area offices in Northern Wisconsin. The funding is used to help U.S. small-business development, by educating the next generation of entrepreneurs on how to start and grow their own businesses.

— Cornerback Tramon Williams confirmed that he was fined $5,000 for wearing green-and-yellow cleats when the Packers wore their throwback uniforms last week. Apparently, when teams wear throwback uniforms, they have to wear brown shoes. Matthews also was fined $5,000 for the wrong shoes. "I'd done the same thing last year, and I didn't get on," Williams said. "I expect the same thing. I expect consistency. They didn't show me that, but it is what it is. I'm going to appeal it, obviously. We'll see."

— Defensive li ne coach Mike Trgovac said he'd like to cut back on B.J. Raji's snap count but it's hard to take him off the field with opponents doing so much passing and no-huddle.


Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.


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.


Packer Report Top Stories