T.J. Lang has ligament and muscle damage in his ankle.
Those injuries, which were sustained at New Orleans on Oct. 26, aren’t exactly trivial, and they sidelined the Green Bay Packers’ starting guards for Thursday’s practice.
Nonetheless, Lang said on Thursday, “I wouldn’t bet against us playing this week.”
As Sitton said on Wednesday, Lang and the team’s medical and coaching staffs will have to weigh the risk vs. the reward. They’ll do some work on Friday to gauge whether they’ll be able to go through the team’s light practice on Saturday and, ultimately, if they can play on Sunday night against Chicago.
“Setbacks, that’s probably the biggest thing,” said Lang, who missed all but the opening series at New Orleans because of the injury. “Obviously, when you have some ligament tears and muscle tears, it takes time to heal. If I were to do the same thing over again, it would set me back another week or two. That’s obviously something you have to think about is weigh the options and not getting better for the rest of the season and be kind of that 60-70 percent, whatever it is, or just waiting a couple of weeks and being 80-90 percent. That’s something that we’re taking into consideration. That’d be my biggest fear is having a setback and missing a couple more weeks.”
McCarthy said he’d have no problem letting his veteran guards play without practicing this week. Lang would rather not go that route. He recalled suffering a concussion during last year’s home game against Chicago, getting cleared the day before the next week’s game against Philadelphia and playing every snap in that game.
“Me, I’m a guy that I really don’t feel 100 percent comfortable unless I get some reps in practice,” Lang said. “Hopefully, tomorrow, if everything goes well, Saturday I can get out there and do some things and start to build that confidence. If it ends up where I don’t get any reps and I end up playing on Sunday, then I think I’ve played in enough games that I know I can do it.”
Lang and Sitton personify the toughness of the sport, in general, and the offensive line positions, in particular. Lang has missed only one game since becoming a starter in 2011 and Sitton has missed only two games since becoming a starter in 2009. Lang played through an elbow injury that dogged him for much of 2012. Sitton has had knee and back problems. Those, apparently, aren’t significant.
“Knock on wood, but neither of us have had any major injuries where we needed surgery or anything,” Lang said. “That’s part of being lucky, I guess. Everybody has some small things that they play through. History tells you we’re guys that tend to play through some things, if we can. I wouldn’t bet against us playing this week. But like I said, it’s just a day-to-day process and we’re both in the same boat. We’ve been doing the same things. See how we feel tomorrow.”
GREEN BAY PACKERS