Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy expects tough-guy right guard T.J. Lang to start on Sunday.
“We’re definitely headed that way,” McCarthy said on Friday morning, several hours before listing him as probable on the injury report.
Receiver Davante Adams (ankle) and safety Morgan Burnett (calf) are questionable while defensive tackle B.J. Raji (groin) and outside linebacker Nick Perry (shoulder) are doubtful.
Lang said he had good days of practice on Wednesday and Thursday, with Saturday's practice being the final hurdle to clear.
"So far everything’s better than I expected. I’m ready to go out there and get on the field Sunday," he said.
Since moving into the starting lineup to start the 2011 season, Lang has missed just one start in the next four-plus seasons. Lang will play on Sunday with a brace to prevent further damage to his right knee. He called it "uncomfortable" but a necessary evil until the injury has healed.
"It feels like a foreign object on your body," he said. "You play seven years taping the same way without having braces, you put something new on and it’s going to take a while to get used to. It’s probably just the feel of it."
Adams and Burnett are getting better, McCarthy said. Both players are questionable. Adams said he will practice on Saturday. That's a step in the right direction after not practicing the last two Saturdays and being downgraded to doubtful on an updated injury report.
"It doesn’t guarantee it," Adams said about playing, "but we’re getting there. At the very least, I’ll be set to go after the bye, but I’m not sure about this week."
However, since this is the second comeback for both players – Burnett aggravated the injury during practice before the Week 3 game vs. Kansas City and Adams played only one series in the Kansas City game – it’s possible the Packers will give them another game off and take advantage of the upcoming bye.
“Davante did more yesterday than we expected, so he’s in that category also to see how he goes through today,” McCarthy said. “I’d say Morgan Burnett, same thing.”
With Raji unlikely to play, the Packers might have only four defensive linemen - Mike Daniels, Letroy Guion, Mike Pennel and new dad Datone Jones.
The Chargers will be without left tackle King Dunlap and center Chris Watt. Guards D.J. Fluker and Orlando Franklin are questionable.
Packers Injury Report
Player (Injury): Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Status
WR Davante Adams (ankle): Limited, Limited, Limited. Questionable.
T Bryan Bulaga (knee): Full, Limited, Limited. Probable.
S Morgan Burnett (calf): Limited, Limited, Limited. Questionable.
WR Randall Cobb (shoulder): Full, Limited, Full. Probable.
CB Demetri Goodson (hamstring): Limited, Full, Full. Probable.
CB LaDarius Gunter (heel): Full, Limited, Limited. Questionable.
WR James Jones (hamstring): Limited, Limited, Limited. Probable.
G T.J. Lang (knee): Limited, Limited, Limited. Probable.
OLB Nick Perry (shoulder/hand): DNP, DNP, DNP, Doubtful.
DT B.J. Raji (groin): DNP, DNP, DNP. Doubtful.
ILB Jake Ryan (hamstring): Limited, Full, Full. Probable.
Chargers Injury Report
Player (Injury): Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Status.
T King Dunlap (concussion): DNP, DNP, DNP. Out.
OLB Kyle Emanuel (shoulder): Limited, Limited, Full. Probable.
G/T D.J. Fluker (ankle): DNP, Limited, DNP. Questionable.
G Orlando Franklin (ankle): Limited, DNP, Limited. Questionable.
G Chris Hairston (ankle): DNP, DNP, Limited, Questionable.
WR Stevie Johnson (hamstring): DNP, DNP, DNP. Doubtful.
CB Crag Mager (hamstring): DNP, DNP, DNP. Out.
DE Darius Philon (hip/thigh): DNP, DNP, DNP. Out.
ILB Manti Te’o (ankle): DNP, DNP, DNP. Questionable.
C Chris Watt (groin/concussion): DNP, DNP, DNP. Out.
OLB Tourek Williams (foot): DNP, DNP, DNP. Out.
Practice squad: The Packers signed tight end Mitchell Henry to the practice squad and released tight end Blake Annel from that 10-man unit. Henry (6-4, 252) spent training camp with the Packers, laboring through most of camp with a broken hand, as an undrafted rookie from Western Kentrucky. When he was released in the final cutdown, the Broncos claimed him off waivers. Henry played in two games and was released on Wednesday.
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.