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Packers Coach Mike McCarthy Hopeful CB Sam Shields Will Play

Packers coach Mike McCarthy called Friday a “big day” for his top cornerback and his availability for the undefeated Panthers.

Injured Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields didn’t practice on Wednesday and Thursday, and he wouldn’t have to practice on Saturday, either, to play on Sunday at Carolina.

“Sam’s a veteran,” coach Mike McCarthy said on Friday morning, about five hours before listing Shields as questionable. “I would say I would not need him to participate tomorrow because we have history together. But there’s hoops you’ve got to jump through and he has not done that yet, so it’s clearly in the hands on the medical team right now.”

Shields sustained a shoulder injury while trying to make a tackle on Denver’s first scoring drive last week. The Packers don’t practice on Fridays, with the focus being on mental preparation and physical recovery. Thus, McCarthy called Friday a “big day” for his top cornerback and his availability for the undefeated Panthers.

“I hope so. It’s how he comes out of here today and we’ll see what happens tomorrow,” McCarthy said.

If Shields can’t play, the Packers likely will go with Damarious Randall and Casey Hayward as the starting cornerbacks with Micah Hyde playing in the slot in the team’s nickel package. However, because of the Panthers’ perimeter speed, they potentially could work in Demetri Goodson, who fared well in limited playing time after Shields and Quinten Rollins were injured.

“If we had Sam I would feel better, but we don’t have him, so it is what it is,” cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt said on Thursday. “We’re going to go out there with the guys that we have and the expectation really hasn’t changed. They need to go out there and play and get the job done.”

Otherwise, the Packers are relatively healthy. Only Shields and Rollins (neck; questionable) haven’t practiced this week. Linebacker Clay Matthews (knee/ankle; probable) and receiver Ty Montgomery (ankle; questionable) haven’t had any setbacks. If Montgomery plays, the Packers would have their full complement of receivers for the first time since Adams played briefly in the Week 3 game vs. Kansas City. Plus, Montgomery is the team’s primary kickoff returner. If he had enough opportunities, he would lead the NFL with his 31.1-yard average.

Here's the injury report:

Packers injury report
Name (injury): Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Status.
LB Clay Matthews (ankle/knee): Limited, Limited, Limited, Probable.
WR Ty Montgomery (ankle): Limited, Limited, Limited. Questionable.
OLB Nick Perry (shoulder/hand): Limited, Limited, Limited. Probable.
FB Aaron Ripkowski (illness): DNP, Full, Full. Probable.
CB Quinten Rollins (neck): DNP, DNP, DNP. Questionable.
CB Sam Shields (shoulder): DNP, DNP, DNP. Questionable.

Panthers injury report
Name (injury): Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Status.
DE Mario Addison (shoulder): Limited, Limited, Full. Probable.
TE Ed Dickson (hamstring): Limited, Limited, Full. Probable.
DT Dwan Edwards (ankle): Limited, DNP, DNP. Out.
C Ryan Kalil (ankle): DNP, Limited, Full. Probable.
CB Josh Norman (illness): DNP, Full, Full. Probable.
G Andrew Norwell (hamstring): DNP, DNP, DNP. Out.
LB Shaq Thompson (knee): Full, Full, Full. Probable.
C Fernando Velasco (shoulder): Limited, Limited, Full. Probable.
CB Teddy Williams (illness): Not listed, DNP, Full. Probable.

Bill Huber is publisher of 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

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