Busy Carroll getting unwanted time off

The Packers were without one of their rookie cornerbacks for Monday's preseason game against Seattle. Chances are they'll be without the other rookie cornerback Saturday night against New Orleans.

Packers coach Mike Sherman hinted of the likelihood that first-round pick Ahmad Carroll will be held out of the New Orleans game due to a sore hamstring.

Carroll was unable to complete Wednesday's practice and spent most of Thursday's practice rehabbing the injury away from the practice field. The rest has been a rarity for Carroll. In fact, the heavy workload he's been getting is a reason why he likely won't play Saturday.

"He's been taking probably three-quarters of the defensive snaps out here in practice and taking most of the special-teams reps, and I imagine that played a part in it," Sherman said after Thursday's practice.

Carroll is one of the contenders, along with fellow rookie Joey Thomas and veteran Michael Hawthorne, to replace the AWOL Mike McKenzie in the starting lineup. Carroll has had an up-and-down training camp, but fared relatively well in the Seattle game. His only major gaffe was a rookie mistake — grabbing the intended receiver despite being in good position — that led to a pass-interference call and deprived safety Mark Roman of an interception.

Carroll tallied five tackles in the game and returned a pair of kickoffs for a 20-yard average.

As for third-round pick Thomas, he missed Monday's game but is expected to play Saturday night. He has been battling a bruised knee but has been practicing this week. When he's practiced, Thomas has generally outplayed Carroll by getting his hands on at least a pass or two each day.

As is the status for Carroll, Sherman didn't sound optimistic about the availability of starting wide receiver Robert Ferguson (hamstring) and rookie center Scott Wells (biceps) for Saturday.

Meanwhile, Sherman rattled off a list of nine players who are out for Saturday: starting center Mike Flanagan (knee), starting left guard Mike Wahle (knee), defensive end Chukie Nwokorie (hamstring), rookie defensive tackle Donnell Washington (arch), safety/cornerback James Whitley (concussion), cornerbacks Chris Watson (hamstring), Chris Day (ribs) and Chris Johnson (leg), and offensive tackle/guard Atlas Herrion (knee).

Sherman on Wednesday said he's hopeful Wahle will be able to play in the Aug. 27 preseason game at Jacksonville. Wahle on Thursday confirmed that goal. Flanagan is targeted to play in the preseason finale, Sept. 3 at Tennessee.


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