McKenzie may start, or be traded

While the Packers are preparing cornerback Mike McKenzie to possibly make his first start of the season Sunday at Indianapolis, a newspaper reported McKenzie could be dealt as soon as this weekend.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, citing an anonymous source, said the New Orleans Saints have renewed their interest in the disgruntled cornerback as the Oct. 19 trading deadline approaches.

The Saints showed the most interest — perhaps the only real interest — in trading for McKenzie during the off-season, but were put off by the Packers' stiff demands. Green Bay sought a first-round pick or a player of equal acumen for the standout cornerback. According to the newspaper, the Packers perhaps would accept a second-round pick and another selection.

One source says the Saints are readying their offer, while another said McKenzie could be unloaded before Sunday's game at Indianapolis.

If that's true, then the statements coming out of Lambeau Field make little sense. Defensive coordinator Bob Slowik said McKenzie and his replacement in the starting lineup, Michael Hawthorne, split the reps at Thursday's closed practice. Slowik said the Packers hope McKenzie can play about half the snaps Sunday.

As for who will start, Slowik wouldn't stray from the company line.

"We really don't know yet," Slowik said. "There's a chance (McKenzie will start), and there's a chance that Mike Hawthorne will be the starter."

McKenzie played about 10 snaps Sunday against Chicago and faired well despite ending his 46-day holdout just days before the game.

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