Moss out, Sharper in (maybe)

The will-he-or-won't-he-play mind games are over. And Vikings coach Mike Tice was right all along.

Pro Bowl wide receiver Randy Moss will not play in Sunday's game at Lambeau Field, with Tice downgrading Moss from doubtful to out on the official injury report.

Tice had said all along Moss wouldn't play, but the Packers weren't buying it, especially with Moss listed as doubtful on Wednesday's initial injury report.

This will be the second consecutive game Moss has sat out. After playing in the first 103 games of his career, Moss was unable to play Monday night at Indianapolis on a severely strained right hamstring.

Moss injured the hamstring during the Oct. 17 victory at New Orleans. He played just 11 snaps over the next two weeks before Tice finally shut down Moss for the Monday nighter in hopes his premier playmaker would be ready for the crucial division showdown.

Asked by reporters Thursday if Moss would have healed faster had he not tried playing in the aforementioned two games, Tice testily replied: "No, I don't wonder at all. You guys can wonder and you guys can second-guess. I'm never going to second-guess myself anymore. I try to be upfront and nice, and it turns into chaos."

The sight of Moss in street clothes will be a welcome sight for the Packers. In 12 career games against Green Bay, Moss reached the end zone 11 times and tallied more than 1,200 receiving yards.

In a double dose of good news for the Packers, standout safety Darren Sharper practiced Thursday, a day ahead of his target date. Sharper has been battling a partially torn posterior-cruciate ligament in his left knee, suffered in the first quarter of the Oct. 24 win over Dallas. Sharper sat out the rest of that game and then the Washington game and used the subsequent bye to nurse the knee back to reasonable health.

Sharper remains listed as questionable (50 percent chance of playing), and the Packers aren't exactly counting on him to play. Nonetheless, assuming the knee doesn't act up on him overnight, Sharper expects to be in the lineup.

"We need all of our horses, especially now. It's that time," Sharper said.

Sharper wore a protective knee brace during practice but said he'd rather not wear it during the game since it restricts his flexibility.

A short injury list grew a bit when starting right tackle Mark Tauscher was added to it Thursday with a shoulder injury suffered the day before. He's listed as probable, as is starting guard Marco Rivera (ankle). Reserve linebacker Paris Lenon (sprained left knee) is questionable.


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