Sherman will make Green decision on Monday

Will he play or won't he play? That is the question concerning Ahman Green, and it's a question coach Mike Sherman has no intention of answering one moment sooner than he has to.

Green is listed as questionable on the injury report with sprained rib cartilage. He hasn't practiced all week, which generally means he won't play Monday night against the St. Louis Rams. Sherman, however, gave no hints in either direction after Saturday's practice.

"I think there's always that opportunity that if he takes a direct shot (to the ribs), it could be tough on him," Sherman said. "But he's a pretty tough guy and he can handle quite a few things."

Whether his injured ribs, hurt Sunday night on his first carry of the game, can withstand the battering the ribs of a running back are certain to take, is the big concern. Especially with a game at Philadelphia coming up six days later.

Sherman called Green "day to day" and said he wouldn't make a decision until Monday. If he does play, Green would wear a flak jacket, which would provide some protection from being hit but would do nothing to spare him from all the twisting and turning.

"He's not going to do anything that would jeopardize the team in relationship to his availability," Sherman said. "He's very aware that if he suits up, he's going to play."

If Green does not play, the start would go to Najeh Davenport, who on Saturday proclaimed his injured left hamstring at "80, 85 percent" health.

"If he's ready to roll, then, more than likely, he would be the starter," Sherman said.

Davenport is feeling better as the week has progressed. On Friday, he said he was in third gear. On Saturday, he said he had stepped it up into fourth gear.

"I don't want to run it into fifth gear," Davenport said. "I don't want to put it at top, top speed yet because of the situation. I'm going to leave that to a game-time situation. If we need it, I'll use it. But, right now, I'm comfortable in fourth gear."

Davenport, who has not played since Oct. 24, has practiced three straight days, including in the rain and cold Friday. Davenport insists he's healthy enough to not only play but to carry the load usually carried by Green.

"How many carries do I want? Twenty-five to 30," he said. "How many will I be good for? Twenty-five to 30."

One who player who will not play is Walter Williams. Listed as questionable all week, the running back was moved to out with his high-ankle sprain suffered at Houston. That was no surprise given his ankle injury generally keeps players out for at least a few weeks.

His loss will be offset by the newly acquired James Jackson, who has picked up Green Bay's offense remarkably quickly for a guy who was with the Browns a week-and-a-half ago.

"I don't think he's made a mental mistake all week," said Sherman of the fourth-year pro and former Cleveland starter.

In other injury news:

— Safety Darren Sharper is getting closer to returning to the starting lineup. After sitting out the Washington game and limping his way through games against Minnesota and Houston, Sherman said he will decide Sunday if Sharper will regain his starting spot capably manned by Bhawoh Jue the last few games.

— Fullback Nick Luchey proclaimed his status as "day to day" with a separated shoulder also suffered at Houston. If he plays, he will wear a shoulder harness. If he doesn't play, practice-squad player Vonta Leach likely would be promoted to fill in as William Henderson's backup.

— Tight end David Martin will not play for a second consecutive week as he has been downgraded from questionable to out. He has a strained patella tendon in his left knee. Ben Steele will serve as Bubba Franks' backup.

— Wide receiver Robert Ferguson joined the walking wounded with an aggravated groin injury. He's listed as probable but did not practice Saturday. Given the wet and cold conditions expected for Monday, the injury could become an issue.

"There's concern, but not that he won't be available (for Monday). He's always available," Sherman said of tough-guy Ferguson.

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