Sharper suffers two-pronged setback

It was a double dose of bad news and a double dose of good news for the Green Bay Packers on Friday.

First, the bad news. Packers coach Mike Sherman says standout safety Darren Sharper aggravated the injured ligament in his left knee during Thursday's workout. Adding sickness to injury, Sharper contracted the flu that night.

Sharper remains probable for Sunday's showdown at Philadelphia though there appears a good chance he will be limited to a reserve role. If Sharper doesn't start, Bhawoh Jue will return to the starting lineup. The cornerback-turned -safety played well while replacing Sharper for games against Washington, Minnesota and Houston.

Sharper was allowed to go home early Friday but was expected to be back with the team for its flight to Philadelphia later that night.

As for the setback with Sharper's knee, Sherman said, "He didn't loosen it up enough. There's no injury. There's no action that caused it. He just said he felt it just running around a bit. No contact, no one fell on it. He just said it felt sore on him."

The good news is at running back, where Sherman proclaimed Ahman Green would start and Najeh Davenport would be ready to back him up. Green missed last week's game against St. Louis with sprained rib cartilage while Davenport suffered bruised ribs on his third carry of that game.

Both were able to practice all three days this week.

Green, listed as probable, said he will wear some sort of protection for the ribs and added that he's not worried about suffering a hard hit to the injured area.

"I'm just waiting for the first hit to get here so I can go ahead and play," Green said.

Davenport, listed as questionable, was sore after his dominating performance of Monday night, when he rushed 19 times for 178 yards. The rib injury didn't bother Davenport on Monday and Sherman doesn't expect it will on Sunday.

"The more he warms up, the better he gets," Sherman said.

Along with Sharper, Green and Davenport, Friday's updated injured list includes wide receiver Robert Ferguson (foot/groin), tight end Bubba Franks (back), nose tackle Grady Jackson (knee), Jue (hip pointer) and linebacker Paris Lenon (knee).

Of that last group of players, all are listed as probable, giving them a 75 percent chance of playing. Franks didn't practice Thursday or Friday and Lenon didn't practice Friday after suffering the injury Thursday.

With Ben Steele being the only other tight end on the roster since David Martin was placed on season-ending injured reserve earlier in the week, fullback Nick Luchey is adding tight end to jack-of-all-trades resume.

"Luchey's going to play a role there as a third tight end in our offense," Sherman said. "It's a very easy adaptation with the elevation of (fullback Vonta) Leach to the 45-man roster. He played a significant role, particularly the other day on special teams.

"Luchey can fill in as a tailback, he can be the fullback, and he can be the movement tight end. I don't necessarily think he can be the on-the-line-of-scrimmage tight end — I think we have enough of those guys — he can be and H-back type of tight end that we do employ quite a bit."

Lenon, meanwhile, sprained his medial-collateral ligament in his left knee. His athleticism could be called upon should the Packers turn to a 3-4 defensive alignment to slow the running of Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.

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