Packers injury update

Fisher will be sidelined indefinitely with broken rib

One of the few good things from Green Bay's 20-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday is that the Packers did not lose any players to a major injury during the game. Plus, a few of the team's walking wounded are scheduled to return to play against the Falcons in Atlanta this Sunday.

Less than 24 hours before the game, running back Tony Fisher was scratched on doctors orders because of a fractured rib. There's no timetable for Fisher's return, though head coach Mike Sherman said today that Fisher could miss at least a couple of weeks.

Fisher suffered the injury during a 21-14 loss at Cincinnati on Oct. 30, a game in which he started for the first time this season in the wake of season-ending injuries to Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport. Fisher aggravated the injury during practice last Thursday.

"It's an obscure-type rib underneath the shoulder area," Sherman said. "We'll continue to evaluate that. I don't imagine his availability will be anytime soon."

ReShard Lee started in Fisher's place Sunday but was pulled after fumbling on the Packers' third play from scrimmage. Undrafted rookie Samkon Gado was summoned for the lead role and responded with 26 carries for 62 yards with a 1-yard touchdown.

Team doctors told Sherman that Fisher could risk sustaining a punctured lung because of the fractured rib if he plays.

"There's a pain factor involved and also the location of the rib," Sherman said. "It has not punctured his lung, but there is always that concern. So you always have to be careful that he's good to go when you put him out there, particularly in the shoulder position that takes the bulk of the contact for a football player, particularly a running back."

Defensive tackle Corey Williams suffered a strained right calf late in the third quarter Sunday. He didn't return to the game.

Williams is not expected to practice on Wednesday. He is scheduled to undergo an magnetic resonance imaging exam today to further determine the extent of the injury.

-- Cornerback Mike Hawkins sustained a slight concussion after tackling Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch. Hawkins underwent further exams Sunday night at a Green Bay hospital, but Sherman said "nothing was revealed on the scan, so he's going to be OK. But he was a little dizzy after that hit."

-- Offensive tackle Chad Clifton played his second straight game with a sprained ankle.

-- Center Mike Flanagan has played the last two games despite recent hernia surgery. -- Wide receiver Robert Ferguson, linebacker Na'il Diggs and possibly tight end David Martin may be able to play against the Falcons. Robert Ferguson didn't play for the second straight game because of a torn ligament in his left knee, which he sustained Oct. 23. Sherman said Ferguson is "real close" to returning to action.

Ferguson will begin running with the team's strength and conditioning coaches this week. "Robert thought he could have gone (against Pittsburgh), but there was no way after looking at him run on Saturday," Sherman said.

Antonio Chatman started in Ferguson's place for the second straight game.

Diggs, the strong-side starter at linebacker, isn't fully recovered from a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee, which he sustained Oct. 3. Diggs, who practiced all of last week, figures to be ready for Sunday's game at Atlanta.

"I think physically, he might have been able to go (against Pittsburgh), but holding him back helps him to be more available this week," Sherman said. "Judging the linebacker situation, we would have had to dress six because he hasn't taken enough (reps) in practice to warrant him playing within context of the game plan. I'm hopeful that we can push that envelope this week and get him ready to go."

Paris Lenon started in place of Diggs on Sunday.

Martin was deactivated for the second consecutive game because of a strained groin, leaving the Packers with only starter Bubba Franks and Donald Lee at the position.

Martin might begin some running this week, but he hasn't begun running yet, Sherman said.

The Packers have missed 25 combined starts this season due to injuries. Starting running back Tony Fisher was scratched from the starting lineup Sunday against the Steelers with a rib injury.

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