Packers notebook

A day after the Packers pulled the plug on ineffective former first-round draft pick Ahmad Carroll, they began pushing the envelope with rookie Jarrett Bush and second-year Patrick Dendy in the nickel-back role Wednesday.

Dendy, a second-year player, was promoted from the practice squad.

Head coach Mike McCarthy said both Bush and Dendy would be given the opportunity to win the job. McCarthy wanted the competition to sort itself out by Friday ahead of Sunday's game against St. Louis.

Carroll's two-plus years in Green Bay abruptly ended in the wake of a horrendous performance in the Packers' 31-9 loss at Philadelphia on Monday night. Carroll was responsible for three long pass plays and committed a familiar pass interference penalty.

The new coaching staff was unsuccessful in trying to break Carroll's habit of pulling and grabbing on downfield throws. He lost his starting job on the left side when Charles Woodson signed a lucrative free-agent contract in the spring.

"He's a junior to come out of college," McCarthy said of Carroll. "Sometimes, it takes those guys a little longer to adjust. But, we're going in another direction. We're going to give our young guys an opportunity."

The coaches are intrigued by the 6-0, 194-pound Bush, whom the team claimed off waivers from Carolina before the start of the season.

He came out of Utah State with a reputation as an aggressive cover corner with solid ball skills.

"I think he's getting more comfortable (in the new system)," McCarthy said. "I thought he was physical in the preseason (with the Panthers), exerted himself a little more than we've seen since he's been here. But, I think you're starting to see that now.

"He's got good size. He can run. I'd like to see him be more physical like I'd seen him at Carolina in the preseason."

The lanky Dendy (6 feet, 190) played in four games with the Packers late last season, primarily in a special-teams role. He hurt his chances of sticking with the team out of the preseason this year when he suffered a badly sprained ankle on the first day of camp and was out for an extended time.

Spitz to start at right guard
Jason Spitz has regained the starting spot at right guard, but McCarthy said Tony Moll would be part of a rotation.

Moll started the first four games at right guard but was relieved by fellow rookie Spitz after the offense's second series Monday. Spitz had been sidelined for two games after suffering a thigh injury as the starter at left guard in the opener.

Rookie Daryn Colledge will remain at left guard, where he's been the last three games.

"It's really three (guys) to play two (spots)," McCarthy said. "I thought Jason came back and played strong. I thought Tony did a nice job, too; he competed. So, I feel very good about Daryn, Tony and Jason as a group. You're looking for players to improve. I think our run-blocking and pass-protection units have improved, and they're a big part of it.

"If there's a position on our football team that's improving week to week, it's definitely our offensive line."

The Packers haven't allowed a sack in the last two games.

Roster moves
LB Spencer Havner was signed Wednesday to fill out the practice squad when Dendy was promoted to the 53-man roster. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Havner originally signed as an undrafted rookie this year with Washington, which cut him at the end of the preseason.

DT Kenderick Allen was placed on injured reserve Wednesday. Allen sustained a foot injury in the Sept. 24 win at Detroit. McCarthy said the foot wasn't broken, but the injury is more serious than the medical staff originally thought. Surgery is a possibility. The Packers signed the fourth-year veteran to a one-year contract in free agency. The mammoth Allen was in contention for a starting spot, but his play was ragged in the preseason.

The Packers Thursday re-signed linebacker Tracy White. General Manager Ted Thompson made the announcement.

Robinson gets 90-days
WR Koren Robinson missed practice Wednesday to attend a court hearing in Kirkland, Wash., outside Seattle. A judge decided that Robinson violated his probation stemming from a drunken-driving incident there in spring 2005 when he was arrested in August this year for a similar incident near the Minnesota Vikings' training camp headquarters. The Vikings later released Robinson, who was signed by the Packers on Sept. 12.

Robinson was ordered to serve 90 days in jail for violating his probation, but he will not have to serve the time until after the football season.

Robinson returned for practice today and expects to play as Green Bay's third receiver in place of the injured Robert Ferguson on Sunday.

Injury update
QB Brett Favre didn't practice Wednesday as he deals with a lingering mild concussion and pinched nerve in his neck stemming from a hard hit he absorbed in the fourth quarter of the Packers' loss at Philadelphia on Monday night. Favre expects to play Sunday against St. Louis and is listed as probable on the injury report. He might practice Thursday.

RB Ahman Green continues to be riddled by a sore left hamstring. The injury kept Green sidelined for Monday's game, and he didn't practice Wednesday. Green is questionable for Sunday, but head coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday that he would be surprised if Green doesn't play again.

WR Donald Driver also was held out of practice after sustaining rib and hip injuries Monday. The team's top receiver is questionable for Sunday.

WR Robert Ferguson is out indefinitely because of a foot injury he sustained returning a kickoff in the fourth quarter Monday. Ferguson is doubtful for Sunday's game. McCarthy said the hope is to get Ferguson back following the bye next week.

LB Ben Taylor didn't practice Wednesday and is questionable for Sunday because of a hamstring injury that he sustained Monday.

LB Abdul Hodge is doubtful for Sunday because of a knee injury he suffered on special teams Monday.

TE Donald Lee sustained a knee injury in the last game and is questionable for the upcoming contest. He, too, didn't practice Wednesday.

CB Will Blackmon has been ruled out for Sunday's game. The rookie has yet to play a down, preseason or regular season, because of complications from a broken foot he sustained in May.


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