Packers notebook

Martin ready to return; Williams prepared to play DE; injury update; roster moves

It appears that tight end David Martin will be ready to play this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. Martin has missed Green Bay's last two games after injuring his ribs Nov. 19 against New England.

The team's top receiving tight end with 21 catches, Martin made it through the entire practices Thursday and Friday, though, he remains questionable for Sunday's game at Monster Park.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said today whether Martin plays or not will be a "game-time decision."

Martin, meanwhile, is anxious to get back on the field.

"I feel like I'll be able to go out there and perform and do my job," Martin said. "Basically, I really want to be out there helping the team, get a W. That's the main thing."

Williams ready to move outside
Defensive tackle Corey Williams practiced this week at defensive end and tackle in preparation for Sunday's game. Williams has started seven games at tackle this season. Colin Cole and Cullen Jenkins are the top candidates to fill in at tackle on early downs if Williams were to move outside in place of Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila.

Green Bay, ranked 17th in the NFL against the run, will be keying on 49ers running back Frank Gore, who is fifth in the NFL with 1,563 scrimmage yards (1,217 rushing and 346 receiving).

"He hits wherever he see a seam – inside, outside, wherever he see a hole, he gonna hit it," Williams said.

Injury update
Defensive end Michael Montgomery and offensive tackle Mark Tauscher are not expected to play against the 49ers. Both are listed as out on the team's injury report Friday.

Montgomery was added to the injury report Thursday after injuring his knee on the final play of team drills Wednesday. Montgomery has been part of the line rotation for all but one game this season, registering 1.5 sacks.

Tauscher is expected to miss a fourth consecutive game because of a torn groin muscle. Tauscher hasn't practiced this week. Rookie Tony Moll will continue to start in Tauscher's place.

-- CB Patrick Dendy (concussion) has practiced the past three days and is probable for Sunday's game. If Dendy does not play, Jarrett Bush might be the nickel back. The rookie has taken reps at the spot in practice this week. Dendy has had the role after the release of Ahmad Carroll, but Dendy suffered a concussion last Sunday against the Jets. Bush has been activated for every game this season but hasn't played on defense since Week 5.

-- CB Charles Woodson returned to practice Friday after sitting out of practices on Wednesday and Thursday. Woodson, who has a team-high five interceptions, has a lingering shoulder injury and is probable on the injury report.

-- RB Ahman Green practiced Thursday and Friday after getting his customary day off Wednesday to rest his sore knees. He is probable for Sunday's game.

-- RB Noah Herron is managing fine with the ankle injury he suffered in the last game and is probable for Sunday. The third-down back has practiced the past three days.

Looking for a better start
In 12 games, the Packers have scored just twice on their opening drive, both touchdowns (Sept. 17 against New Orleans and Nov. 27 at Seattle). McCarthy is hoping to get better production on the first series of the game, but is happy with the overall first-quarter production. The Packers have out-scored opponents 61-58 in 12 games this season in the opening quarter.

"We're not doing a good job scoring on the first drive, but our first-quarter production is good," said McCarthy. "We do need to do a better job of coming out of the gate. This is something that we emphasize. We do do the first 15 plays, normal down and distance, like a lot of people do. We can do a better job on the first drive, but we are starting OK as an offense, but you always want to do better."

On the other hand, the Packers have had more success on their opening drives of the second half. On each of their 12 possessions that opened the second half this season, the Packers have recorded at least one first down and have scored five times for 31 points.

Roster moves
WR Chris Francies was re-signed to the practice squad Thursday, two days after he was cut from the 53-man roster to make room for WR Carlyle Holiday, who was claimed off waivers from Arizona. Francies, an undrafted rookie, started the season on the practice squad before being promoted after Week 5.

OT Calvin Armstrong was released from the practice squad to free up a spot for WR Chris Francies. Armstrong, a second-year player, had been signed to the practice squad Nov. 22.

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