Injury Bug sinks teeth into Packers

Cole is out; Gbaja-Biamila undergoes tests; Woodson injures big toe

Cornerback Charles Woodson and defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila are among a handful of players who are questionable for the Packers showdown against the Dallas Cowboys next week. Several Packers left Ford Field after Green Bay's Thanksgiving Day victory over the Detroit Lions with injuries, and their status is up in the air for the upcoming game.

Until yesterday, the Packers have been relatively healthy, but that may soon change after eight players were hurt in Green Bay's 37-26 win over the Lions.

"Yesterday's game was a true challenge for our football team," Mike McCarthy said today. "If you look at the way the game started offensively, that was not positive, and the result was the defense being out there as long as they were. And then the injuries started to occur. I was pleased with the way we fought through it. It is a part of the game, and I just think you need to be smart with injuries at this time of year.

"We have five games left, and I understand the importance and the excitement of the upcoming game at Dallas, but we just need to be smart as we go through these individual injuries and keep in mind there's a lot of football left."

Here is the latest on the Packers' injury front:

-- Defensive tackle Colin Cole sustained a fractured left forearm and will not play against the Cowboys next Thursday. He may be out the rest of the season.

"It was a shame," McCarthy said. "He was playing very well in the game. He had the one series where he had a string of plays he made consecutively."

The Packers will have to decide if it is best to place Cole on injured reserve, or wait until he is able to play with a cast. McCarthy said that has yet to be decided.

Rookies Justin Harrell or Daniel Muir are expected to step in for Cole, who was filling in for the injured Johnny Jolly. Jolly is expected to miss at least one or two more games with a shoulder strain.

-- Woodson sustained an injury to the big toe on his right foot during a punt return in the first quarter. McCarthy said the injury is similar to a turf toe injury Woodson played through during the 2001 season when he was with the Raiders. Woodson played in all 16 regular season games that year, and both of the Raiders playoff games.

Woodson's status for next Thursday's game, however, is questionable.

"We'll have a lot better diagnosis as the week goes on," McCarthy said. "Charles is in there (locker room) right now getting treatment, and he just has to get the swelling out of there right now."

-- Gbaja-Biamila was undergoing tests on his injured ankle and knee sprain, McCarthy said as he addressed the media over the noon hour. The defensive end was hurt while sacking quarterback Jon Kitna midway through the second quarter.

"He's very flexible, and I'm hopeful he was able to save himself from being in a bad position," said McCarthy.

Jason Hunter played in place of Gbaja-Biamila, and likely will see more action against Dallas if Gbaja-Biamila is held out.

"Jason Hunter played well in pass rush," McCarthy said. "He's been very, very consistent and been a big part of our success on special teams. He's been one of our primary special teams players throughout the year. He played well in the passing situations. I feel very comfortable putting him in there as we move forward."

-- Safety Aaron Rouse sustained a sprained knee near the end of the first half. McCarthy said that Rouse attempted to play early in the third quarter, but was still bothered by the injury. He was replaced by Charlie Peprah.

McCarthy said that Nick Collins, whom Rouse replaced the last two games, may be ready to resume his starting role against the Cowboys. Collins sustained a sprained knee Nov. 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

-- Offensive tackle Mark Tauscher aggravated an ankle sprain in the second half and was replaced by Tony Moll.

-- Special teams standout and backup linebacker Tracy White also aggravated an ankle sprain and had to leave the game in the second half.

-- Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett aggravated a knee sprain early in the game, but returned to finish the game. Pickett, however, was sore afterward.

"It's the exact same injury he had before, the back of the knee," McCarthy said.

-- Wide receiver Donald Driver limped out of the locker room Thursday after another player rolled up on the back of his ankles as he was blocking during a play. Driver is expected to be in the lineup next Thursday.

The players were given today off as part of what normally is a "Victory Monday." Because the Packers are playing next Thursday, they are operating on a Monday through Saturday schedule, meaning tomorrow will be their regularly scheduled day off. The team will reconvene Sunday to begin practice for the Cowboys.

"We will have some practice adjustments, there's no doubt about it," McCarthy said. "Our injury list is extensive. It will probably be similar to our Wednesday format two weeks ago, and then we'll see. I'll have a better idea after Sunday's practice what we'll be able to get done on Monday."

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