Packers injury update

Leg injuries to Spitz, Coston may force another changing of guards

It appears that offensive lineman Jason Spitz will need all the time he can get to recover from a quadriceps injury that he sustained Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Fortunately for Spitz, he has 12 more days until the Green Bay Packers play their NFC divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field.

Spitz, who started Sunday's game at right guard, was removed after injuring his right leg, just above the knee, in the second quarter. Whether Spitz will be ready to start for the Jan. 12 playoff game remains to be seen.

"I'm hopeful," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "We'll need to wait a week to get more information on his quad."

While other players are off until the team is scheduled to reconvene on Thursday evening, McCarthy said Spitz will remain in Green Bay for treatment on his leg. The versatile Spitz has started seven games at right guard this season, three at center for the injured Scott Wells, and two at left guard. He injured his right calf during a preseason game Aug. 23 against Jacksonville, then aggravated the injury in the regular season opener on Sept. 9 against Philadelphia.

Though Junius Coston sustained a calf strain Sunday against the Lions, it appears that he will be ready for the Packers' playoff game. Coston left the game in the third quarter. If Spitz is unable to play in the playoff, Coston and Daryn Colledge probably will start at the guard positions. If Spitz and Coston are unavailable, Tony Moll will start at one of the guard positions opposite Colledge, according to McCarthy.

"Tony went in there and played right guard yesterday and did some good things in there," said McCarthy. "Also, (Allen) Barbre would be another option, playing him at left and moving Daryn over to right. Those are the kind of conversations that we had today."

Barbre, Green Bay's fourth round draft pick this year, saw his most significant playing time of the season Sunday, participating in 40 snaps from scrimmage.

"He did a good job," said offensive line coach James Campen. "He plays with great energy and enthusiasm and brings great energy to the group."

Due to injuries and ineffective performances, the Packers have shuffled in different players at the guard positions throughout the season. Though coaches would like continuity, they also are comfortable with the personnel on hand. With the recent injuries, the shuffling may continue into the postseason.

"We're fortunate that we have guys that we can put in there and that we're comfortable playing with," said Campen. "That's the way it is right now. It's very competitive."

-- Cornerback Will Blackmon, who left the game in the second quarter with a foot injury, is expected to participate in the playoff game. McCarthy said that X-rays were negative on Blackmon's foot and that he had an "irritation" to the same foot he injured in 2006 during a May minicamp.

-- McCarthy also said that running back Ryan Grant, who sustained a stinger injury Sunday, will be ready for the playoff game. McCarthy said Grant was lifting weights today in preparation for the game.

-- CB Charles Woodson isn't expected to participate in the team's scheduled practices Friday and Saturday. The medical staff wants to limit the pounding Woodson takes on a chronically sore toe. He was held out of Sunday's regular-season finale.

-- WR Greg Jennings was a notable scratch from the game Sunday, but he would have played had the game been significant. Jennings was questionable to play because of a sore ankle.

-- QB Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre's top backup, is eyeing a return to practice by the end of the week. He will be tested Wednesday and evaluated Thursday on how he responds to the workout. Rodgers has been deactivated as the No. 3 quarterback the last four games because of a strained hamstring.

-- FB Korey Hall could be ready to return to the field at the end of the week. The rookie starter was sidelined the last two games because of a hip injury.

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