Doctors will determine whether Hawk will soar

The linebacker, who has not missed a game since his senior year of high school, has practiced the last two days but has not been cleared for the Monday showdown against Minnesota. He is listed as questionable on the injury report.

A.J. Hawk played all 51 games at Ohio State, including starting his final 37 games for the Buckeyes. He's played in and started all 34 games (including playoffs) in Green Bay.

To keep that streak alive, he'll need cooperation from the Packers' medical staff.

Even though he has practiced the last two days with no limitations — his first practices since injuring his chest in the preseason opener against Cincinnati on Aug. 11 — Hawk has not been cleared to play in Monday night's regular-season opener against Minnesota at Lambeau Field. He's listed as questionable on the injury report, meaning there's a 50 percent chance he will play on Monday.

"I hope," Hawk said when asked Friday whether he anticipated getting the OK from the doctors. "I've been hoping to play for awhile, but that's me. I'm not a doctor; I don't claim to me. I'd like to be optimistic, but it's not my call when it comes down to it."

Hawk said he's wearing a protective harness — "It makes the doctors feel better," he said — to help restrict the strained muscle. He said the fear of him aggravating the injury is why the team has been so cautious.

At least getting back on the practice field is a step in the right direction, especially with Adrian Peterson leading the Vikings' offense into Monday's NFC North showdown.

"Obviously, it's tough," Hawk said of being sidelined. "I've never been off the field for that long a period of time before. It's good to at least get back to practice. It feels good to almost be part of the team again."

Center Scott Wells (back), receiver James Jones (knee) and guard Josh Sitton (knee) did not practice. Sitton was ruled out by the Packers on Thursday.

Coach Mike McCarthy did not address the media after Friday's practice to provide an injury update, so it was not clear why running back Ryan Grant (hamstring) and defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (knee) did not practice. Both are listed as probable. Grant, Gbaja-Biamila, center Scott Wells (back), receiver James Jones (knee) and guard Josh Sitton (knee) are the only players who did not practice.

Meanwhile, over in Minnesota, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is listed as probable with a sprained MCL in his right knee.

Official injury report

Packers:

Probable (75 percent chance player will play) — safety Atari Bigby (ankle); tackle Chad Clifton (knees and chest); Gbaja-Biamila; Grant; defensive end Jeremy Thompson (groin); linebacker Tracy White (ankle). Questionable (50 percent chance player will play) — Hawk; safety Charlie Peprah (hamstring); Wells. Doubtful (25 percent chance player will play) — Jones. Out — guard Josh Sitton (knee).

Vikings:

Probable — Jackson; receiver Robert Ferguson (ankle). Doubtful — running back Maurice Hicks. Out — safety Madieu Williams (neck).

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com

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