Notebook: Lumpkin replaces Grant, Jackson

McCarthy expects his top backs to be ready for Detroit; much more injury news from Wednesday.

Kregg Lumpkin went from undrafted free agent in April to long shot to make the roster in July to surprise roster finalist in August to cheerleader on Monday.

On Wednesday, he was the Packers' starting halfback.

Chances are, he won't be in that role on Sunday at Detroit, but with the Packers resting Ryan Grant's hamstring and Brandon Jackson out with a concussion, Lumpkin was the only healthy halfback at practice in the Don Hutson Center.

Coach Mike McCarthy said he'd hold Grant out until Friday, and hoped Jackson would be back on Thursday with what he called a "minor" concussion sustained in the second half on Monday night against Minnesota. McCarthy said he learned of the concussion on Tuesday.

"Just trusting the doctors and the information that was given to me today, I feel confident that Brandon will be ready to go for the Detroit game," McCarthy said.

And if Grant's hamstring doesn't respond with rest and/or Jackson can't clear the cobwebs, McCarthy said he has confidence Lumpkin can perform not just as a runner but a blocker and receiver.

"I think he could handle it all," McCarthy said. "He's done a very good job with his opportunities. You can only judge him on what he's done, and every time the young man has been given an opportunity to play, he has improved. Actually he took a majority of the snaps at today's practice, and he missed one blitz pickup, but I thought he did a very good job."

Blitz protection and reading the holes are the two things Lumpkin listed that he needs to improve, but otherwise he said he feels "pretty comfortable" with the possibility he could earn meaningful playing time against the Lions.

Injury report

The Packers and Lions released their initial injury report, and the Packers' is crowded with 11 names. Here's the breakdown:

Limited participation: safety Atari Bigby (bicep), left tackle Chad Clifton (knees), defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (knee), Grant (hamstring) and wide receiver Ruvell Martin (finger).

Did not participate: Jackson (concussion), center Scott Wells (back) and cornerback Charles Woodson (toe). Full participation: wide receiver James Jones (knee), safety Charlie Peprah (hamstring).

Absent from the injury list is weak-side linebacker A.J. Hawk, suggesting his chest injury emerged unscathed on Monday. He missed the final three preseason games with the injury sustained Aug. 11 against Cincinnati.

"I think if A.J. gets hurt again, he is not going to tell anybody this time," McCarthy joked.

Rookie guard Josh Sitton (knee) will miss a second consecutive game.

For the Lions, linebackers Ernie Sims (ankle) and Paris Lenon (knee) and backup quarterback Drew Stanton (right thumb) were limited participation.

More about those injuries

McCarthy said Woodson has a fractured toe. Asked if that could be an injury that lingers all year, McCarthy said it depends on what happens on a weekly basis.

"Charles has played with a lot of things, so we have all the confidence ... he'll be ready to go this week," McCarthy said.

According to McCarthy, Wells said he's feeling "really good," but the training staff will remain cautious to make sure the center doesn't aggravate a back problem that has kept him out for all but half of the first quarter of the preseason game at San Francisco. When Wells will put the back to the test has not been decided, so his availability for Sunday is uncertain.

Peprah returns

Safety Charlie Peprah, dogged by a hamstring injury for most of training camp and a mild surprise on the final roster because of it, practiced full-go for the first time since Aug. 5. Peprah returned on a limited basis last week but was inactive for the Vikings game.

"It definitely felt good to get back out there and get my confidence back," said Peprah, a key special-teams player who impressed the team with his physical play during his one week of training camp. "I'm out there running around and feeling good. Just knocking the rust off now."

Extra points

The Packers don't have strength in numbers, but McCarthy generally was pleased with his defensive line's play against Minnesota. He said defensive tackle Ryan Pickett played well in his first action of the season, and noted defensive end Cullen Jenkins will be awarded the defensive game ball on Friday.

— With a short week of practice leading to the game, McCarthy said he has not watched the tape of Monday's game. Wednesday and Thursday were dedicated to the Lions, and McCarthy will use part of Friday to clean up mistakes made against the Vikings. One emphasis will be lane integrity for his pass rushers after watching Tarvaris Jackson break off some big runs.

— Vikings coach Brad Childress said his snub of McCarthy after Monday's game wasn't intentional. Childress told reporters in Minneapolis that he was busy talking with quarterback Tarvaris Jackson about the game-ending interception. According to Childress, the coaches have exchanged messages since Monday.

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and E-mail him at

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