Grant, Woodson are questionable for Lions

Cornerback Charles Woodson did not practice this week and will be a game-time decision.

Ryan Grant and Charles Woodson are listed as questionable for Green Bay's game on Sunday at Detroit.

Grant was a full participant in Friday's practice, generally considered the most important practice of the week, and said he'll be ready for the Lions. Woodson, however, missed his third consecutive practice with a broken toe. Players who miss the full week often don't play on Sundays, but coach Mike McCarthy said he'd give the veteran cornerback up until kickoff to get ready.

"He's earned that trust and confidence in our medical staff and with myself, because he's shown that he can handle that," McCarthy said after practice.

Grant, who practiced for the first time this week on Friday, said he feels better at this stage than he did two days before the Minnesota game, in which he was a difference-maker with 92 yards on just 12 attempts.

While he's listed as questionable for Sunday, meaning there's a 50 percent chance he can play, Grant expressed no doubts about his availability.

"I'm playing. I know I'm playing. I feel like I'm playing, unless something changes," Grant said.

That something would be if Grant wakes up with a sore or tight hamstring on Saturday morning.

"He looked good," McCarthy said. "They pushed him as far as he probably could go today, and we'll see how he is tomorrow."

Grant's 57-yard, fourth-quarter run against Minnesota fatigued the hamstring to the extent that he did not touch the ball for the rest of the game. McCarthy, though, agreed with Grant's assessment that Grant is in better health this week than last. Still, Grant's 12 carries against the Vikings will be the preferred workload against Detroit, McCarthy said.

"He wants to go, but we're also conscious that it's a long year," McCarthy said. "There's a lot of football left in front of us."

Grant, too, is aware that it's a long season, and he showed that awareness against the Vikings, when he took on tacklers at the end of his long run rather than trying to push himself across the goal line.

"I can't just go crazy about it and just go out there and try to kill myself," he said. "I'm going to know my legs, and I'll know when I can just go and get it."

Still, his track record suggests 75 percent of Grant is better than 100 percent of Brandon Jackson or Kregg Lumpkin. Whether Grant is an elite back is a matter of debate, but there's no denying the running game is much more explosive when he's on the field.

"Do I feel like I have an edge even more when I'm 100 percent? Absolutely," he said. "I do feel like I can still manage to perform at a high level."

Like Grant, Jackson participated in his first practice of the week. He missed the first two days with a concussion sustained on Monday night. For all the talk aboit Jackson's offseason improvement, he is not of Grant's caliber. Jackson rushed for just 12 yards on seven carries against Minnesota.

Having Woodson available is crucial considering the Lions feature big wideouts Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams. If Woodson can't play, Tramon Williams would take his place, and McCarthy said Will Blackmon has had a good week of practice.

Woodson has spent the week trying to reduce the swelling in the toe, watching extra film and working with cornerbacks coach Lionel Washington. If Woodson plays, McCarthy said there's little chance the injury can worsen to the point it would require surgery.

"It's just a concern because you're playing on FieldTurf," McCarthy said of the Ford Field surface. "You'd like to be on grass. But we've got another 48 hours to give him a chance to get it ready."

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


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