Notebook: Wells says he's over pinched nerve

Veteran cornerback Woodson will not practice this week; Grant and Hall to return on Friday; injury reports from both teams.

Scott Wells is tired of watching.

So, the fifth-year center hopes the coaches will rule in his favor and allow him to play in Sunday night's showdown against Dallas.

Wells missed the first half of training camp with a back injury, returned for the second preseason game against San Francisco on Aug. 16, but aggravated the injury. He's been out since, and returned to practice on Wednesday.

"I feel great," Wells said Thursday. "It's been a while since I've felt this good."

Wells described the latest issue as a pinched nerve and not a muscle strain. Wells said it was a complicated injury to treat, and it took some trial and error before the training staff found the right nerve to treat.

Wells said he felt good during the first two practices of the week, and he's "hoping and praying" the injury no longer will be an issue.

"As a competitor, it's hard to sit out when you're not used to it," Wells said. "So, it's been difficult watching, but at the same time, you have to do what's best for your body. Definitely, I wasn't ready to play the last two weeks. The selfish side of me said, ‘Yeah, put me in.' But the intelligent side of the coaching staff said no."

Coach Mike McCarthy won't divulge the hows, ifs and whens of working Wells back into the lineup, other than to say how Wells practices this week will play a role in the decision. Wells said there are two ways to look at this prolonged absence: Fresh or rusty.

"I say I'm fresh," Wells said. "Practice is to get the rust out. There might be some rust early on in the game, but that should get knocked off early once you get into it."

As was the case for Wells, rookie guard Josh Sitton took his full amount of reps at practice. Like Wells, Sitton has been out since the San Francisco game, when he sprained a knee ligament.

No practice for Woodson

Veteran cornerback Charles Woodson didn't practice last week, yet intercepted two key passes in the Packers' victory at Detroit.

Woodson will follow the same recipe this week: no practice, a lot of rehab and what McCarthy called an "exceptional" amount of film study.

McCarthy said he was prepared to determine Woodson's availability just before kickoff last week, but Woodson told McCarthy after a team meeting on Saturday night that he was ready to play.

"He got to a point mentally where he felt he was ready on Saturday night, and I anticipate the same this week," McCarthy said.

Asked if Woodson would be limited to games only for the rest of the season, McCarthy said: "It's very painful, obviously. It depends on how he comes out of the games."

Grant improving

Running back Ryan Grant, dripping with sweat, didn't have much time to talk after practice. Not with rehab and meetings to attend to.

Grant, who was held out of practice for the second consecutive day because of a nagging hamstring injury, said he feels better at this stage of the week than he did the Thursday before the Detroit game or the Friday before the Minnesota game.

"Best I've felt. I feel good, I'm ready to go," Grant said, adding that this "might be the last week" he's on a Friday-only practice schedule.

McCarthy said Grant will practice on Friday, as will tight end Tory Humphrey and fullback Korey Hall, who have knee sprains.

Packers injury report

Did not participate

Safety Atari Bigby (hamstring); fullback Korey Hall (knee); tight end Tory Humphrey (knee); cornerback Charles Woodson (toe).

Limited participation

Tackle Chad Clifton (knees); defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (knee); running back Ryan Grant (hamstring).

Full participation

Receiver Ruvell Martin (finger); guard Josh Sitton (knee); center Scott Wells (back).

The changes from Wednesday are with Gbaja-Biamila, who went from full to limited as a precaution, and with Sitton and Wells, who went from limited to full participation.

Cowboys injury report

Did not participate

Running back Deon Anderson (knee); linebacker Anthony Spencer (knee); safety Roy Williams (forearm).

Limited participation

Receiver Sam Hurd (ankle).

Full participation

Receiver Miles Austin (knee); guard Kyle Kosier (foot); cornerback Terence Newman (groin); receiver Isaiah Stanbeck (shoulder); tight end Jason Witten (shoulder).

The big change from Wednesday is Spencer, a starting outside linebacker. He had his right knee scoped last month but sat out practice because of soreness.

Anderson, the Cowboys' only fullback, needs arthroscopic surgery on a knee and will be out for two to four weeks. They'll use tight ends to fill that role. Coach Wade Phillips said he might use powerhouse halfback Marion Barber at fullback for a few snaps to get explosive rookie Felix Jones a few more snaps.

Extra points

— According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Packers' 48-25 win at Detroit is the second-largest margin of victory for a team that trailed in the fourth quarter since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. The Bills rallied past the Giants 41-17 on Nov. 26, 1978.

— In 21 previous Packers-Cowboys regular-season matchups, the combined score is 461-461. Dallas leads the series 11-10.

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


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