Notebook: Status quo on offensive line

McCarthy hopes Clifton will play Sunday; Ryan will punt vs. Packers; injury updates and much more from Wednesday.

Coach Mike McCarthy said he isn't planning any changes to his starting offensive line, and that includes at left tackle.

Chad Clifton, who has been limited at practice most of the season with sore knees, was held out of practice on Wednesday with a hamstring injury that knocked him out of last week's loss to Atlanta.

Asked if there was any consideration to giving a week off to Clifton, who has started 84 of the last 85 games, McCarthy said: "We talked about it. Chad and I, we met this morning, but we're going to take the approach, he went through a hard rehab session today and I'm going to visit with him tomorrow and just try to have the best plan to get him healthy for Seattle."

McCarthy, who was critical of Clifton's performance against the Falcons, has been disappointed that the offensive line has failed to pick up where it left off last season. Center Scott Wells missed the first three games with an injured back, so this would mark the third consecutive week the line has played together, assuming Clifton is available. With the running game gaining traction against the Falcons, McCarthy will stick with his starters.

"I want to get healthy there. That's the thing," McCarthy said. "When you talk about health, and you've heard me say it here time and time again, there are no excuses when it comes Sunday, but the thing about being healthy is it kind of runs through your whole program.

"Chad is having some medical issues, and we're trying to get him over that, so with that that, you are working a different five. I just really want to stay clean to the approach we are having them because the guys that are being challenged are Jason Spitz, Daryn Colledge because they are playing positions during the week that they are not potentially playing in Sunday. So, we've just got to keep repping those guys and try to get the continuity there that we really haven't had since training camp."

Colledge, who finished Sunday's game at left tackle, faces the prospect of playing that position all week, then moving back to left guard if Clifton is healthy enough to play.

"This isn't any different than a normal week. Chad usually doesn't practice on Wednesday," Colledge said. "I've talked to Chad and he's got some soreness, but I've got a feeling that he's going to be there when the time comes. He's played a lot of games for this team, and he doesn't have very many misses. So, I think he's planning on being there."

Talking punters

In one of the roster surprises, the Packers released incumbent punter Jon Ryan in favor of Derrick Frost.

The results have been underwhelming — Frost ranks 16th in the NFL with a net average of 38.2 yards — but McCarthy said he had "no problem with the change."

Meanwhile, Ryan will punt against his former team on Sunday. He ranks 30th in the NFL with a net of 32.2 yards, and Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren gave him a less-than-ringing endorsement.

"He's been OK," Holmgren said during his conference call on Wednesday. After a pause in which reporters figured Holmgren would elaborate, Holmgren repeated, "He's been OK."

Injury update

Defensive end Michael Montgomery, who made his first NFL start last week in place of injured Cullen Jenkins, has what McCarthy called a "pretty good sprained ankle." He will practice on Friday, at the earliest, and his status could be determined on game day.

If he can't play, rookie fourth-round pick Jeremy Thompson, who was so-so in his NFL debut last week, might be forced into the starting lineup.

Meanwhile, starting safety Atari Bigby and rookie running back Kregg Lumpkin, both nursing hamstring injuries, tested on Wednesday, but McCarthy had no details.

Roster update

On Tuesday, the Packers released Tracy White, a linebacker from Howard, and promoted linebacker Danny Lansanah to the active roster. On Wednesday, they signed Rudolph Hardie, a defensive end from Howard, to the practice squad to fill Lansanah's spot.

Hardie, a 6-foot-2, 269-pound rookie, was an undrafted free agent signed by Detroit. He was released among the Lions' final cuts. He led the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) with 25.5 tackles for loss and ranked fourth with 12 sacks. In his last two seasons, he recorded 21.5 sacks.

Packers injury report

Out — Cornerback Al Harris (spleen).

Did not participate — Safety Atari Bigby (hamstring); defensive end Jason Hunter (hamstring); receiver James Jones (knee); defensive end Michael Montgomery (ankle); cornerback Charles Woodson (toe).

Limited participation — Tackle Chad Clifton (hamstring); defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (illness); fullback Korey Hall (knee); linebacker A.J. Hawk (groin); running back Kregg Lumpkin (hamstring); defensive tackle Ryan Pickett (knee); quarterback Aaron Rodgers (shoulder); safety Aaron Rouse (knee).

Seahawks injury report

Did not participate — Receiver Deion Branch (foot); quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (knee); quarterback Seneca Wallace (calf).

Limited participation — Linebacker Leroy Hill (knee); tackle Walter Jones (team decision).

Full participation — Cornerback Kelly Jennings (ribs); running back Maurice Morris (knee); receiver Koren Robinson (knee). Seahawks update

With Hasselbeck and Wallace out, Charlie Frye took the reps at quarterback. Hasselbeck, who was injured against the Giants but stayed in the game, said he expects to practice on Thursday.

"That wasn't my choice. I wanted to get out there today," he said.

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

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