Notebook: Battle of the injured QBs

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will play without throwing all week, while Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will be a game-time decision, coach Mike Holmgren says.

Quarterbacking the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks on Sunday very well could be two players who didn't throw a pass at practice all week.

The Packers' Aaron Rodgers was held out of throwing drills as the team wrapped up preparations for the Seahawks on Friday. In Seattle, meanwhile, Matt Hasselbeck missed his third straight practice because of a hyperextended knee sustained last week against the New York Giants.

Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said Hasselbeck will be a "game-time decision" and would play only if he's not "too vulnerable."

"He's restricted, and we're just not going to put him at risk out there," Holmgren told reporters in Seattle. "The thing just hasn't responded. Matt still can't do much with his leg. It's not ligaments, it's not anything like that. It's just sore."

With backup quarterback Seneca Wallace missing most of the practice week with an injured calf, third-stringer Charlie Frye would get the call if Hasselbeck's health doesn't improve. Frye started last year's opener for Cleveland, struggled and was traded to Seattle.

Earlier in the week, Holmgren said: "If Matt didn't practice all week and could play on Sunday, I would welcome him with open arms. He has to play." On Friday, though Holmgren backed off that statement.

"I made the statement if he didn't practice all week, he could play on Sunday," Holmgren said. "But I've got to feel like he is not too vulnerable out there."

There are no such questions over Rodgers' availability, even though team doctors were more cautious this week than last. Rodgers took more reps this week, even though they were all handoffs or "mental reps" in the passing game.

"As far as Aaron Rodgers' preparation, we did the best we can as far as having him rep at practice," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "He's a very conscientious individual, and I'm confident he'll be prepared to play in the game Sunday."

Rodgers said he feels better at this stage of the week than last.

"I feel like I'll be good for Sunday. I would have liked to have done a little throwing, but I did as much as I could, and I feel good about the game plan and my progression."

Just a reminder

McCarthy pulled the team together during Friday's practice to get them back on point.

"I thought today's practice was a good practice," he said. "I thought Wednesday's and Thursday's were the way they were supposed to be, and frankly when we called everybody up after the jog-through and that early segment of the last eight plays of the game, it was frankly just a reminder. I think it's human nature anytime you compliment your football team, which I did this morning in the team meeting, on the type of week that they were having, maybe they lose their edge a little bit. So I was just reminding them to get their edge back, and I thought we had a quality practice today."

Optimism over injuries

Key performers A.J. Hawk, Chad Clifton and Ryan Pickett were limited throughout the practice week with injuries, but McCarthy is hopeful all will be able to play on Sunday. Hawk, with a groin injury that curtailed his mobility, looked especially iffy early in the week.

"I thought he looked good today," McCarthy said. "I thought A.J. definitely progressed through the week, so we'll see how he feels (Saturday). I plan on all those guys going, it's just really how they feel, A, at the beginning of the game, and the way they fight through it."

Road trip

A long flight west through two time zones presents challenges to the players' body clocks, but it's better to go west than for a West Coast team to go east, McCarthy said.

"I'll be quicker in the night meetings, because I'm conscientious that 9 o'clock team meeting is really 11 o'clock our time," said McCarthy, the offensive coordinator at San Francisco before coming to Green Bay. "So, you're conscientious of those things. I don't think it's a factor when you come from the middle part of the country. Having the opportunity to coach on the West Coast, that's tough duty. When you're leaving every Friday and getting back Sunday, really Monday morning, six out of eight weeks, it's definitely a challenge. I don't find it as big a challenge clearly coming from the middle part of the country."

Packers injury report

Out — Cornerback Al Harris (spleen).

Doubtful (25 percent chance of player availability) — Safety Atari Bigby (hamstring; did not participate); defensive end Jason Hunter (hamstring; did not participate); defensive end Michael Montgomery (ankle; did not participate).

Questionable (50 percent chance of player availability) — Receiver James Jones (knee; did not participate); cornerback Patrick Lee (back; did not participate); running back Kregg Lumpkin (hamstring; did not participate); defensive tackle Ryan Pickett (knee; limited participation).

Probable (75 percent chance of player availability) — Tackle Chad Clifton (hamstring; limited participation); fullback Korey Hall (knee; full participation); linebacker A.J. Hawk (groin; limited participation); quarterback Aaron Rodgers (shoulder; limited participation); safety Aaron Rouse (knee; full participation); cornerback Charles Woodson (toe; limited participation).

Changes — Defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (illness) was removed from the injury list while Lee was added because of back spasms.

Seahawks injury report

Questionable — Receiver Deion Branch (heel; did not participate); quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (knee; did not participate); quarterback Seneca Wallace (calf; limited participation).

Probable — Linebacker LeRoy Hill (knee; full participation); cornerback Kelly Jennings (ribs; full participation); tackle Walter Jones (team decision; full participation); running back Maurice Morris (knee; full participation); receiver Koren Robinson (knee; full participation).

In case you were wondering ...

Brett Favre turned 39 on Friday, the same day Jets coach Eric Mangini and his wife, Julie, had their third child, Zach Brett Mangini. "It is a pretty cool thing," Favre said.

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

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