Notebook: Uncertainties on defense

Bigby likely out again; Pickett, Harrell are questionable; Wells says he is ready; injury reports.

The news about safety Atari Bigby went from promising to pessimistic, and it's not clear whether Ryan Pickett, Justin Harrell, both or neither will be available for Sunday's game against Indianapolis.

Bigby had a setback with the hamstring he injured way back in Week 2 against Detroit, and coach Mike McCarthy said it's likely he'll hold his big-hitting safety out of the lineup until after the upcoming bye week.

"He didn't finish practice (on Thursday)," McCarthy said after Friday's practice inside the Don Hutson Center. "He worked through most of it. I talked to him afterwards, thought he had a chance today. But in his evaluation this morning, we ended up holding him."

Aaron Rouse likely will start for Bigby. Rouse has played in five games with three starts but has battled ankle and knee injuries, and sustained a concussion last week against Seattle. Charlie Peprah figures in the mix, too.

Meanwhile, the paper-thin defensive tackle rotation may or may not get strengthened this week.

Pickett was a limited participant on Friday, his first practice since a strained tricep knocked him out of last week's game at Seattle. McCarthy said Pickett would have to wear a harness to restrict the muscle's movement.

"He's like we thought: He'll do everything he possibly can to put himself in position to play the game," McCarthy said.

Pickett is confident he can play, then use next week's bye to heal the tricep and a case of knee tendinitis.

"I can't see myself sitting out," Pickett said. "My knee's still banged up; I'm pretty beat up. On Sunday, I can get through it."

Harrell, meanwhile, says he feels good after going through a third consecutive day of practice – his first practices since a second back surgery put him on the physically unable to perform list at the end of training camp. Harrell says he's taken a "step forward" each day in knocking off about nine months of rust since his last game.

"I feel like just going Wednesday in practice, going against the guys in pads, I think I held up pretty good, so who's to say if three days are enough?" Harrell said. "I know if they put me out there, I feel confident in that I can go out and help this team."

McCarthy said there's some "moving parts" involved in the decision on what to do with Harrell. Pickett's availability would be one of them. Plus, defensive ends Mike Montgomery and Jason Hunter are likely out for Sunday, so there are several injury concerns as the defensive line faces the challenge of going against the high-flying Colts offense.

"As far as Justin and his status," McCarthy said, "we wanted to look at the whole week's work to see where he was and how he felt. That will be the first step, and then the combination of who's active and who's not and so forth."

If Harrell is activated off of PUP in time for Sunday's game, a corresponding roster move would have to be made. McCarthy said it's "never easy" to release a player, though putting someone on season-ending injured reserve is an option. Rookie offensive tackle Breno Giacomini, who has been a game-day inactive the last four weeks, could be released and hopefully signed to the practice squad. Montgomery and Hunter are options for injured reserve. McCarthy said Montgomery tested his injured ankle on Friday but hadn't received any feedback. Hunter tested his injured hamstring earlier in the week but didn't fare well.

Wells: ‘I'm fine'

After sitting out Thursday's practice, center Scott Wells was back with the No. 1 offense on Friday. Both he and McCarthy are confident Wells will be in the lineup on Sunday. As is the case for Pickett, McCarthy said Wells would have to wear a protective device to protect a strained muscle located in the upper chest near the shoulder.

"I had a little sprain. I'm good to go," Wells said. "It's one of those things (where) you really try not to make it worse. Did it on Wednesday, so you don't want to make it worse. Get an extra day of treatment and kind of cut it off before it became worse."

Meanwhile, McCarthy said he limited reps at practice for weak-side linebacker A.J. Hawk, who is playing through a groin strain. Hawk was replaced at times on passing downs last week by Branndon Chillar. It figures to be a busy Sunday for Chillar, who got a ton of snaps in place of strong-side linebacker Brady Poppinga against Dallas tight end Jason Witten and figures to do the same against the Colts' dangerous Dallas Clark.

From Indy

Colts coach Tony Dungy on Wednesday said he didn't anticipate star halfback Joseph Addai playing this week. That hasn't changed, though Dungy didn't rule him out on Friday, listing him as questionable, meaning there is a 50 percent chance Addai will play.

Dungy said Addai was going to do some running after Friday's practice, but said, "If there's any doubt at all, we'll keep him out, but we'll see."

Meanwhile, former Packers defensive tackle Daniel Muir likely will play. Muir, surprisingly released by the Packers on the final cutdown, signed shortly thereafter by the Colts but hasn't played because of a sore knee. The Colts made a trade with Buffalo at the Tuesday deadline for former first-round pick John McCargo, but the 307-pound defensive tackle failed his physical and the trade was voided.

Packers injury report

Out — Cornerback Al Harris (spleen; limited participation).

Doubtful (25 percent chance player will play) — Safety Atari Bigby (hamstring; did not participate); defensive end Jason Hunter (hamstring; did not particpate); receiver James Jones (knee; limited participation); defensive end Mike Montgomery (ankle).

Questionable (50 percent chance) — Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett (tricep; limited participation); center Scott Wells (shoulder/chest; limited participation).

Probable (75 percent chance) — Tackle Chad Clifton (hamstring; limited participation); linebacker A.J. Hawk (groin; limited participation); cornerback Patrick Lee (back; limited participation); quarterback Aaron Rodgers (shoulder; limited participation); cornerback Charles Woodson (toe; did not participate).

Colts injury report

Out — Receiver Roy Hall (knee; did not participate); defensive back Kelvin Hayden; (knee; did not participate); defensive back Bob Sanders (knee; did not participate).

Questionable — Linebacker Freddy Keiaho (groin; full participation).

Doubtful — Running back Joseph Addai (hamstring; did not participate); tight end Gijon Anderson (ankle; did not participate).


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