Notebook: 50-50? Blackmon laughs

Will Blackmon returns to practice; final injury reports, including a Charles Tillman update; plus much more from Friday.

Cornerback/kick returner Will Blackmon is listed as questionable for Sunday's night's Week 1 showdown, meaning there's a 50-50 chance he'll be on the field against Chicago

"50-50? I'm 50-50?" Blackmon said before laughing.

Blackmon returned some kicks full-speed during Friday's practice, marking his first on-the-field work since suffering a bruised thigh during the preseason game against Buffalo on Aug. 22. He said he felt better on Friday, a good sign after a strenuous testing session on Thursday.

Asked if his laughing at "50-50" is a sign he feels better than a coin-flip proposition to play against the Bears, Blackmon said: "I feel good enough to be 50-50 as opposed to being doubtful. If there's a chance, that means I feel good and there's hope."

As for the rest of the injury report, running back Brandon Jackson is doubtful (ankle), defensive lineman B.J. Raji is questionable (ankle) and quarterback Matt Flynn (shoulder) and safety Aaron Rouse (hamstring) are probable. Among them, only Jackson didn't practice, so he almost certainly will not play.

"B.J. was limited today," coach Mike McCarthy said. "He feels better today than he did yesterday. It's going to be close. We're going to give him the next 55 hours to be ready. He'll be a game-day decision. And I would put Will Blackmon in the same boat."

Chicago listed cornerback Charles Tillman (back) and receiver Devin Aromashodu (thigh) as questionable and defensive tackle Israel Idonije (hamstring) as probable. Tillman, who had back surgery in July and returned to practice on Monday, has 20 interceptions in starting all six seasons in the NFL.

"It's really not about me pushing them to make me play," Tillman told reporters in Chicago on Friday. "They're going to make their decision and the doctor is going to make his decision, regardless of what I say or what I do. They have the green light to whatever it is I need to do. I'm just prepared if I get it, prepared if I don't get it. That's why I've been saying 50-50 all week."

Packers receiver Greg Jennings would be a big beneficiary if Tillman can't play. He expects to see No. 33 on Sunday night, though.

"In my mind, having played against him a few times now, Tillman's going to play," Jennings said. "He's a competitor. To me, he's their best corner, their best guy in the secondary. I think we're all approaching the game as if he's playing."

Martin uncertain

Defensive back Derrick Martin, acquired in a trade with Baltimore on Saturday, has had his head buried in the defensive and special teams playbooks all week but isn't sure whether he'll be on the 45-man active list for Sunday.

Martin's niche against the Bears probably would be on special teams, where McCarthy said Martin "definitely ... could make an impact." On Thursday, he was rotating in with Rouse as one of the jammers on the punt return team. He had 17 special-teams tackle in 2007.

"After I got here, it was a whirlwind, but after I touched down and came to the facility, it's been real productive, learning the plays and learning special teams. I think we're right on time," he said.

Helping the transition is Martin came from Baltimore, which also plays a 3-4 defense.

"There's a lot of carryover. The terminology's just different," he said. "Once you can put the terminology into your own words and get everything to where you can understand it, it's pretty much the same."

Still vague about Barnett

Based on the limited access to practice reporters get during the week, it looks likely that inside linebacker Nick Barnett will be in the starting lineup and stay on the field when the Packers go to their nickel package.

McCarthy, however, has kept to the company line by saying only that Barnett will play on Sunday.

"Looks good and he's ready to go," McCarthy said. "Nick's going to go through what every player goes through this full year. Anytime you come back from a major surgery, the first week is a little different than the second week and so forth. He's going to have some bumps and bruises along the way, but he's ready to go."

Four-point stance

— There's a chance rookie defensive end Jarius Wynn will be one of the eight gameday inactives. But if Raji is held out, then Wynn definitely will play. "Very exciting. Just going to take it all in and just enjoy the moment," he said.

— Just who would be the Packers' third quarterback if Aaron Rodgers and Flynn are injured? McCarthy said there are a "couple options" but they will remain "in-house." Will it be veteran cornerback Charles Woodson? "No," Woodson said. "I think we had some fun with it the other day and that was it."

— How will Woodson pass the time on Sunday? Woodson, an admitted football junkie, will be watching a game. "I love football. I'm a fan as well as a player. I watch as much as I can on Sunday. ... I like baseball, but it's hard to watch." Will he watch Brett Favre and the Vikings face the Browns? "Yeah, if he's on, I'll watch him."

— The Bears have won more season openers than any team, 50, with Green Bay right behind with 49. The Bears are 10-9-1 when kicking off the season against Green Bay. Eighteen of those 20 games were played in Green Bay, with the Packers 8-9-1 in those matchups.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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