Notebook: Green Gets Workout

Joining Ahman Green at Monday's workout was Dominic Rhodes; Chad Clifton might be able to play vs. Cleveland; Will Blackmon thinks Tramon Williams will be up to the task returning kicks; plus more from Monday.

Ahman Green, who with 8,162 rushing yards in a Packers uniform trails Hall of Famer Jim Taylor by 45 yards for the franchise record, worked out for the Packers on Monday, an NFL source confirmed.

Green, 32, was joined by fellow running back Dominic Rhodes, 30. The workouts speak to the Packers' uneasiness at running back, where the team lacks a reliable pass-catching threat out of the backfield to complement starter Ryan Grant.

Green was released by the Houston Texans in February and Rhodes was released by the Buffalo Bills in September.

Green left Green Bay in free agency after rushing for 1,059 yards and catching 46 passes in 2006. But for their four-year, $27 million investment, the Texans got only 14 games, 554 rushing yards, 25 receptions and 25 touchdowns in two seasons.

Discarding the 2005 season, when a ruptured quad tendon limited Green to five games, he averaged 54.7 receptions from 2000 through 2006.

Rhodes is younger and has a lot less wear and tear on his body than Green because he hasn't been a feature back since getting 267 touches as a rookie in 2001. Rhodes rushed for 538 yards, had 45 receptions and scored nine touchdowns for the Colts in 2008. He signed a two-year contract with Buffalo in the offseason but surprisingly was released in the final cuts.

Brandon Jackson returned on Sunday after missing the first four games of the season with a sprained ankle. He carried the ball twice for 6 yards and caught one pass for 10 yards but was benched in the fourth quarter after fumbling. The other halfback, DeShawn Wynn, missed Sunday's game with a knee injury. In four games, he is averaging 3.2 yards on six carries, and has two catches for 19 yards but two drops. Kregg Lumpkin remains on the practice squad.

Meanwhile, the trade deadline is Tuesday. Coach Mike McCarthy said he wasn't sure if any deals would be made.

"We really haven't talked about anything, but I know they are always talking and working players out and so forth," he said. "They are always very active. It's a year-round process. We're always looking to get better."

Clifton might play vs. Browns

Chad Clifton might not miss any time after all.

The veteran left tackle, who was helped off the field after aggravating a sprained left ankle late in the third quarter of Sunday's game against Detroit, was barely limping while walking to the locker room after the team photo was taken on Monday.

"It feels much better than the original injury. We'll see how it feels on Wednesday and Thursday," Clifton said.

McCarthy didn't think Clifton would practice on Wednesday, but if he felt good enough later in the week, "we'll give him a chance" to start against Cleveland on Sunday.

If not Clifton, then rookie T.J. Lang would get the call. Lang played the final 17 snaps against Detroit. The Packers called 13 runs (not including two kneel-downs to end the game), which gained 69 yards.

"He does a lot of things that are just fundamentally correct," offensive line coach James Campen said. "It's an attribute that he has. He's smart, he pays attention to detail and does things the right way. To say we're surprised by his performance, maybe a little."

Another new returner

The Packers are on to Plan C at kick returner.

After losing Will Blackmon to a torn ACL at Minnesota in their previous game, Jordy Nelson suffered a sprained knee on Sunday that will keep him out for "a couple weeks," McCarthy said.

Tramon Williams, who had a 45-yard punt return in his only runback on Sunday, is first in line for both jobs, according to special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum. Next in line on punts are Charles Woodson and Brett Swain; for kickoffs, it's Jackson and Swain.

"Tramon's unbelievable as a whole," Blackmon said. "He did it two years ago, had a touchdown, had a pretty good average. He could have had a better average but Koren (Robinson) was hogging all the returns. He'll be awesome. We haven't really seen Swain actually go out and return but he does a really good job securing the ball and catching it in practice. I'm sure they'll both do just fine."

Meanwhile, Blackmon expects to have surgery on Thursday and hopes to be back for training camp. Surgery had to wait for swelling to go down, he said.

"It's funny," Blackmon said. "We were talking, 2005 up there is where Ahman (Green) did his quad. And then last year, Nick (Barnett) did his knee. My rookie year, I did my rib up there and then this year I did my knee up there. It's tough. You always go in there nervous."

Four-point stance

— First-round pick B.J. Raji aggravated the same sprained ankle that held him out of the first two games of the season. He could be limited in practice this week.

— Starting center Jason Spitz missed the game with back spasms in his low back. Spitz told McCarthy that he wasn't sure he'd be able to play the whole game, and McCarthy appreciated the honesty. Spitz didn't miss a single snap last season.

— McCarthy said veteran Mark Tauscher "is going to need at least another week to get ready."

— Game balls went to Donald Driver on offense, Clay Matthews III and Al Harris on defense, and Derrick Martin on special teams. Swain got the big-hit award.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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