Notebook: O-Line Mystery Continues

Coach Mike McCarthy will tell the linemen on Saturday night; updated injury reports; Ahman Green's history of early-season fumble-itis; and more from Thursday.

XXXXXX (XXX XXXX/Getty) Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy swears he doesn't know who will start on the offensive line for Sunday's showdown against Minnesota, and he's not going to tell the players until Saturday night.

About the only thing that seems pretty well cut and dried is that the interior three spots will be manned again by guards Daryn Colledge and Josh Sitton and center Scott Wells. McCarthy on Wednesday said he was hopeful that center Jason Spitz would be able to practice on Thursday, but his low back had regressed.

"I thought he was on the higher side of being ready to go," McCarthy said after Thursday's practice. "He came in this morning, and he's not ready to go. I don't know if you want to call it a setback, but I thought he was about ready. His workout last Friday before the Cleveland Brown game was very good. He felt no pain and we felt like we were out of the woods at that point. But that is not true, as of yesterday and today."

The tackle spots remain question marks.

For a second consecutive day, Chad Clifton was listed as limited participation, but rookie T.J. Lang took all of the reps at left tackle during 11-on-11 work.

At right tackle, Mark Tauscher was listed as full participation for the first time since being signed after the bye week. McCarthy said Tauscher was "close to ready to go," but he gave no indication that Tauscher would be replacing Allen Barbre in the starting lineup.

"Frankly, just because of our numbers with our practice squad and Jason Spitz not practicing, those guys are taking a lot of reps on the opponent squads, too," McCarthy said of Barbre and Tauscher. "I wouldn't spend any time trying to evaluate the reps — I mean the way they're being distributed. We're rolling the guys in there and we're getting as much quality reps as we can with groups together, but they're practicing a lot more than they normally do."

Packers injury report

Out — FB Korey Hall (calf); WR Jordy Nelson (knee). Did not participate — TE Jermichael Finley (knee); S Derrick Martin (hamstring); G/C Jason Spitz (back). Limited participation — T Chad Clifton (ankle); QB Aaron Rodgers (foot); CB Charles Woodson (hip); DE Jarius Wynn (hamstring). Full participation — LB Clay Matthews (jaw); G Josh Sitton (hand); T Mark Tauscher (knee); C Scott Wells (not injury related).

The only changes were for Matthews (limited to full), Tauscher (limited to full) and Wells (did not participate to full). Sitton was added with a hand injury, but that was mere housekeeping.

"He'll be fine. He'll be fine," McCarthy said. "We're just filling out the reports properly. We like to hold our money in our pockets."

Vikings injury report

Did not participate — WR Percy Harvin (illness); DT Jimmy Kennedy (not injury related); CB Antoine Winfield (foot). Limited participation — WR Bernard Berrian (hamstring); LB Jasper Brinkley (hamstring); QB Brett Favre (hip); LB E.J. Henderson (knee); LB Ben Leber (calf); CB Karl Paymah (quadriceps); WR Darius Reynaud (hamstring); FB Naufahu Tahi (knee).

Berrian and Henderson returned after missing Wednesday. Harvin, a full participant on Wednesday, missed practice because of illness.

Talking Favre

Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Favre's first game against the Packers was bigger than his return to Lambeau Field, and hopes that will reduce the nerves of the player who is the focal point of this game.

"There were a couple things where I could tell he was nervous, but I thought that he was handling it outstanding and the way the game unfolded helped to settle him down," Bevell told reporters at Winter Park. "I think just playing them the first time was probably bigger than going back to Lambeau just to kind of get over that. At the same time, not to say that he won't be nervous. I think that it is only natural in any game you play, you go in with a little bit of butterflies. I think that he will be a little more settled this time."

 Adrian Peterson said there was "definitely added motivation" to win this game for Favre, but earning a season sweep is the big thing.

Green's grip

Ahman Green figures to make his debut this week, and that brings back memories of his early-season fumble history.

During his seven seasons with the Packers, Green fumbled the ball 34 times. Of those, 19 came in the first six games of the season, and he fumbled in Week 1 in five of the seven years.

Considering the magnitude of this game, can the Packers afford to gamble on Green, who hasn't played in almost a full year?

"He's a guy that's carried the ball 1,800 times — I don't know, but a lot of times (2,015, to be exact)," offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. "The guy's been hit. It's not his first rodeo. I'm not overly concerned."

Four-point stance

— Minnesota Avenue, a small, dead-end street on the northeast side of Green Bay, was renamed Aaron Rodgers Drive. According to Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt, Rodgers autographed the sign and it will be donated to charity once the street reverts to its regular name on Monday.

— Peterson leads the NFL with 3,788 rushing yards since 2007, a whopping 549 yards ahead of second-place Clinton Portis.

— Peterson was asked on Thursday about his highlight-reel running over of Steelers defensive back William Gay last week: "Just determination and I was just trying to make a big play. It was a critical third down. I laugh about it when I see, but at the end of it, they came out with a win and that's really what matters."

— Blossoming Vikings receiver Sidney Rice has a touchdown catch in all four games against the Packers.

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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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