Notebook: Season Over for Thompson

Outside linebacker Jeremy Thompson hopes rehab will mean he can avoid surgery; Packers can clinch playoff berth this weekend; plus more from Saturday.

Three weeks after Jeremy Thompson was taken to the hospital after suffering a neck injury at practice, the cerebral outside linebacker said his season is over.

Thompson continues to battle weakness in his right arm because of a nerve injury. Until he regains his strength, he won't even get back on the practice field — and with the season winding down, time has simply run out.

He continues to rehab the injury in hopes of avoiding surgery. The surgery would entail removing a bulging disc that's pressing against the problematic nerve, which would "speed along" the process of regaining his strength.

"One of the doctors said it's a standard procedure that a bunch of people have done," said Thompson, who met with two experts this week. "So, it's a major surgery but it's pretty solid. I'm just trying to get some more opinions and give myself some more time."

Playoff update

The NFC playoff race is down to three teams fighting for two wild-card spots, with the Packers and Cowboys at 9-5 and the Giants at 8-6.

Three scenarios will get the Packers into the playoffs on Sunday: a Packers win over Seattle and a Dallas loss at Washington on Sunday night; a Packers win and a Giants loss or tie at home against Carolina at noon Sunday; or a Packers tie and a Giants loss.

The Packers' focus is simply getting to 10 wins by beating Seattle.

"The only scenario that we need to know is that we control our own fate, and that involves winning this week first, and then we can worry about whatever else after that," defensive end Cullen Jenkins said. "We have to come out there and we have to win this week and move to 10-5."

Ten wins probably will be good enough but it doesn't ensure anything. If Dallas finishes 11-5 and the Giants and Packers both finish 10-6, the Giants would win the tiebreaker based on common opponents.

"New England didn't get into the playoffs last year at 11; I am aware of that," coach McCarthy said. "When you get to 10 wins then you probably start worrying about what is going on around you."

Packers injury report

Out — LB Jeremy Thompson (neck); Questionable — CB Trevor Ford (knee); NT Ryan Pickett (hamstring). Probable — LB Nick Barnett (knee); LB Brandon Chillar (back); S Nick Collins (calf); DE Cullen Jenkins (quad); DE Johnny Jolly (knee); CB Brandon Underwood (hip); CB Charles Woodson (shoulder).

McCarthy said Pickett would be worked out before the game. But considering he didn't take part in any 11-on-11 work this week, it's a good bet that he will be on the inactive list on Sunday. That means first-round pick B.J. Raji would get the start and a lot of playing time.

"B.J. Raji has done a good job," McCarthy said. "Obviously, B.J. went through the period of the season where he was injured. Just the extra reps in practice and in games have really helped him. I just like the progress that he is making, both at the nose guard and at the tackle position in sub. B.J. is getting better each week and has been very productive in his opportunities."

Like Pickett, Ford will be a "game-time decision," McCarthy said, adding that either Underwood and Josh Bell would be the fourth corner. Jarrett Bush remains the No. 3 corner.

Seahawks injury report

Doubtful — WR Nate Burleson (ankle); LB Aaron Curry (shoulder). Questionable — RB Julius Jones (rib); WR Ben Obomanu (hamstring).

Four-point stance

— Here's a stat to consider, considering the Packers' problematic pass defense last week: Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is 40-13 for his career when posting a passer rating of at least 90.0.

— Speaking of passer ratings, the Packers are 8-0 when Rodgers posts a rating of at least 111.5. On third downs this season, his rating is 134.4 with 14 touchdowns and no interceptions.

Greg Jennings has 28 career touchdown receptions, and he's averaging 34.2 yards on his trips to the end zone.

— Welcome back, Jon Ryan. Seattle's punter ranks fourth in the NFL in average (47.1) and 12th in net average (39.2) while allowing one touchdown. His counterpart, Jeremy Kapinos, ranks 19th in average (43.8) and 33rd in net average (33.6). Kapinos' 10 touchbacks are the second-most in the NFL; Ryan's eight are tied for fourth.

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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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