Packers Keeping Their Guards Up

The Packers were considering a change to their offensive line, but they have decided to stick by their starting two guards.

A midseason audition that started with four candidates was quickly whittled to two by Thursday.

The Packers appear content to stick with Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz at left guard and right guard, respectively, for Sunday's game against Minnesota.

Junius Coston was in the running to supplant Spitz for the second time this season at right guard, but he still isn't fully recovered from a sprained ankle that has kept him out of the last three games. Coston was bothered by soreness Thursday and didn't do much in a padded practice.

"The way he feels is going to be a big indication on if he can go on Sunday," head coach Mike McCarthy said.

Had Coston been able to get up to speed this week, the versatile Spitz was under consideration to be moved over to the left side and replace a struggling Colledge in the starting lineup Sunday.

Colledge was taken to task by McCarthy after a poor performance in all facets last Sunday at Kansas City. The second-year player has held down the starting job at left guard since the beginning of the season.

Tony Moll and Spitz also were far from stellar playing at right guard Sunday. Spitz started the game at center, then moved over to guard when Scott Wells entered the game in the second quarter.

"Not enough improvement is how I'd classify it right now," offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said of the play of the guards this season. "You look for guys to make strides and develop. We haven't been able to sink our teeth into five guys consistently starting and working together. There's been some shuffling. Hopefully, we can get to that stage soon and anchor in and get better as a unit. We're not making the progress we'd like to, that's for sure."

Rookie Allen Barbre has an upside at left guard and was given some reps in practice this week, but the workload hasn't been consistent with someone being prepped to make a start this weekend.

Moll, meanwhile, aggravated a neck injury in the game Sunday and has been limited in practice this week.


  • RB Ryan Grant was cleared for contact in practice Thursday and has the green light to play Sunday against Minnesota. Grant suffered a mild concussion in the fourth quarter last Sunday at Kansas City and didn't finish the game. Grant made his first pro start but could have a reduced role for precautionary reasons Sunday, leaving rookie Brandon Jackson to take the bulk of the early-down carries.

  • DT Corey Williams had limited work Thursday but is progressing from a knee injury that knocked him out of the last game and has a good chance of playing Sunday.

  • S Aaron Rouse made it through the full practice after being limited Wednesday because of a sore shoulder. The rookie is slated to make his starting debut in place of Nick Collins, who is out indefinitely with a sprained left knee.

  • LB Tracy White, a special-teams ace, remained out with a sprained ankle incurred in the last game. He figures to be no better than questionable to play this weekend.

  • WR Koren Robinson was added to the injury report because of lingering soreness in his surgically repaired right knee. Robinson is being held back on Thursdays for the foreseeable future in an effort to preserve him for game day. He made his first appearance of the season last Sunday after serving a one-year, league-imposed suspension.

  • CB Will Blackmon hasn't been ruled out from returning this season. Blackmon suffered what was believed to be a season-ending broken foot in practice in early October, but he's started to do some light running off to the side during practice.

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