[Packers] Who’ll run behind Favre? It’s hard to say
By Dylan B. Tomlinson
After the Green Bay Packers practiced on Saturday, coach Mike Sherman still didn’t seem to have any idea who his starting running back would be when the Packers host the St. Louis Rams on Monday night at Lambeau Field.
For the fourth straight day, the Packers had to practice without Pro Bowl back Ahman Green, who has been out since injuring his ribs in Sunday night’s win over the Houston Texans.
Green is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report, but Sherman said he likely won’t know until Monday whether Green will be able to play.
“He did some things for us, like hitting bags, just to see where he was,” Sherman said.
“He’s still day-to-day and we will not know anything until game day.”
If Green does play, Sherman said he will almost certainly wear a flak jacket to protect his ribs. Sherman said he wants to test Green, but said he doesn’t want to further injure him in doing so.
“We certainly can’t replicate the hit that he took,” Sherman said.
“He’s a pretty tough guy, but we have to find out if he can twist and torque like he usually does.”
If Green is unable to go, Sherman said he hopes to start backup Najeh Davenport.
“More than likely, that would be the case.” Sherman said.
If Sherman sounds unsure, it’s because Davenport isn’t healthy, either. An injured hamstring had him on the inactive list for the Texans game.
Davenport practiced Saturday and is listed as probable for Monday night’s game.
Davenport said he is confident he will be able to start if needed.
“I feel like I’m about 80, 85 percent,” Davenport said. “I feel good. I’m ready to go if (Green) can’t. That’s why I’m here.”
In the unlikely event neither Green nor Davenport can play Monday night, Sherman will have to look to Tony Fisher or possibly even James Jackson, whom the Packers signed on Tuesday.
Sherman said he’s been pleased with the job Jackson has done, trying to learn an entire offense in less than a week.
“James has done an outstanding job,” Sherman said. “He hasn’t made a mental mistake all week.”
Fullback Nick Luchey is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury, but Sherman said he was optimistic Luchey might be able to go.
Running back Walter Williams, who has a high ankle sprain, was downgraded from questionable and will miss Monday night’s game.
If Green can’t go, the Packers may have to rely on Brett Favre to carry the offense. With Davenport out and Green’s time severely limited against the Texans, Favre threw the ball 50 times. It was the most pass attempts he’d had in a game since Nov. 27, 2000, when he threw 51 times against the Carolina Panthers. Green Bay offensive coordinator Tom Rossley said he hopes that won’t be the case on Monday night.
“We want it to be balanced,” Rossley said. “But, we’ll do what we have to. We’re not going to use injuries as an excuse.”