Notebook: Lang confident he'll play

Tom Silverstein and Michael Cohen
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Green Bay Packers guard T.J. Lang (70) blocks against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field.

GREEN BAY – Guard T.J. Lang doesn’t have any concern about his availability Sunday when the Green Bay Packers face the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.

Lang has been battling a hip issue that has bothered him in the past and playing two games in five days last week didn’t do much for the pain. He sat out practice Thursday, but he said it’s just part of the process of getting himself ready to play Sunday.

“It’s more of a genetic thing,” Lang said. “The bones in the hips sometimes don’t align right and once in a while they get inflamed and start to hurt. Just got to find a good routine to try to limit that as much as possible, get the inflammation down and obviously manage the pain.”

Lang said he might need surgery after the season to relieve the condition, but he said it wouldn’t be anything as major as the shoulder surgery he had last off-season. In the meantime, he’s just making sure that when it comes to game day he’s ready to play.

“It’s nothing that’s new to me, it’s just something that for whatever reason just flared up on me this year a little bit more than it has in the past,” he said. “Just still working around a way to find the best routine to limit all this.”

Injury report: In preparation for playing indoors, the Packers practice inside the Don Hutson Center.

Among those sitting out the padded practice was cornerbacks Quinten Rollins (groin), Damarious Randall (groin surgery) and tight end Jared Cook (ankle). Receiver Randall Cobb (hamstring) and Ty Montgomery (illness) didn’t do much.

Cook appears to be making some strides in returning from a high ankle sprain. He made his debut at practice and jumped roped and ran some half-speed routes that required him to make a single cut before receiving a pass.

Running back Don Jackson has responded well to treatment on his sore left hand and practiced in full for a second straight day.

Over the wall: In a dreary game that ended in a tie, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner provided a fleeting moment of excitement.

The Arizona Cardinals lined up to attempt a 39-yard field goal early in the second quarter, and that’s when Wagner provided a bit of magic.

Rather than the beginning his rush from the edge or somewhere along the line of scrimmage, Wagner hurdled the Cardinals’ center and landed square in the backfield. He stuck both hands in the air and repelled Chandler Catanzaro’s kick with ease.

Ron Zook, special teams coordinator for the Green Bay Packers, said a play like that emphasizes the importance of using different snap counts on field goals.

“That’s what you’ve always got to work on is you don’t give them a rhythm where they can line up and do that,” Zook said. “They tried to do it against us I remember the last two years. So you’re constantly working where they can’t get any kind of rhythm between the holder and the snapper. You have to have something (as a clue). You can’t just guess when to go or when to jump.”

Quick trip: The Packers signed cornerback Keith Baxter to their practice squad Tuesday after the promotions of safety Jermaine Whitehead and wide receiver Geronimo Allison left vacant slots.

Baxter, who played at Marshall and spent the summer with the Minnesota Vikings, must have made a disappointing first impression. By Thursday afternoon he had been cut.

Familiar face: Before his first gig in the National Football League, cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. held the same position at Louisville, where he was also the recruiting coordinator from 2003-06.

That time frame overlapped with the high school career of a talented wide receiver named Julio Jones, now a member of the Atlanta Falcons. Whitt spent a bit of time recruiting Jones, who ultimately committed to Alabama.

“I was working on him,” Whitt said. “He was young. I think it was his junior year in high school. Coming from Alabama, I knew all about Julio all the way up. When he went to Alabama, we had to see him at Auburn. I have just a lot of respect for him and knowing that history about him, I just know a little bit more about the kid and I really respect him.”

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