Boykin ruled out against Vikings

Weston Hodkiewicz
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The groin injury Jarrett Boykin suffered in practice last week is more severe than the Green Bay Packers first anticipated.

Green Bay Packers receiver Jarrett Boykin (11) returned a fumble for a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during last year's game at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy ruled out the third-year receiver for Thursday's game against the Minnesota Vikings. Boykin didn't play in Sunday's 38-17 win over Chicago, but was initially listed as questionable after the injury flared up in practice last Thursday.

Boykin, 24, played in all 16 games last season for the Packers and blossomed in the second half when Randall Cobb was lost for 10 games with a broken tibia. The former undrafted free agent finished third on the team in receiving with 49 catches for 681 yards and three touchdowns.

When James Jones left for a three-year, $10.5 million contract in Oakland this offseason, the expectation was Boykin would slid seamlessly into the No. 3 job, but had only two catches for 17 yards in three games.

"I really don't have a timeline. Jarrett won't be available (against Minnesota)," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "He'll be pressed, we'll see – I don't know if he's going to be ready for Miami. Obviously that's a long time away, but it's a little worse than they thought it was."

When Boykin was unable to play against the Bears, the Packers resorted to more tiger formations (two tight ends) and inserting rookie Davante Adams in three-receiver sets. Seventh-round pick Jeff Janis could also be in line for more work after playing one offensive snap in his NFL debut.

Neither inside linebacker Sam Barrington (hamstring) nor defensive lineman Josh Boyd (knee) practiced Wednesday and are doubtful to play against the Vikings. Inside linebacker Brad Jones (quad), outside linebackers Clay Matthews (groin) and Mike Neal (hip), and right guard T.J. Lang (personal) are all probable.

It wasn't quite last week's sparce injury report when all 52 players on the active roster practiced, but McCarthy has been pleased with how healthy the team has been since implementing wide-reaching changes to the offseason program and training of the team.

McCarthy acknowledged the four players the team has lost to torn anterior cruciate ligaments – offensive linemen Don Barclay and Aaron Adams, receiver Jared Abbrederis and outside linebacker Andy Mulumba – is twice the league average.

During training camp, the Packers had 10 fewer players succumb to injury and saw total missed games and practices halved from 357 in 2013 to 173 this year, though there were two early camp practices not open to the media.

After scrambling to field 46 healthy players on game day at various points last season, McCarthy hopes the trend continues.

"Our injury situation today, I think we definitely have been healthier from a numbers standpoint," McCarthy said. "Our big injuries are up. I think we've had four ACLs and the league average is usually about two a year. Yeah, so far so good as far as volume." and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.

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