Sitton, Lang face big test on Saturday
Although Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang remain questionable for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears, the Green Bay Packers' starting guards successfully completed a Friday morning workout with the team's training staff.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said the veterans' availability will be determined during an evaluation in Saturday's final practice. Lang (ankle) and Sitton (toe) were injured in the Packers' 44-23 loss to New Orleans on Oct. 26, before the bye week.
Regardless, neither veteran is expected to get many first-team reps in practice because the coaching staff wants to give reserves Lane Taylor, JC Tretter and Garth Gerhart the necessary work to be ready if called upon. Only Taylor has previous NFL regular-season experience.
After Friday's workout, Sitton sounded like like an offensive lineman that plans on playing Sunday, but added that decision will be made after Saturday's final run-through.
"Just moving around doing certain movements that I'll be doing on Sunday," said Sitton, who's missed only two games since becoming a starter in 2009. "Loading on it, trying to put some weight on it. We did that a little bit.
"I don't know (about playing). I'm going to see how it feels (Saturday). It's still a little swollen up. We have to see how it reacts to the workout today. That was part of the reason about doing the workout today was so we could see how sore it is (Saturday) and go from there."
Both players spent Thursday's practice riding a stationary bike and elliptical machine inside the Don Hutson Center before working out Friday and putting weight on the injuries.
Sitton, who's dealing with torn ligaments in his left big toe, said he spoke with team doctor Pat McKenzie on Friday morning about the risks of playing through the injury.
Asked whether his injury was diagnosed as turf toe – a sprain of the big toe joint – Sitton said he didn't know, but left his meeting with McKenzie feeling "pretty confident with where" he's at.
"It will heal on its own, but I'm assuming if I go out and play with it, it's not going to get any better the next eight weeks," Sitton said. "We'll see how that goes. Hopefully I don't need surgery."
The Packers are much more certain about the prognosis of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is probable to play through his hamstring injury. McCarthy said he's not expecting to narrow the playbook like in New Orleans where Rodgers ran exclusively out of the shotgun after tweaking his hamstring in the third quarter.
"He had a couple throws to his left yesterday, so it's really kind of the last thing he wanted to feel and see," McCarthy said. "We have a full game plan. We just reviewed our call sheet. We have the meeting prior to this about first calls and different situations. ... He's ready to go."
Cornerback Sam Shields (knee), defensive lineman Datone Jones (ankle) and safety Morgan Burnett (calf) all are probable. Shields said Thursday he's back to "100 percent" after missing two games with a strained patellar tendon.
The prognosis isn't as promising for receiver Kevin Dorsey, who sustained a significant foot injury in practice Thursday.
McCarthy said he'll miss "multiple weeks," but said a decision hasn't been made on whether the former seventh-round pick will be placed on injured reserve. Dorsey has played in three games with one catch for 4 yards since his Oct. 6 activation from the practice squad. He missed his entire rookie season with a toe injury.
The Packers have options on the practice squad, if needed. They could promote receiver Myles White in his place or activate one of their three linemen – tackle Jeremy Vujnovich, guard Josh Walker or guard Jordan McCray – if Sitton and Lang can't go.