Raji wants to play Sunday despite injury

Ryan Wood
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Green Bay Packers defensive lineman B. J. Raji celebrates a defensive stop against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field.

B.J. Raji said his injured groin that knocked him out of Sunday’s game felt “pretty good” Monday, but he doesn’t know how much he’ll practice this week.

The Green Bay Packers defensive tackle said his goal is to return for this week’s game against the San Diego Chargers. The Packers could also wait until after their bye week next week. That approach would give Raji three weeks of rest, returning Nov. 1 when the Packers travel to the undefeated Denver Broncos.

But Raji wants to return sooner if possible.

“With these injuries,” Raji said, “I was told a couple days could be a big difference. It could be a setback. I just don’t know at this point. So it would be tough to speculate.”

Raji said his foot “kind of caught up” in the Lambeau Field grass Sunday. The injury happened in the first half, and he kept playing until halftime. When the second half began, Raji said, his groin hurt too much for him to keep playing.

“I felt at the time I wouldn’t be able to help the team in a close game like that,” Raji said. “That’s why I kind of came out.”

Raji, a 2009 first-round pick, missed all of last season after tearing his biceps in training camp. His first four games this season were something of a renaissance. The former Pro Bowler’s impact has been much more than his nine tackles and a half sack indicate. Raji has helped solidify the interior of the Packers’ defensive line, boosting the team’s run defense.

Fortunately, Raji said, the groin injury isn’t serious enough for him to miss a lot of time like last year. He credited yoga for limiting the severity of his injury.

“I think it saved me, honestly,” Raji said. “People have been busting my chops saying, ‘Hey, all that yoga and you still get hurt.’ Without the yoga, I might have popped it. That’s how I look at it.”

rwood@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood

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