The Green Bay Packers have ruled out wide receiver Greg Jennings but are holding out hope that tight ends Jermichael Finley and D.J. Williams and nose tackle B.J. Raji will be available for Sunday night’s game at Houston.
Coach Mike McCarthy listed Finley, Williams and Raji as questionable. By the league’s definition, that means there’s a 50 percent chance they will be able to play.
Finley and Williams passed their rehab workouts on Friday morning and participated in the second half of practice, McCarthy said. Raji did not get through the rehab workout. It’s possible their availability for Sunday night will be determined during a pregame workout.
“It went well,” Finley said. “I’m glad I’m going to go, hopefully. Coach has got me as questionable. I went from doubtful to questionable. So, it’s looking good.”
McCarthy said Finley and Williams took the same number of reps. The Packers held their one padded practice allowed by the league on Thursday, so neither player was tested in a full-contact drill.
“There’s no exact science to it, that’s for sure,” McCarthy said. “You have to basically graduate from the rehab to get on the field. I ran specific routes with those guys to see what they can do. You’d like to have had them in team run situation but you couldn’t with Jermichael. His is different. His is going to be pain tolerance. It’s a pretty good injury.”
If Raji can’t play, it would be a big loss against Houston’s run-focused attack. Behind standout Arian Foster, the Texans rank sixth in rushing while Green Bay’s run defense ranks 17th.
Presumably in the base defense, Ryan Pickett would be the nose tackle and flanked by C.J. Wilson and either Jerel Worthy or Mike Neal.
“We had to prepare all week to go without B.J.,” McCarthy said. “That’s the way you have to approach it from a coaching perspective. But B.J.’s definitely at the point of his career, if he’s ready to go then we’ll give him the opportunity to do that. We have similar preparation this week that we had going into the Seattle week. There’s definitely some similarities in how they run the ball. Marshawn Lynch and Arian Foster are two of the better running backs in the league.”
As for Jennings, McCarthy said the receiver’s injured groin is “probably at the same spot” as it was before the New Orleans game. Jennings played and scored a touchdown but aggravated the injury in the second quarter and hasn’t played since.
“We’re going to go probably another six days before we even attempt to test him,” McCarthy said.
Also questionable is cornerback Davon House (shoulder), even though he’s been a full participant at practice the last two weeks. Safety Sean Richardson (hamstring) is out again.