Greg Jennings missed practice on Wednesday, getting a second opinion on a groin injury that’s held him out of the last three games.
The injury has ruined the season for the Green Bay Packers’ Pro Bowl receiver. Jennings couldn’t finish the Week 1 game against San Francisco on Sept. 9 and was held out of the Week 2 game against Chicago before playing all of the next week at Seattle. Jennings scored a touchdown against New Orleans in Week 4 but only played about 14 snaps before being forced out of action again.
Coach Mike McCarthy was hoping Jennings would be able to test the injury last week but that didn’t happen, and the latest development signals that he might not be ready to go against Jacksonville on Sunday. After that, it’s Arizona and the bye, so it’s probably not farfetched to think he wouldn’t return to action until the Nov. 18 game at Detroit.
“I just want him to figure out exactly what it is,” receiver James Jones said. “You don’t want to come back on an injury or be out there running and testing on an injury, and you don’t exactly know what you have. So, hopefully, he can go out there and find out exactly what he has, and they’ll be able to treat it and he’ll be back sooner rather than later.”
Added Rodgers: "We want him to come back as quickly as he can, but he’s got to do what’s best for his body. I know his toughness and how badly he wants to be on the field. If he can’t be out there, you know it’s got to be something significant."
The Packers are a beat-up bunch, with 12 players listed on the injury report, including Charles Woodson, who’s out at least six weeks with a broken collarbone. Jennings, Donald Driver (neck), John Kuhn (hamstring), Nick Perry (knee), B.J. Raji (ankle) and Sam Shields (ankle) did not practice.
McCarthy hopes Raji can get through a rehab session at the start of Thursday’s practice and then join his teammates later in the session. Perry and Shields will be evaluated on Friday to determine their availability for practice that day and the game on Sunday. McCarthy didn’t sound concerned about Kuhn.
Packers injury report
Out: CB Charles Woodson (collarbone). Did not participate: WR Donald Driver (neck); WR Greg Jennings (groin); FB John Kuhn (hamstring); LB Nick Perry (knee); DT B.J. Raji (ankle); CB Sam Shields (ankle). Limited: TE Jermichael Finley (shoulder); G T.J. Lang (elbow/wrist); WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring); C Jeff Saturday (neck). Full: QB Aaron Rodgers (calf).
“Mike did a good job of cutting (practice) short, but it’s kinda that time of the year,” Rodgers said. “Everybody’s a little banged up, kind of looking forward to the bye week. We’ve got two more left. Hopefully we can stay fairly healthy and get some guys back afterward.”
Finley said he’s about “85 percent” healthy and has made big strides despite playing the last two weeks with the injury.
Jaguars injury report
Did not participate: FB Greg Jones (hip); RB Maurice Jones-Drew (foot); S Dwight Lowery (ankle); CB Rashean Mathis (groin); C Brad Meester (not injury related); RB Montell Owens (shoulder); LB Daryl Smith (groin). Limited: CB Derek Cox (back); WR Laurent Robinson (concussion). Full: QB Blaine Gabbert (left shoulder).
-- Rodgers, on losing Woodson: “I think it’s probably more significant than even people think when they talk about it. He’s more than just a player. He’s a presence in the locker room, he’s a leader, he’s a vocal leader, he’s a big-play guy on defense. He’s a guy people have to account for every time. I know if I was playing our defense, I would want to know where he’s at, whether he was at the high safety or whether he was down in the slot or whether he was coming on a pressure. He gets a lot of hits on the football. He’s forced a lot of fumbles here over his time. He’s a close friend, so (I’m) disappointed for him, but excited that he’s a little more upbeat the last couple of days, and I think he’s going to be on the low end of that timeline and we’d love to get him back as quick as possible.”
-- McCarthy said Woodson’s presence continues to be felt: “Shoot, he might be here now more than he’s ever been. Around the clock getting treatment, he’s in the cafeteria around these guys. Charles offers a lot to our program, but him and the medical staff are doing everything they can to try to get him back as quickly as possible.”
-- Green Bay made some changes to its practice squad. Diondre Borel was put on injured reserve (hamstring). They filled his one spot and one other vacancy with guard Justin Cheadle (6-3, 305) and running back DuJuan Harris (5-8, 203). Cheadle is an undrafted rookie from California who spent camp with Kansas City. Harris played in five games for Jacksonville last year with nine carries for 42 yards. He spent time in camp this summer with the Jaguars and Steelers.
-- The Jaguars have two Wisconsinites on their team. Defensive end Austen Lane, a fifth-round pick in 2010 from Murray State with two career sacks, is from Iola, Wis. Guard Drew Nowak is an undrafted free agent who played on the defensive line at Western Michigan. The De Pere native is an undrafted free agent who is spending the season on injured reserve.
“We moved him from the defensive line/defensive tackle to guard,” coach Mike Mularkey said in a conference call. “He really did pretty well for his initial move. He got kind of thrown into the fire. We had multiple injuries up front so he had to play in a lot of the preseason games, even against starters. For making a transition, I think he’s got a good future ahead of him. We just, unfortunately, lost him to IR. Austen, we just had him back for his second game this past week. Probably as close to being as healthy as he’s been all year. He missed the first four games. He’s played well. We were hurting a little bit against the run because our lighter ends – Austen is one of those guys that he’s hard to handle with tight ends or tackles in the run game. It’s been good. He’s played well for us.”