The Green Bay Packers’ wide receiver was short-handed on Wednesday but coach Mike McCarthy doesn’t think that will be the case for Saturday night’s playoff game at San Francisco.
Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Jarrett Boykin all were held out of Wednesday’s practice.
“I feel pretty confident the receiver position will be healthy for the game,” McCarthy said. “Randall was sent home today due to illness. We’ve got a number of guys that are fighting through it; it’s just that time of year here. But our doctors feel confident everybody will be ready for the game.”
McCarthy hoped Nelson would be ready for Thursday’s practice. He’s been slowed by ankle injury that’s been an ongoing issue since sustaining the injury against Arizona on Nov. 4.
The Packers need a healthy and productive receiver corps if they’re going to beat the 49ers. When the teams met in Week 1, Cobb caught all nine passes thrown his way for 77 yards. Jennings and Nelson combined for 10 catches (out of 16 targets) for 98 yards, with just 41 of those coming after the catch.
“When I look at the perimeter players, I think of points,” McCarthy said. “It’s important for us to get points from our perimeter players, and you can put the running backs included there. Our receivers probably are going to have some opportunities come Saturday. Once again, I think football starts up front. I think the line of scrimmage is going to dictate a lot of what happens on Saturday night.
Packers injury report
Out: DE Jerel Worthy (knee). Did not participate: WR Jarrett Boykin (ankle); WR Randall Cobb (illness); S Jerron McMillian (personal matter); WR Jordy Nelson (ankle). Limited: LB Clay Matthews (knee); LB Dezman Moses (hamstring). Full: TE Jermichael Finley (hamstring); RB Alex Green (knee).
McCarthy said he had no worries about Finley, Matthews and Moses.
49ers injury report
Will be updated. Talking to reporters in Santa Clara, Calif., San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said defensive end Justin Smith should be able to play after missing the last two games with a partially torn triceps tendon. “God willing and the creek don’t rise, he’s going to play,” Harbaugh said.
-- The perception is the Packers’ offensive line, which played a role in Aaron Rodgers being sacked 51 times, will be overmatched by San Francisco’s outstanding front seven. “I think you want to prove a point every time you take the field,” offensive line coach James Campen said. “I don't think it's heightened by anything. These guys work hard, they're very proud men and they display it every day.” We’ll have more on this later today.
-- The linemen worked in pads. “When you’re limited in pads, the first group that’s hurt are the big guys and their fundamentals,” offensive coordinator Tom Clements said. “It’s just a natural tendency that when you don’t have pads on, you don’t have to hit guys, you’re going to play a little higher. It’s just a matter of making sure they got some work to get their fundamental work and be ready to play the proper way on Saturday.”
-- McCarthy had some strong praise for Harbaugh, as well as how the Colts got to the playoffs after coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia: “I think Jim's done an excellent job. I think his record speaks for itself. The year he had last year, when I look at coaching jobs that have been done in the NFL in my time as being a head coach here, you appreciate what the 49ers accomplished last year. You had no offseason program with the CBA, the lockout, and then to go all way to the NFC championship game, I think speaks volumes about Jim and his staff. No different than the job of Bruce Arians and Chuck Pagano and what went on in Indianapolis. You look at those types of situations, the job that was done in Indianapolis this year and the job that was done in San Francisco last year, I think those are two of the best coaching jobs that I've seen in my time just based on the circumstances around their seasons.”
-- Harbaugh wouldn’t say if there was a front-runner in the kicking derby between struggling incumbent David Akers and recently signed Billy Cundiff. Packers special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum said it didn’t make any difference who kicks on Saturday. “It really doesn’t (matter). Both of them are very well capable and have proven themselves in this league,” Slocum said.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.