On Wednesday, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he was hopeful that tight end Jermichael Finley would be cleared for Friday’s practice.
So, it was a pleasant surprise for McCarthy to see Finley back in action at Thursday’s full-pads practice at Clarke Hinkle Field.
“Jermichael Finley is making progress,” McCarthy said. “He was able to do some things today. Hopefully he’ll continue to make progress and go tomorrow.”
Finley (toe), Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton (back) and standout safety Morgan Burnett (hamstring) were listed as limited participation.
Sitton labored through a sore back during Sunday’s game at San Francisco and was held out of Wednesday’s practice. As is the case for Finley, how Sitton feels on Friday will be key in determining his availability for Sunday’s game against Washington.
For the second consecutive day, Burnett was on the practice field. That left only cornerback Casey Hayward, who will miss a second consecutive game due to an injured hamstring, on the sideline.
Burnett, the team’s top safety and key communicator, did more than anticipated, McCarthy said, and Burnett said he took part in “a few” 11-on-11 reps.
“They just had me limited in the practice, wasn’t doing too much,” Burnett said. “I wasn’t participating with everything but they allowed me to do some things. It was limited, so the only thing we can do is play it by ear.”
Packers injury report
Out: CB Casey Hayward (hamstring). Limited: S Morgan Burnett (hamstring), CB Jarrett Bush (hamstring), TE Jermichael Finley (toe), OLB Nick Perry (neck), G Josh Sitton (back).
Perry was a full participant on Wednesday but the injury, sustained during the fourth quarter against San Francisco, flared up after Wednesday’s practice.
Bush was injured at Thursday’s practice. He’s the team’s top special-teams performer. If Burnett is healthy, Bush wouldn’t have a role on defense. Against San Francisco, however, Bush was the dime defender in place of Jerron McMillian, who was elevated to the starting lineup with Burnett’s absence.
Redskins injury report
Full: CB David Amerson (back), DL Chris Baker (illness), NT Barry Cofield (hand), S Brandon Meriweather (groin), RB Chris Thompson (ankle).
-- Clay Matthews wouldn’t say if he had been fined by the NFL for his late hit on 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. And, other than saying he heard Niners coach Jim Harbaugh’s comments, Matthews refused to put any fuel on the fire.
“Next game!” Matthews yelled with a smile. “I'm an awesome player, not a dirty player.”
-- No team in the NFC has fewer players age 30 and over than the Packers (five), according to data provided by the league on Thursday. The average Packers player stands 6.13 feet tall, weighs 249.60 pounds and is 25.64 years old. The average NFL player stands 6.17 feet tall, weighs 247.50 pounds and is 26.09 years old. The Lions are the lightest (242.85 pounds) and oldest (27.06) team in the NFL.
-- Sunday’s game will be the first regular-season contest at the expanded Lambeau Field, with the south end zone built to make the stadium louder. “You want your crowd noise to be as loud as possible,” McCarthy said. “Lambeau Field is a special place. Our fans are very respectful. They’re into the game. And the other part of it is it really increased the outdoor seating. We have a lot of boxes. We have a lot of indoor seating. So, this will definitely help us.”
-- According to online bookmaker Bovada, the Packers’ odds of winning the Super Bowl are 14/1. That’s down slightly from their Week 1 odds of 12/1. Denver (5/1), San Francisco (6/1), Seattle (8/1), New England (10/1) and Houston (12/1) are the only teams with better odds than Green Bay. Even with the loss, the Packers remain the NFC North favorites. They’re 10/11, far better than Chicago (9/4), Detroit (7/2) and Minnesota (9/1).
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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.