Safety Morgan Burnett and guard Josh Sitton, two of the Green Bay Packers’ best players, are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins.
Burnett was limited participation all week due to a hamstring injury, which he sustained in the third preseason game and aggravated last week to keep him out of the opener at San Francisco. With Burnett unexpectedly missing the game, the secondary suffered. Coach Mike McCarthy said after Friday’s practice that Burnett did more each day than the training staff planned for at the start of the day.
Asked if he was optimistic that Burnett would be ready, safeties coach Darren Perry said: “Hey, we know one thing that our guys are more prepared to go without him if that’s the case. We feel much better going into this game than we did last week. Guys are up for the challenge. It should be good.”
As usual, McCarthy said the “next 48 hours” would be critical. For Sitton, that means he’ll “get my feet up” to rest his ailing back until Sunday morning.
“Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, it was a lot worse than usual,” Sitton said. “It hurts a pretty good bit of the time. Sometimes, it locks up and spasms – it comes and goes – but it feels a lot better than it did a few days ago.”
Tight end Jermichael Finley, who sat out Wednesday’s practice with a toe injury sustained early in the San Francisco game, was limited on Thursday and Friday and is listed as probable. So is outside linebacker Nick Perry, who is recovering from a stinger.
Packers injury report
Out: CB Casey Hayward (hamstring). Questionable: S Morgan Burnett (hamstring; limited), CB Jarrett Bush (hamstring; did not participate), G Josh Sitton (back; limited). Probable: TE Jermichael Finley (toe; limited), OLB Nick Perry (neck; full).
Said Finley: “It is what it is. It’s a tad bit painful. We’ve got 48 hours to play the game, so there’s a lot going to be done (until) then. I feel great. I’ve got a big pain tolerance. So I’ll be out there, I’ll be fine. I’ve been playing football forever. It’s a toe injury. I’ll be out there.”
Redskins injury report
Questionable: K Kai Forbath (right groin; full). Probable: CB David Amerson (back; full), DL Chris Baker (illness; full), NT Barry Cofield (hand; full), S Brandon Meriweather (groin; full), RB Chris Thompson (ankle; full).
-- Outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene, a finalist for the Pro Football of Fame last year, is back on the ballot. “You know, my thought really is the Washington Redskins,” he said.
-- With that focus on Washington, Greene had little to say about 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh’s criticism of Clay Matthews for his late hit on quarterback Colin Kaepernick. “That really, honestly, goes in one ear and out the other,” Greene said. “That’s the way I approach it. Once that game’s over, I try to change that chapter and turn the page. Same thing that I preach to my kids and I really do that as a coach. It’s not a factor, really.”
-- Speaking of Matthews, he was fined $15,000 for that hit on Kaepernick.
-- Regardless of the health of Burnett and Bush, undrafted rookie safety Chris Banjo should get a few reps, Perry said. Banjo could get a bunch of snaps if Burnett and Bush join Hayward on the sideline. Last week, Micah Hyde replaced Hayward at nickel and Bush replaced Jerron McMillian at time, with McMillian and M.D. Jennings being the starting safeties. If Bush is out, McMillian likely would play the dime with Banjo at safety alongside Jennings. “I feel Banjo is ready to play,” McCarthy said. “He’s had a good week of preparation. He’s done nothing but answer the bell every time he’s been given an opportunity.”
Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.
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.