Packers notebook

Justin Harrell

Harrell may get start against Bears; Driver's thoughts on Pro Bowl picks; Crosby nears records

The Packers might have two new starters Sunday when they play at Chicago.

FB Korey Hall is out for perhaps the rest of the regular season after suffering a strained hip in the last game.

Second-year player John Kuhn will make his first start in Hall's stead. Hall and Kuhn had been splitting playing time in the last few games, so there shouldn't be a drop-off. In fact, Kuhn has proved to be a more effective blocker, though he's not as polished as Hall is as a safety net in going out for a pass.

"We're very confident in John's ability. We don't look to change or tailor anything just for him," coach Mike McCarthy said.

Corey White, signed by the club as an undrafted rookie in the offseason, is getting reps as a practice-squad player this week and is under consideration to be elevated to the 53-man roster to back up Kuhn.

Meanwhile, McCarthy hinted Wednesday that the team would be inclined to keep nose tackle Ryan Pickett out for at least a game. Pickett wasn't able to finish the contest Sunday at St. Louis because of a strained groin.

He didn't practice Wednesday, but Pickett is hopeful of playing Sunday. He has started every game in his two seasons with Green Bay and hasn't missed a game since his second pro season in 2002, with St. Louis.

"Big-picture-wise (for the playoffs), we're going to be smart with him," McCarthy said. "He's champing at the bit to get back in there, but we'll just take the week to see where he is."

The Packers are ready to give Justin Harrell, their first-round draft pick this year, his first start if Pickett's condition doesn't improve by the weekend.

Harrell suffered a dislocated left thumb last Sunday against the Rams, though he was able to finish it. He will wear a small cast to protect the thumb against Chicago.

Driver would give himself up for Jennings
Being selected to the Pro Bowl for the third time -- and a second straight year -- doesn't mean as much to Donald Driver as it would if fellow receiver Greg Jennings could get his first opportunity to play in the all-star game in Hawaii.

Upset that Jennings was left off the NFC roster when the teams were announced Tuesday, Driver said he has given consideration to dropping out if it meant Jennings would go.

"I would love for him to be over there," Driver said.

The hang-up, however, is that Jennings isn't a first alternate at receiver.

"Some guys have to back out before me to let him go, but it would have been great to see him go," Driver said. "I think he deserves it. It's sad that I'm the only one that's going out of the receiving group. I think he deserved that title, and it's sad that he didn't get it."

Jennings is tied with Tampa Bay's Joey Galloway for the league lead with an average of 17.6 yards per catch and is second in the NFC with 12 touchdown receptions.

Rookie booting way into record book
Rookie K Mason Crosby, who is No. 1 in the league with 130 points, is in position to end the regular season with a few milestones.

He is only a point behind the single-season franchise record for scoring by a kicker, accomplished by Ryan Longwell in 2000.

Crosby is closing in on Kevin Butler's league record for points in a season by a rookie kicker. Butler had 144 for Chicago in 1985.

Should Crosby stay atop the league rankings for points, he would be the seventh rookie to accomplish the feat and the first since Butler 22 years ago.

Road warriors
With a win Sunday at Chicago, the Packers would finish with a 7-1 road record in the regular season, a team best in the modern era. Green Bay went 7-0-1 away from home in 1929.

Since the season was expanded to 16 games in 1978, the Packers' best road mark has been 6-2 in 2004.

The 12-2 Packers also could match the most single-season victories in team annals Sunday. Green Bay went 13-3 in both 1996 and '97 en route to appearances in the Super Bowl. The only other season in which the Packers won a baker's dozen was in 1962, when they went 13-1.

BY THE NUMBERS: 63 -- Points the Packers need to score in the final two regular-season games to surpass the franchise record of 456 compiled by the Super Bowl XXXI-winning team in 1996.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't know if 'bothers' is the right word. Maybe a little perplexed at how that happens. ... I can't think of 11 (players worthy of selection). I don't mean that in a bad way, but I'm like, 'Wow, that's quite a few!'"
-- DE Aaron Kampman, one of Green Bay's four Pro Bowl choices, on the league-high 11 players from Dallas chosen for the all-star game. The Packers and the Cowboys are tied for the NFC's best record at 12-2.

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