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Packers still mum about Woodson

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Chris Jenkins/Associated Press
November 27, 2007
— If the NFL isn’t going to require the Green Bay Packers to say anything definitive about the injury status of cornerback Charles Woodson, they’re certainly not about to start volunteering it.

Woodson hurt his toe on a punt return early in the Packers’ Thanksgiving Day victory over the Detroit Lions. The Packers aren’t required to release a league-mandated injury report until Tuesday, and Packers coach Mike McCarthy was vague Monday about Woodson’s prospects for playing in the Packers’ game at Dallas Thursday night.


“He’s put a lot of time in the training room,” McCarthy said. “Right now he’s pretty much going around the clock, so we’ll see what happens. If someone can do it on our football team, it’d be Charles Woodson.”


McCarthy said Woodson’s swelling had gone down, and the team would know more on Tuesday.


“He was a lot better today than he was yesterday,” McCarthy said.


McCarthy was more specific about Woodson’s potential role on special teams. If Woodson is able to play this week, he will play only cornerback and not return punts – a duty that would likely fall to Tramon Williams, but also could involve cornerback Will Blackmon or wide receivers James Jones and Greg Jennings.


Woodson was not present in the Packers’ locker room during the team’s media availability period Monday afternoon.


Packers linebacker Nick Barnett said he expected Woodson to tough it out.


“I’ve talked to him and he said if he can go, he’s going to go,” Barnett said. “He’s a very tough player, I think, personally and he wants to, I mean, who does not want to play in this game? So if he can go a little bit, he’s going to go, and we look forward to hopefully him going.”


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BOUNTY HUNTER: Green Bay Packers players no longer can offer teammates financial incentives for their on-field performance, but the NFL will not punish them for violating the league’s “bounty rule.”


“The club has handled the matter with the players and the incentive pool has been discontinued,” league spokesman Greg Aiello said via e-mail Monday.


McCarthy said the players would not be punished by the team.


“We’ve already addressed it as a football team,” McCarthy said. “It’s a dead issue, in my view. There’s been no fines. It’s been resolved with the league, and we have moved on.”


League officials began looking into a report last week that Packers defensive players offered incentives to teammates for achieving specific defensive goals.


League rules prohibit teams and players “from offering or accepting bonuses to a player for his or his team’s performance against a particular team, a particular opposing player or players, or a particular group of an opposing team.”


ESPN reported that Packers players offered to pay the team’s defensive linemen $500 each if they were able to hold Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson to under 100 yards rushing two weeks ago. They offered another $500 for holding Carolina to under 60 yards rushing as a team the next week.


Packers defensive end Aaron Kampman said players were trying to put the issue behind them.


“I know all that stuff kind of happened last week, and we haven’t heard anything,” Kampman said. “It’s pretty much all water under the dam.”


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NOTES: Packers chairman Bob Harlan said the team is zeroing in on hiring his replacement. “We’re close,” Harlan said. “I probably shouldn’t say any more.” ... Packers safety Aaron Rouse is recovering from a knee sprain – and apparently is well-coached in the Packers’ less-is-more attitude toward discussing injuries. Asked how much he participated in practice on Monday, Rouse said only, “enough.” ... Defensive lineman Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila is recovering from a sprained ankle. “He feels better today than he did yesterday,” McCarthy said. “These guys are pros. They’ve been through the injuries before, but we’ll see how he is tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a big day for our football team as far as the key guys that have been hurt.”



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