Injuries continue to be a major topic of conversation in Packers Nation, and that topic was the focal point of head coach Mike McCarthy's Monday press conference with the local media. In addition to disclosing that TE Jermichael Finley was headed for injured reserve — with his spot on the roster being taken by newly acquired S Anthony Smith — McCarthy said he looked forward to both CB Al Harris (knee) and S Atari Bigby (ankle) being able to participate in practice Wednesday fresh off the physically-unable-to-perform list.
"Well actually we're going to start practicing all three guys coming off PUP (RB John Starks, in addition to Harris and Bigby)," McCarthy said. "Frankly, we just want to see them out there in the group drills, in the team drills and just see where they are."
Also on the injury front, McCarthy said LB Brian Poppinga will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday morning, and that WR Donald Driver (quad) and ILB A.J. Hawk (groin) would likely miss practice time this week in advance of the Packers game against Minnesota.
McCarthy also spoke about the problems the team has had winning close games with Aaron Rodgers under center — 1-11 in games decided by four points or fewer — and the five sacks of Rodgers Sunday by the Dolphins.
"You need to look at the sacks," McCarthy said. "Not all those sacks were created by the defense. There are a couple of those sacks from our perspective, from our evaluation, that should not occur.
"We need to get that ready because we have an excellent defensive line in Minnesota coming here Sunday."
The way we see it
Obviously, the return of Harris and Bigby as soon as possible would provide a major pick-me-up for the Packers. So would the return of OT Mark Tauscher, whose stabilizing presence was missed Sunday.
"Getting better," is the way McCarthy described the shoulder injury that sidelined Tauscher Sunday. "I would say he is still a ways away, but he is getting better, getting stronger.