TE D.J. Williams missed practice on Thursday due to a hamstring injury he sustained at the end of practice on Wednesday, Mike McCarthy said. His status for Sunday’s game at this point is up in the air. The same goes for TE Jermichael Finley (shoulder), and if both players can’t play, the Packers would be down to just two active tight ends in Tom Crabtree and Ryan Taylor.
“He’s never had a hamstring injury before, so this is new territory for him,” McCarthy said of Williams. “We’ll see where he is tomorrow.”
Williams termed the injury a “little tweak” that’s low in his hamstring, not deep and high in the thigh. He caught two passes for 20 yards in last week’s game after Finley went down, and McCarthy said he was potentially a big part of the offensive plan.
“I felt like I was starting to move along,” Williams said. “It was the same thing in the preseason and I had that little foot nagging injury. But you have to stay positive with a good attitude, so that’s what I’m doing and it’ll all work out.”
McCarthy reiterated on Thursday that he could take decisions on veterans Finley, WR Greg Jennings (groin) and DL B.J. Raji (ankle) up to game time, even if none of them practice this week.
Jennings spoke with reporters and said he gives himself “a chance” to play, but he didn’t sound overly optimistic. He said he doesn’t expect to do any real testing of the injury this week, so it could come down to whether the Packers test him on Sunday in Houston or just let him continue to rest.
“Physically I feel good, (but) physically I felt good before,” said Jennings, who has injured his groin twice this season already. “Only time will tell.”
Meanwhile, RB James Starks has yet to play this season, primarily due to a turf toe injury from the preseason opener, but he’s now off the injury report and expecting to be active on gameday for the first time with RB Cedric Benson on injured reserve.
RB Alex Green has been named the starter by McCarthy, who also said the offense will go with the “hot hand.” That could mean an opening for Starks, who says he’s ready and healthy.
“I’m good. I’ve been running, cutting,” he said. “I’ve done everything on (the toe), pushed off of it. The only thing is I haven’t been tackled by a different team. That’s about it.”
Starks, of course, was a playoff hero in 2010 in helping the Packers string together four straight wins, including the Super Bowl.
“That’s in the past to me,” he said. “That’s how I feel. I haven’t done anything yet. I’m planning on trying to do something this year.
“I’ve got to make the most out of every opportunity I receive, and I’m sure I will.”
Tags: d.j. williams, greg jennings, james starks
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TE D.J. Williams was not at practice on Thursday in the portion open to reporters. Williams is not listed on the injury report, so an update from Mike McCarthy will be coming after practice.
If Williams’ availability for Sunday’s game is in question at all, that could leave the Packers rather thin at TE because it isn’t certain Jermichael Finley will play, though he has vowed to. McCarthy’s post-practice update will indicate whether anything is going on with Williams other than perhaps an excused absence.
Otherwise, practice participation was essentially the same as Wednesday. Finley, WR Greg Jennings and DL B.J. Raji all missed practice again.
Tags: d.j. williams, finley
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