Fearless Prediction: Packers (1-1) at Rams (0-2)

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Game Snapshot

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: FOX (Chris Myers, Trent Green)
SERIES: 89th meeting. Rams lead, 45-41-2. The teams have alternated victories in the last four games, with Green Bay winning the most recent, 33-14 in St. Louis in 2007. KEYS TO THE GAME: The Rams need to find a way to contain the Packers' improved pass rush long enough for QB Marc Bulger to take vertical shots against Green Bay's secondary that will be minus SS Atari Bigby and possibly FS Nick Collins. The primary concern is RT Adam Goldberg starting in place on injured rookie Jason Smith and working against DE Johnny Jolly and OLB Aaron Kampman. The secondary concern is a young receiving crew as St. Louis ranks 31st with just 144.5 passing yards per game. Pass protection is also a key for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who has been sacked a league-high 10 times. But the Rams have just one sack on the season and don't have the secondary depth to contain WRs Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones and Jordy Nelson. FAST FACTS: Jennings averages 32 yards on his 25 career touchdowns. ... The Rams have a 12-game losing streak.

Personnel News

  • RB Brandon Jackson's attempted comeback from a high ankle sprain hit a snag. Jackson, the team's No. 3 halfback, had discomfort in the ankle after he practiced on a limited basis Wednesday for the first time since suffering the injury Aug. 28. Jackson was held out of practice Thursday and could be out again Sunday, when the Packers play at the St. Louis Rams.
  • LB Aaron Kampman was a full participant in practice for the second straight day, though he is nursing a bruised right hand that has required him to wear a heavy protective wrap. He should be fine to make the start Sunday.
  • K Mason Crosby apparently did some kicking in practice Thursday since he was listed as a full participant on the injury report. Crosby had limited work Wednesday, getting some extra time off from kicking for the second straight week because of a lower abdominal strain that cropped up following the Sept. 13 season opener.
  • DL B.J. Raji is staying optimistic that he will play for the first time this season. Raji, the team's top draft pick this year, has been a full participant in practice the last two days as he tries to prove to the medical and coaching staffs that he is fully recovered from an ankle injury he sustained Sept. 3. Raji won't be activated until the team is convinced he is 100 percent healthy.
  • FB Korey Hall was limited for the second straight day as he tries to bounce back from both a concussion and a shoulder injury in the last game. If Hall doesn't go through the team portion of practice Friday, the greater the possibility the Packers will keep him out Sunday and activate rookie Quinn Johnson for the first time. Rams:
  • C Jason Brown (knee), who was officially listed as a limited participant in practice Wednesday although taking virtually all of the snaps, fully participated Thursday and is expected to start Sunday against Green Bay.
  • RT Jason Smith (knee) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday and will likely be listed as out on Friday. Adam Goldberg is his replacement.
  • S Craig Dahl (hamstring) participated fully in practice Thursday after being limited Wednesday. Dahl missed the first two games of the season.
  • S David Roach (groin) was limited in practice Wednesday, but had full participation Thursday.
  • CB Bradley Fletcher, the team's third-round draft pick, has been playing as the nickel back and looks to have moved ahead of Justin King on the depth chart.

    Inside the Camps

    Packers: An already shaky situation at safety for the Packers quaked even more Thursday. The team added Jarrett Bush to the injury report after he had an ankle injury flare up in practice Thursday. Bush went through the full workout, but depending on how the ankle responds overnight, there's no guarantee he will be available for the game Sunday at the St. Louis Rams. "Jarrett played through the ankle injuries last year," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "My gut is it's not real serious, but I'll have more information probably (Friday)." Bush's injury comes when the Packers have significant injury issues at safety. Both of their starters were hurt in the first two games. Strong safety Atari Bigby suffered a sprained knee in the Sept. 13 opener and will be out at least three more weeks. Pro Bowl free safety Nick Collins was knocked out of Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals with a clavicle sprain. Initial fears were that Collins would also be lost for a period of time, but he returned to practice Wednesday on a limited basis and had the same status Thursday. "He's practiced two days in a row, so I anticipate Nick will go (on Sunday)," McCarthy said. "He's always been a real pro when it comes to playing through injuries." What the Packers do at the other safety spot in the upcoming game is a bigger mystery. They surprisingly cut third-year veteran Aaron Rouse on Wednesday after he had a subpar game as Bigby's replacement against the Bengals. Rouse promptly was claimed off waivers by the New York Giants on Thursday. Bush took over for Collins the final two-plus quarters Sunday, but Bush also was guilty of mistakes, particularly in pass coverage. So, the Packers have been pushing the envelope this week with Derrick Martin, whom they acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens before the season started. Martin has a background in the 3-4 scheme employed by the Packers, but they relegated him to special-teams work in the first two games because he didn't have a complete grasp of the defensive terminology. Green Bay replenished the depth at safety after the release of Rouse with the signing of veteran free agent Matt Giordano, formerly of the Indianapolis Colts, but he probably will be able to contribute only on special teams Sunday. Another option that hasn't received much play this week is moving Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Woodson to safety and plugging in dependable nickel back Tramon Williams as a starter at Woodson's spot on the left side. Woodson started at safety three games late last season when the Packers were hit by injuries at the position, and he was effective as a playmaker. Woodson said after Sunday's game that discussions of a position switch hadn't been broached but he would be open to it. He has subsequently been quiet during the practice week thus far. "That's a tough deal to have two guys (Collins and Bigby) go down that you anticipate being your starters for a whole season, especially as good as those guys are," Woodson said Sunday. "But, it ain't no time to cry for this team now. We've got to go out and play football. Whoever's in there has got to step it up and play at the level that the rest of the team expects 'em to play at." Rams: It isn't often that NFL executives strongly react publicly to things said in the media, whether it be local or national. Thursday, Rams' general manager Billy Devaney did just that in response to comments made on ESPN Radio by analyst Mark Schlereth. Talking about the Rams, Schlereth opined that the Rams were the worst team in the NFL and were poor on both offense and defense. Schlereth then said of the Rams "they're not competing," and claimed the organization was in "shambles." Devaney, who was named general manager late in the 2008 season, and has been part of a massive overhaul of the team's football operations, held back nothing when he appeared on WXOS radio, the station that airs ESPN radio and that is also the team's radio rights holder. Said Devaney, "I'll be honest, I've got to take a deep breath, because that really pisses me off. When he says something like we're not competing, how the hell does he know? I guarantee you he hasn't watched one of our games. You can say we had a stinker in Seattle and we made a ton of mistakes. And that's fine. But to say we're not competing is totally asinine." Devaney added, "It frosts me. It just ticks me off a little bit. We're fighting our guts out there. If you want to say we're no good right now, I don't have a problem with that. But don't question our heart. Don't question our competitiveness. I've been in places where after your team loses a game, and the players get on the plane to fly home, you can't tell if they won or lost." Noting how disappointed the players were after last week's 9-7 loss to Washington, Devaney said it was apparent how much they hated losing. "It was staggering," he said. "Don't say we're in shambles. We've gone to great lengths to improve the attitude and bring in the right kind of players in here. To our players' credit, they do have heart." "We're 0-2. We've got to eat everything right now ... all we can do is win some games and change people's minds about us." PREDICTION: Green Bay 33-14
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