Packers G Colledge practices, probable for Sunday
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP)
Continuity has been a key to the success of the Green Bay Packers' offensive line this season.
But an important member of that line may miss Sunday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys.
The offensive line has helped the Packers (5-3) keep quarterback Aaron Rodgers healthy enough to play a season after he was sacked a league-high 50 times.
Daryn Colledge's consecutive games played streak might hinge on his stiff lower back.
The back injury to Colledge, the Green Bay Packers' left guard, could mean a rare change on the line against Dallas (1-6).
Colledge returned to practice on a full-time basis Friday after being out a day and believes he can play, but he said the decision is up to Green Bay's medical staff and coach Mike McCarthy.
''I always feel like I can be out there and make it,'' Colledge said. ''But they're not going to go off of a player's decision. Emotionally, I want to be there for my guys, and I want to be able to play, but for them, it's a real decision to make, and they've got to make that.''
The Packers list Colledge as probable for the game, but he split practice reps with backup Jason Spitz on Friday and isn't sure if his playing streak will continue.
''Spitz had more practice time this week and practiced well,'' Colledge said. ''If they feel he's more prepared and physically ready for the game, then they'll make that decision. If they believe I'm ready to go, then I'll ride it till the wheels fall off.''
Colledge has played in 75 straight games since his rookie season in 2006. The streak was in jeopardy earlier this season when Colledge suffered a knee injury in a collision with nose tackle B.J. Raji on the practice field. Colledge missed a day of practice, but made a quick recovery and made the start in the Packers' 20-17 loss to the Bears.
''That's a tribute to him and the way he prepares and the way he takes care of his body,'' Rodgers said Friday. ''It's also just a lot about his mental toughness. He doesn't let little injuries affect him.''
McCarthy said a determination on Colledge's playing status won't be made until Saturday.
''I think anytime you have an injury and a player comes off of not practicing and then practicing, it's really the next day is the true indication,'' McCarthy said. ''Knowing Daryn's history, I anticipate that he will go.''
The Packers have made only one change to the starting five on their offensive line with the season halfway complete.
That happened after four games, when Bryan Bulaga, this year's first-round draft pick, took over at right tackle for veteran Mark Tauscher, who suffered a shoulder sprain and isn't fully recovered.
Rodgers has been sacked 16 times through eight games. At the same point last season, Rodgers had been sacked 37 times as the Packers were getting ready to start a sixth different offensive line in their ninth game, also against the Cowboys.
''I think the biggest difference between this year and last year is we haven't had to move guys around too much, we're able to keep guys in the same spots,'' Rodgers said.
Notes: Rodgers (ankle), LB Clay Matthews (shin), DE Cullen Jenkins (calf) and LT Chad Clifton (hamstring/knee) also are probable to play Sunday, the Packers' last game before their bye week. Rodgers was a full participant in practice every day after he twisted his left ankle late in the shutout win over the New York Jets on Sunday. The team played it safe with Matthews, who has a league-high 9 1/2 sacks, and didn't have him practice much this week. ''He'll be ready to go Sunday,'' McCarthy said. ... DE Ryan Pickett (ankle) is questionable, but he felt optimistic after going through all portions of Friday's practice that he will be able to play after missing the last game. ... McCarthy said rookie TE Andrew Quarless (shoulder) had a setback after trying to practice Thursday and the team listed him as questionable. If Quarless can't play, the Packers will be down to Donald Lee and Tom Crabtree at tight end.