GREEN BAY, Wis. — Packers wide receiver James Jones recognizes the significance of a Monday night game at Lambeau Field between Green Bay and the Chicago Bears. Nearly three weeks after suffering a knee injury that he initially thought was going to end his season, Jones is hoping to be medically cleared in time for the primetime showdown with the Packers’ division rival.
“If I was a betting man, I don’t know, 50-50,” Jones said Saturday in the locker room of his chances to play.
Those odds make sense, as Green Bay listed Jones as questionable on the injury report.
“Frankly, it’s up in the air, but he’s doing everything he can,” coach Mike McCarthy said.
Jones injured his knee while run blocking in Week 6 at Baltimore. A week before that, Jones had four catches for 127 yards and a touchdown. In Week 2 this season, Jones had 11 receptions for 178 yards.
“I think James Jones was playing very well,” McCarthy said.
Jones was a limited practice participant all week and so far has been free of any setbacks.
“We’ll see how my knee reacts coming in (Sunday),” Jones said. “(Hopefully) get no swelling or anything like that. It felt good, so we’ll see. I don’t know if I’ll go this week, next week, but it felt better.”
Jones added that he’ll “put a little extra on it” given the big stage of this game.
In addition to Jones, the Packers are hoping that cornerback Sam Shields is ready for Monday night. Shields, who is listed as probable, had his toes stepped on by an offensive lineman in Friday’s practice.
“Sam told me he felt he’d be ready to go,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “I think he was just sore today, but I think he’ll be fine.”
It’s not looking as hopeful for outside linebacker Nick Perry, who is listed as doubtful. This would be the third consecutive game that Perry is sidelined for with a foot injury.
“He’s just not ready,” McCarthy said of Perry on Thursday. “He’s not moving along as everybody would hope.”
Green Bay will likely get back starting inside linebacker Brad Jones, who’s listed as probable after being out the past three games with a hamstring injury. However, with backup Jamari Lattimore playing so well — two sacks and 19 tackles in Jones’ absence, the Packers can ease their starter back in.
“I think we have to be smart,” Capers said of Jones. “You don’t want to bring a guy back that hasn’t played in the last three games or so. You just have to monitor the reps to where you don’t overwork them.”
Tight end Ryan Taylor is probable after missing two games with a knee injury that required surgery.
Two big names that Green Bay knew all week that it was going to be without are outside linebacker Clay Matthews (broken thumb) and tight end Jermichael Finley (spinal contusion). Matthews will have the pins removed from his thumb Monday and it’s possible that he’s cleared in time for the Week 10 home game against Philadelphia. Finley, though, still has no timetable. With several medical opinions to still be heard, Finley’s football future remains a major question.