Packers keep tabs on injuries despite lockout

Although the NFL lockout has cut off most contact between teams

and players, Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson said the

Packers are able to track the progress of injured players during

the offseason.

Speaking to reporters in his annual pre-draft news conference

Thursday, Thompson said team physician Pat McKenzie is staying in

touch with Packers players who are rehabilitating their injuries.

And Thompson didn’t express any concerns about players falling

behind as they get ready for a return to the field.

A league spokesman says team doctors can check on the progress

of injured players’ rehabilitation as long as such contact happens

away from team facilities. Green Bay shook off a rash of injuries

during its Super Bowl run, ending the season with 16 players,

including six starters, on injured reserve.

And while teams generally can’t talk to players during the

ongoing work stoppage, a handful of Packers players also are

scheduled to participate in the Packers’ ”tailgate tour” next

month, which is allowed because the events will benefit local

charities.

Thompson acknowledged that the team is making contingency plans

just in case the labor situation affects the timing of training

camp or the regular season.

”For the fans, they should know, we’re planning for several

different contingencies,” Thompson said. ”What we do know is,

there’s a draft coming up next week, and that’s been my focus and

the focus of our personnel department.”

Despite the uncertainty of the labor situation, Thompson said,

team officials are preparing for the season as usual.

”What’s important to know is, the Packers are getting ready for

football,” Thompson said. ”We’ve got a season schedule sent out.

Mike (McCarthy) has training camp schedules all done. There is no

contact with players, but our players are very professional and I’m

sure they’re getting ready. We’re hopeful that a deal gets done,

just like everybody else.”