Running back Alex Green, who is coming off a torn ACL, was held out of Friday’s practice.
Not to worry, though. Green is listed as probable and there’s no reason to believe he won’t play in Sunday’s Week 1 game against San Francisco.
“It’s good,” Green said. “Just being safe, a little cautious right now. I don’t want anything to go wrong on a day like this. ... I know it’s for the better. They wouldn’t steer me the wrong way. Whatever information they give me, whether it’s to sit out or continue to practice, I’m sure it’s in a positive way. I’ll take it as it is.”
Green said he’s meeting with Dr. Pat McKenzie twice a week to make sure his comeback remains on schedule and he’s not at risk of suffering a setback due to overuse.
While Cedric Benson will be the No. 1 back against the 49ers, Green figures to get a decent amount of playing time, especially with James Starks out with turf toe and Brandon Saine not getting a touch in the preseason due to a hamstring injury. While John Kuhn is expected to handle the third-down role because of pass protection, the Packers like Green’s ability to catch the ball and gain yards after the catch.
“Alex has done very well in training camp,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “Actually had him on a rep count through the training camp, starting slow, really probably did more than what we had hoped for, so that’s good. I think he’s definitely ready to go. This is a long week of practice, of preparing for this game. So, we felt it was smart to rest him today.”
Both teams will be in good health for this big opening game. The Packers ruled out cornerback Davon House, linebacker Jamari Lattimore and running back James Starks. House and Lattimore have minor injuries and McCarthy was pleased with the work House did this week.
“He feels good. His evaluation this morning was good,” McCarthy said. “But at the end of the day I didn’t think it was practical to put him out there. He’s a young player, he’s coming off that injury, so we’ll see how he is next week.”
For the 49ers, neither running back or kick returner/receiver Ted Ginn are expected to play.
Packers injury report
Out: CB Davon House (limited; shoulder); LB Jamari Lattimore (did not participate; ankle); RB James Starks (out all week; toe). Probable: TE Tom Crabtree (limited; shoulder); LB Robert Francois (limited; hamstring); RB Alex Green (did not participate; knee); NT B.J. Raji (full; ankle); S Sean Richardson (limited; hamstring).
49ers injury report
Questionable: WR Ted Ginn (ankle); RB Brandon Jacobs (knee). Neither player practiced this week.
— Who will start at cornerback opposite Tramon Williams? Expect a down-and-distance rotation of Jarrett Bush and Sam Shields, like the Packers used in Week 17 against Detroit and the playoff game against the Giants. “I think you could see a number of different combinations,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “We’ve got a lot of different personnel groups. You could see different people in there with different ones.”
—The Packers will be counting on a lot of young players on defense, meaning Capers’ unit will be a work in progress: “We’re going to have a lot of young guys out there playing. I know our first two years that I was here our defense got heck of a lot better the second half of the season. I think we played with anybody defensively in the league those first two years. Your team changes as you go through it. It’s one of 16 games. You’d obviously love to get off to a good start. But I’ve felt all along that this defense will improve as the season goes on, as long as we can stay healthy.”
— Without Ginn, Kyle Williams — the goat of the NFC Championship Game loss to the Giants — will handle return duties. He muffed one punt in regulation and his fumble in overtime set up the Giants for the win. “Everybody makes mistakes, and that obviously was one the whole world got to see. I think he’s rebounded nicely,” 49ers special teams coordinator Brad Seely told reporters.
— All four players associated with the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, including former Packers defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, had their suspensions overturned Friday a three-man arbitration panel and are eligible to play this weekend, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. Hargrove has not signed since his release two weeks ago.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.