GREEN BAY, Wis. – Three defensive starters, outside linebacker Preston Smith, safety Darnell Savage and cornerback Kevin King, are questionable for the Green Bay Packers’ game against Washington on Sunday.
Smith (oblique) was limited participation on Friday after missing practices on Wednesday and Thursday. He’s never missed a game in his 102-game career. He wants to play against his former team, but that desire is complicated by the short turnaround to Thursday night’s game against Arizona and then another big game at Kansas City.
“He’s an important part of this football team and you want him there for the long haul, so you never want to put a guy out there and put him in greater jeopardy to do more harm,” coach Matt LaFleur said, adding later, “You always feel confident that you can count on P and he’ll be available and he’s done that throughout his entire career, obviously.”
The Packers exited Chicago with only Rashan Gary, Jonathan Garvin and La’Darius Hamilton at outside linebacker. The team signed veteran Whitney Mercilus on Thursday. With two days of practice under his belt, he could contribute on Sunday but certainly not in anything resembling a full-time role.
“He looks like a guy that can still play,” LaFleur said. “We’ll see where he’s at just in terms of the knowledge of the system and whether or not we could use him on Sunday. He’s working really hard at it. He and Mike [Smith, the outside linebackers coach] have spent a lot of time together, and I know he’s been studying a lot on his own, but he is everything that we had hoped for.”
King (shoulder) was limited participation all week after missing the Chicago game. Pain and range of motion are complicating factors. As is the case with Smith, the short turnaround to face the Cardinals’ explosive passing attack might be part of the consideration. Savage suffered a concussion during the second half at Chicago and was limited on Thursday and Friday. LaFleur said he remained in the concussion protocol.
Getting Douglas Instead of Gilmore Has Worked Out for Packers
It's time to revisit Oct. 6, when the Green Bay Packers pursued former All-Pro Stephon Gilmore but instead announced the signing of Rasul Douglas.
As expected, rookie center Josh Myers is out with the knee injury sustained on the opening series last week. Lucas Patrick will get the start after a strong performance in relief.
As for All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, he practiced all week. To play on Sunday, the Packers would have to activate him from the physically unable to perform list by 3 p.m. Saturday. That decision has been made but, “We’re going to keep that plan in-house for now,” LaFleur said.
Speaking of the offensive line, Washington’s right side of Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff and rookie tackle Sam Cosmi are out. Two other starters, running back Antonio Gibson and cornerback William Jackson, are questionable. Jackson didn’t practice on Friday.
Packers Injury Report
Out: OT Dennis Kelly (back), C Josh Myers (knee).
Questionable: CB Kevin King (shoulder), S Darnell Savage (concussion), OLB Preston Smith (oblique).
Football Team Injury Report
Out: RT Sam Cosmi (ankle), WR Curtis Samuel (groin), G Brandon Scherff (knee), WR Cam Sims (hamstring).
Limited: RB Antonio Gibson (shin), CB William Jackson III (knee), DE Shaka Toney (illness).