Shoulder likely to hinder House all season
SEP 07, 2012 4:01p ET
On Friday, coach Mike McCarthy revealed that House will not play in Green Bay's Sunday regular-season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
"At the end of the day, I didn't think it was practical to put him out there," McCarthy said. "He's a young player, he's coming off that injury, so we'll see how he is next week. I think Davon did very well (Thursday). It was good to see him in pads. It was his first time he was in pads since the injury. I really liked what I saw. He feels good. His evaluation (Friday) morning was good."
McCarthy added that House, despite not playing, will be worked out extensively before Sunday's game. McCarthy also left open the possibility House could play in the Packers' second game just four days later, a Thursday night matchup at home against the Chicago Bears.
Earlier this week, House seemed optimistic he would be ready to play in Week 1. He had already started basic tackling drills with the sleds and was working on catching passes, all while playing with the harness on his shoulder that he'll wear all season.
"Every day I'm feeling better," House said Wednesday. "I don't want to (play with a harness), but I'm going to have to. I want to contribute and help this team. We'll see what I can do with the sling on."
This will be the second consecutive season in which one of Green Bay's top cornerbacks will play with an injured shoulder. Last year, Tramon Williams was hurt in Week 1 and had to play with a harness on his shoulder similar to the one House will wear.
"It is frustrating, but great players do it all the time," House said. "Tramon did it. So it's possible."
House had been very impressive early in training camp and had started to separate himself from the rest of the cornerback group competing for a starting spot opposite Williams. Then, in the first preseason game nearly a month ago, House dislocated his shoulder. Now, whenever House does return, it's highly unlikely he'll be healthy enough to be a starter this season.
When asked if he can be the same player with the harness on that he would have been, House replied, "Of course not. Just like with Tramon, he didn't play the same. I'm going to have to adjust a little bit with the sling on."
Williams had a significant decline in his performance last season while playing with the injured shoulder. That helps to explain the advice he gave House about what his season will be like.
"He said it's going to suck," House said. "He told me every game you play with the sling you'll want to take it off. It's something that's going to help your shoulder. I don't want the shoulder to pop out and me be done for the year."
Williams, a year later, is cleared from having to wear his brace. But he hopes his situation will be able to help House get through it better.
"The staff has learned from it," Williams said Wednesday. "You have to treat everyone different. Obviously he knows that you have to be careful with the shoulder. I think they're going to make sure he's careful with it. He's going to be back on the field soon.
"It's aggravating (wearing the brace), but it's necessary."
Williams also discussed how much playing with a shoulder harness limits a player, especially a cornerback who has to guard wide receivers and swat down passes.
"It keeps you in the range of motion that you can move your shoulder with," Williams said. "You can't make certain movements, first of all. It only goes so far. With your shoulder, with the brace on, you can't go over your head.
"You're basically playing with one arm."
The rest of the Packers' injury report is not very lengthy. Throughout training camp, Green Bay had as many as 20 players sitting out practices. But now, House is one of only three players ruled out for Sunday's game.
The Packers also have five players listed as probable: Nose tackle B.J. Raji (ankle), running back Alex Green (knee), tight end Tom Crabtree (shoulder), linebacker Robert Francois (hamstring) and safety Sean Richardson (hamstring).
Green had not been on the injury report this week, but he did not participate at all in Friday's practice. Green was on a limited snap count throughout training camp as he battled his way back from a torn ACL that ended his rookie season in Week 7, but he had not missed any practices.
McCarthy downplayed whether Green had suffered any type of setback.
"Playing it safe with Alex Green," McCarthy said. "I anticipate he'll be ready to go for Sunday. Alex has done very well in training camp. 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."
Green met with the media after practice and echoed McCarthy's statement.
"I feel pretty good; Ready to go," Green said. "Just being safe, a little cautious right now. I don't want anything to go wrong on a day like this. I'm meeting with Doc (Dr. Pat McKenzie) probably twice a week just to make sure everything is on schedule."
Green wore a sleeve on his surgically repaired left knee recently, but he won't necessarily have to wear it in a game.
"We tried a couple different things out just to see how it feels," Green said. "It feels good with or without it, so it will be a gametime decision for if I wear it or not."
Regardless of Green's status, recent free-agent signing Cedric Benson is scheduled to start at running back for the Packers and will likely get a majority of the carries.
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