Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson will not play against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, a game in which the Packers can clinch the NFC North division title with a victory.
“Charles Woodson’s injury is just where we are,” said head coach Mike McCarthy on Wednesday. “We’re very close. It’s the judgement of our medical staff, particularly Dr. (Patrick) McKenzie. He does not feel it’s in Charles’ best interest to play in this game. Trust me, that’s not easy because been preparing himself.”
It appeared as if Woodson would return in time for the Bears game last week when he practiced last week for the first time since Week 7 when he originally broke his collarbone.
Although the Packers acknowledged Woodson would not play against the Lions this past Sunday, McCarthy expressed a desire for Woodson to practice in pads last week seeing as it would be a couple weeks until the team would practice with pads again.
Woodson’s practice time was classified as “limited” last week, but when no setbacks were reported, it seemed like the veteran defensive back was on the precipice of returning to action.
When Woodson was ruled out of Sunday’s Bears game on the first day of practice this week, it came as somewhat of a surprise that the Packers came to such a decision so quickly. Usually with players who are close to returning, they’ll monitor the situation throughout the week before making a decision.
According to McCarthy, Woodson hasn’t suffered a setback, and he’ll continue his rehab. The Packers coach also said that Woodson is ready to return from a conditioning standpoint.
In the meantime, Casey Hayward will continue to play in Woodson’s place at the slot cornerback position in the nickel and dime packaages while M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian will fill in for Woodson at safety in the team’s base 3-4 defense.
In other injury news, linebacker Clay Matthews, offensive lineman T.J. Lang and defensive lineman Mike Neal all returned to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday, which is a good sign that they’ll be available for the Bears game, even though no official determination has been made.
Less encouraging is the status of wide receiver Jordy Nelson, defensive lineman C.J. Wilson and running back James Starks, none of whom practiced on Wednesday. McCarthy said Nelson was a “long shot” to play on Sunday, but he was not ruled out.
Cornerback Davon House also did not practice due to illness.