GREEN BAY – B.J. Raji wouldn’t say whether he will play in Sunday’s regular-season opener against the San Francisco 49ers – the guess here is that he’s too smart to discussing injuries in Week 1 when coach Mike McCarthy is trying to keep folks guessing – but the Green Bay Packers defensive tackle didn’t seem overly concerned about the ankle injury he suffered in last Thursday’s preseason finale.
Raji went down on the first defensive snap and did not return, but he was able to limp off the field under his own power and did some running at practice Monday, even though he sat out the actual drill work.
“Typically when you have something that happens with a play similar to that, where someone falls on your leg and out of your view, it’s usually a worse injury than what it was,” Raji said. “I was just fortunate I was able to walk. It’s getting better and I’m happy about that.”
Raji was one of six players who did not practice Monday, joined on the sideline by running back James Starks (toe), cornerback Davon House (shoulder), inside linebackers Jamari Lattimore (ankle) and Robert Francois (hamstring) and safety Sean Richardson (hamstring). Defensive lineman Ryan Pickett (calf), tight end Tom Crabtree (shoulder) and tight end D.J. Williams (ankle) returned to practice.
McCarthy said he would hold off on discussing injuries until the official injury report is required on Wednesday.
Crabtree, who has been out since suffering the injury at Cincinnati on Aug. 23, said his shoulder “feels great” after rest. He said doctors diagnosed him with a sprained A/C joint and that, while needing to test the shoulder in pads later in the week, he’s confident he’ll play against the 49ers.
“Obviously we weren’t in pads today, but when I got up on a linebacker I was able to give him a shove and just test it out a little bit. I’m not worried, but you never know until you put the pads on. Wednesday or Thursday, whenever that is, will be a good indicator,” Crabtree said. “I’ve been waking up with it pretty stiff and pain every day. Today I woke up with no real struggles with it. It didn’t feel as stiff and I didn’t have as much pain in my shoulder. Gradually, the last couple days I’ve felt a big difference.”
House, who worked inside the Don Hutson Center by hitting blocking sleds and running, said he hoped to practice on Wednesday, which would give him a chance of playing against the 49ers.
“Hopefully, but I haven’t practiced in three weeks. I don’t know how that’s going to go,” House said. “I’m sure I’m going to have to practice to play, I’m not just going to be able to show up on game day and be game-ready. Hopefully I can get out there on Wednesday.”
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