Packer Notes: On Who's Out and Who's Returning

All the news we need to know on the Green Bay Packers comes out during Mike McCarthy's press conferences (at least it did on Monday).

On recent injuries, though I expect Driver and Hawk will play next week:

Brady Poppinga will have arthroscopic surgery in the morning, and we’ll have the details from that once Dr. Pat McKenzie completes the surgery. Donald Driver had a quad strain. He will probably miss some practice time this week. A.J. Hawk had a groin strain, and he should also probably miss some practice time. 

On old injuries, they're actually getting some guys back this week. If all three players return to practice this week, I believe the Packers have three more weeks to decide whether to activate them, place them on I.R., or release them. That's good for the players so they can get some semblance of training camp before they return to full speed:

Well actually we’re going to start practicing all three guys coming off of PUP [CB Al Harris, SS Atari Bigby, and RB James Starks], and frankly, just want to see them out there in the group drills, in the team drills and just see where they are. Because they can’t do any more than they’ve done from a rehab standpoint. So it’s time to cut those guys loose. 

It looks like LB Clay Matthews and DE Ryan Pickett could return this week, while RT Mark Tauscher is still not ready:

(Do you have a feel for Matthews and Pickett this week?)

No, I don’t. Like I said, they are going to play. That is what I am told. They want to play. They are going to do everything they can to get on the field. They both tested Sunday morning before Miami, but they weren’t ready to go. We’ll see how the week goes and I’ll have a better feel probably Thursday I would think.

(Any clue on Tauscher?)
Getting better. I would say he is still a ways away, but he is getting better, getting stronger.

He's glad to have Smith return to the Packers:

Yes, we are in the process of acquiring Anthony Smith. I’m not supposed to say that until it is done, but I think it may be here shortly. Anthony has a history with us, has played in this defense, and we think he is a good fit. It will be great to have him back.

And there is nothing good about losing Finley in 2010. It's only good news for next season:

(Was there any way IR could have been avoided?)
This is completely in the best interests of Jermichael Finley’s future, so that was not avoidable.

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