Packers Injury Update: Raji and Pickett Are Improving

ATLANTA GA - JANUARY 15: B.J. Raji #90 of the Green Bay Packers sacks Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons during their 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Georgia Dome on January 15 2011 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Packers currently have six defensive linemen on the roster, and only two who have taken regular snaps at the nose tackle position in the team's 3-4 defense. Both of those players, B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett, are nursing injuries that they have suffered in the past week. Losing one or both of these players would limit the Packers' versatility in their base defense and almost guarantee that the team would be using the 2-4-5 nickel as their primary formation.

However, there is good news for both players.

Raji, who injured his ankle on the first defensive snap last week against Kansas City, described himself and the team as "satisfied" about his injury's progress, according to Wes Hodkiewicz of the Press-Gazette. Raji walked off the field on his own power on Thursday, which always bodes well. With him missing the rest of the game plus Monday's practice the worries will naturally start to mount, but he did run with no limitations yesterday and sounded optimistic about being able to play this Sunday against the 49ers:

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, so I was just fortunate I was able to walk. It’s getting better and I’m happy about that.

Ryan Pickett, the starting left end and likely backup at nose tackle, is recovering from a calf injury suffered in the third preseason game against the Bengals. It limited him in practice the past two weeks and made him sit out the Chiefs game, but he was back at practice on Monday and was fully involved in all phases. Expect Pickett to make an appearance on the injury report this week, but my guess is that he'll be listed as "probable".

The Packers will release their preliminary injury report on Wednesday, which will also likely include CB Davon House, LB Jamari Lattimore, LB Robert Francois, and RB James Starks.

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