PACKERS ROUNDUP: Three players practice for the first time in weeks
After seeing player-after-player go down in recent weeks, the Green Bay Packers are finally getting positive injury news as they get ready to play at Minnesota on Sunday night. Running back James Starks returned to practice for the first time since hurting a knee just over a month ago. Starting inside linebacker Brad Jones was also back at practice, after missing two-plus games with a bad hamstring. Corner Jarrett Bush fully practiced, after missing four-of-his-last-five contests with an injured hamstring. And second-year safety Sean Richardson has been medically cleared to play, after he suffered a herniated disk last year and had fusion surgery in January. He's been on the Packers' physically-unable-to-perform list all season. After the November 10th game, the Packers must do one of three things -- put Richardson on their 53-man roster, place him on injured reserve for the rest of the year, or release him. Richardson says he has no idea what the Packers will do, but he insist he's in the best shape of his life and he's ready to go. Richardson came to Green Bay as an undrafted free agent from Vanderbilt. He played safety in a game at Detroit last November, and had four tackles in five games on special teams.
Media reports say Packers' tight end Jermichael Finley will be released today from a Green Bay area hospital. He was in the intensive care unit earlier in the week, after he suffered a bruised spinal cord in last Sunday's home win over Cleveland. Andrew Quarless will start in Finley's place at Minnesota on Sunday night. He said Finley vowed to him that he would return. But first, coach Mike McCarthy says the player will undergo a long process of medical evaluations. Finley has reportedly been sharing his M-R-I and C-T images with a number of neuro-surgeons and specialists for spinal injuries. Browns' safety Tashaun Gipson caused the injury when he put a shoulder to Finley's helmet after a catch. Cleveland was penalized on the play. Gipson said yesterday he did not receive an indication from the N-F-L that he would be fined. Gipson said he's never been involved in such an incident in 17 years of playing football -- and he's keeping Finley in his prayers with hopes for a speedy recovery.