The Green Bay Packers seemed to brace for bad news on injured running back Cedric Benson on Tuesday when Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Benson won't return to practice this week, and added he would probably have more information on Wednesday.
Benson has been healing more slowly than expected from a Lisfranc injury, and hasn't played (well, at least not football) since Week 5. If he winds up going on season-ending injured reserve, the Packers will count on Alex Green and James Starks to carry the load in the backfield.
The Packers also will leave backup offensive tackle Derek Sherrod on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, ending his season. Sherrod broke both bones in his lower right leg last year. The Packers had slim hopes that he could help them shore up a line that recently lost right tackle Bryan Bulaga for the season, but Sherrod was unable to go after limited practice the last two weeks.
The Packers do have some good news on the injury front. Wide receiver Greg Jennings, who hasn't played since Week 4 because of abdominal surgery, is expected to practice fully this week and see action Sunday when the Packers host the Minnesota Vikings.
"You also have to have the conversation of, how many plays is he going to play?" McCarthy said on Tuesday, according to the Press Gazette. "That's really what the week's work is for. We'll see how it goes Wednesday. Because when guys come off injuries that hold them out of multiple weeks, multiple games, it's important that we not only have Greg for Minnesota, but all the way through. So that's something we'll watch Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and communicate."
It was hard to miss how important Jennings is to Green Bay's offense in the praise heaped on him by McCarthy.
"He's been to the Pro Bowl," the coach said. "He has an excellent working relationship with Aaron Rodgers. They're on the same page. Greg's one of those receivers that's extremely athletic, his body language is very easy to readjust to, and Aaron has great confidence to throw to with anticipation. They have a lot of history together, a lot of production. It'd be great to have him back."