GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Packers feared the worst after watching two of their top defensive players be carted to the locker room Sunday, and things didn't look any better the next morning. Cornerback Al Harris and linebacker Aaron Kampman both will have season-ending knee surgery.
With a Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit just three days away, McCarthy says Green Bay's coaches still are considering their options at each position.
"Not seeing '74' and '31' in the huddle, it's going to be different," McCarthy said. "It's a challenge to our players, they're going to have to step up and get ready in a short week for Detroit."
Even in the wake of two devastating injuries, McCarthy said moving on is part of life in the NFL.
"You don't want to see the individual go through it," McCarthy said. "But as far as our football team, trust me. They're here today, they're getting treatment, they've worked out, they're watching film. And we'll be ready for Detroit."
Harris and Kampman both were taken to the locker room Sunday after being hurt on separate plays in the second half. McCarthy wouldn't confirm specific details of either injury, but both appeared to hurt their left knees.
McCarthy said he spoke to both players, and they're doing as well as can be expected.
"They're both professionals," McCarthy said. "I think we have a lot of confidence they'll both respond very well. They're both in great shape, both take great care of their bodies."
"We're looking at all our options," McCarthy said.
Green Bay has a little more depth at outside linebacker, where seventh-round draft pick Brad Jones played well after Kampman sat out the Dallas game. Veteran Brady Poppinga also could return to a starting role.
"We've got some talented guys in this room," cornerback Charles Woodson said Sunday. "It (doesn't) matter at this point, they've got to play. So we look for those guys to be prepared come Thursday."
The injury could be particularly costly to Kampman, whose contract is up at the end of the season.
Kampman has been one of the NFL's elite pass rushers in recent years, but his productivity has dipped in this year's transition from 4-3 defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker under new defensive coordinator Dom Capers. While Kampman has gradually become more comfortable with the idea of dropping into pass coverage, he has just 3.5 sacks this season -- and now faces a lengthy injury rehabilitation.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press