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Packers WR Driver misses another practice but probable to play

Donald Driver waited 12 seasons to play in a Super Bowl, so Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy doesn't see any way a quadriceps injury will keep the veteran on the sideline Sunday.

McCarthy said he will be "shocked" if Driver isn't on the field for the Packers, who listed the wide receiver as probable for the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"He would practice today if I would let him," McCarthy said Friday in Dallas at his pre-practice news conference. "He tweaked it in Wednesday's practice, and frankly I just do not want to take any chances at this point. So I will hold Donald from practice again today. Donald's played a lot of football, he knows the offense, he's had a whole week of preparation with the plan last week, so this is clearly just being safe."

Driver participated in the Packers' jog-through Friday at Highland Park High School's indoor facility and was part of the kickoff-return "hands" team during practice.

The Packers added Driver to their injury report Thursday, listing him as limited in practice. Driver missed one game earlier this season because of a quadriceps injury.

The Packers listed every injured player except linebacker Erik Walden as probable for Sunday's game. Walden, who's recovering from an ankle sprain sustained two weeks ago in the NFC Championship Game at Chicago, was deemed questionable.

"We'll take Erik up to the game and see what happens," McCarthy said Friday after practice. "I have a good feel for what he can and cannot do. Sunday, I'm going to trust him and the medical staff to make that call."

Frank Zombo, who has recovered from a knee injury, would start if Walden is limited or unable to play. Zombo, offensive tackle Chad Clifton (knees) and center/guard Jason Spitz (calf) all fully practiced Friday.

McCarthy said in his news conference that the week has gone smoothly for his team, although several inches of snow falling in the Dallas area Thursday night and Friday morning could cause delays as players' families try to make it to town for the game. McCarthy was a few minutes late for his news conference Friday, presumably because of the weather.

Given the fact that this is the first Super Bowl for many Packers players, McCarthy turned to Hollywood to drive home the point that a football game is a football game -- even when it's played on a bigger stage.

McCarthy showed the team a scene from the movie "Hoosiers," in which Gene Hackman's character measures the dimensions of the court in an attempt to convince his small-town high school basketball team that playing in a large venue isn't much different than playing in their own gym.

"Everybody loves the movie 'Hoosiers', where the basketball team walks into the arena and they measure the foul line and it's 15 feet, and they measure the hoop and it's 10 feet, and everybody goes 'OK, it's big in here,'" McCarthy said. "That's our approach. We're going to play football."

McCarthy also has arranged for a guest speaker to address the team, but he is keeping that person's identity a secret.

Despite the Packers' relative inexperience, McCarthy is happy with the way his players handled the week and said they're ready to play.

"We've had an opportunity to go over every situation twice for our game plan, so we're ready to go," he said after practice. "The one thing you want to see in your football team is that the players have maintained confidence throughout the process. Our guys have done that. They totally believe what's in front of them. They believe in what they've seen on film. We respect Pittsburgh, but we feel that this is our time and Sunday will be our night."

One significant distraction was resolved Thursday, when Honolulu police told The Associated Press they located the father of Packers defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins in Hawaii and he was OK. Jenkins said this week that he was worried about his father because he hadn't heard from him in more than a month.

"I think anytime you're dealing with a personal situation in such a heightened week of importance professionally, it definitely drains on you," McCarthy said at his news conference. "I know Cullen is relieved, and that's more of a personal matter for him and his family. But definitely, there's relief, the fact that there's been communication."

The Packers also took care of another distraction Friday when they had their much-discussed team photo just before. Some of the Packers' injured players complained last week that they wouldn't be included in the photo, and the team decided to move it from Tuesday to Friday so they could be present.

"There are a lot of steady personalities in our locker room," McCarthy said before the team photo was taken. "We don't have a lot of people bouncing off the walls when something goes wrong. I think that is a real credit to our people, to our players, and I think that is a big part of why we have been successful this year."

Notes:: McCarthy followed Friday tradition by having an assistant coach address the team. This time, it was linebackers coach Kevin Greene -- a former Steeler -- who spoke for five minutes as the players encircled him in the middle of the synthetic turf field. When Greene finished, each player raised a hand to form a human umbrella. They broke the huddle by yelling: "Pack." ... The practice, which focused on special teams and 11-on-11 competition with noise pumped in through speakers, lasted just 47 minutes, roughly half the length of a normal Friday workout. McCarthy said that was by design because the team went longer than usual in its previous "Friday" workout in Green Bay (last Sunday). "I feel good about preparation," he said. "I thought today was sharp." ... The Packers will conduct a final jog-through Saturday morning at their team hotel in Irving.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore (12) makes a deep catch as Los Angeles Chargers outside linebacker Kyzir White (44) trails on the play during an NFL football game , Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif.

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