Packers have two starters hobbling

GREEN BAY, Wis., Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Two key Green Bay starters are listed as questionable for the Packers' playoff tilt Saturday night against Atlanta.

That means the two, wide receiver Donald Driver and defensive back Darren Sharper, each has a 50 percent chance of playing against the Falcons.


Driver, the Packers' leading receiver with 70 catches for 1,064 yards and nine touchdowns, sustained a shoulder injury in last Sunday's loss to the New York Jets. An MRI done Monday showed Driver suffered a contusion and strain of the back of the right shoulder.

"Obviously he'll be out for a while anyways," said Coach Mike Sherman. "I don't know how he's going to feel later in the week. He's pretty sore right now, but I will not rule him out of the game just yet."

Meanwhile, Sharper still is recovering from a sprained MCL in his right knee, which he sustained at the end of an interception return against Buffalo on Dec. 22.

He was inactive for the Jets game.

Sharper, fitted for a brace, is walking with a slight limp and continues to be bothered by knee swelling, but may benefit from his inactivity.

"I thought he might be back this week," Sherman said. "I can't honestly say one way or the other at this point. I'm certainly hopeful that he can get well enough to play, but I can't guarantee anything at this juncture."

Sharper told the Green Bay Post-Gazette that he would play, but will try to convince team doctors to use tape instead of the brace.

"I know it will probably be recommended, but I think if I taped it up well, I'll be fine," Sharper said. "A brace is kind of like putting a red dot on your chest. It definitely makes you a target, and restricts you a little bit. Running straight ahead is fine. It's the cutting that has to come around. It's better than 50-50. We'll see in the latter part of the week if I can cut and move laterally."

The Packers also have questions about backup wideout Robert Ferguson, who would start if Driver cannot.

Ferguson, who suffers from a compressed disc in his back, missed practice Wednesday.

"I feel fine," Ferguson told the Green Bay Post-Gazette. "I'll practice (Thursday) and be ready to play."

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