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Friday, October 21, 2011
CB Sam Shields doubtful vs. Vikings

Associated Press

The unbeaten Green Bay Packers have some health concerns going into Sunday's game at Minnesota.

Cornerback Sam Shields didn't practice this week and is doubtful to play because of a concussion that knocked him out of the Packers' last game. Defensive end Ryan Pickett suffered a concussion in practice Thursday, was out Friday and is questionable for Sunday.

Coach Mike McCarthy sounded optimistic that Pickett would be able to play. But McCarthy referred to uncertainty for the coaching staff going into its post-practice meeting Friday.

"We have more to talk about today than we have in prior weeks because we're going to have to rely on some medical evaluations that we'll go through tomorrow," McCarthy said. "Our inactive list isn't really where you'd like it to be come Friday afternoon."

McCarthy said Shields underwent more tests Friday, per NFL protocol for players who have a head injury.Shields, the team's nickel back on defense, took a hard hit from St. Louis Rams receiver Brandon Gibson as Shields tried to return an interception out of the end zone in the third quarter of the Packers' 24-3 win last Sunday. Shields didn't return to the game.

"He's making progress, and he'll be seen again tomorrow," McCarthy said.

Veteran Jarrett Bush practiced as the Packers' third cornerback this week with Shields out.

"Jarrett's played really well for us when he has played," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. "I think we all as coaches have confidence in Jarrett Bush and what he does."

Pickett's questionable status gives him a 50-50 chance of playing, but McCarthy said the preliminary report from the medical staff on the 11th-year lineman was encouraging.

Meanwhile, Green Bay's offensive line, which already will be without injured left tackle Chad Clifton for a second straight game, practiced without two starters Friday.

Right guard Josh Sitton was given the day off to rest a sore knee but is probable for the game. Marshall Newhouse, who has replaced Clifton, wasn't with the team because of a personal matter but is expected to play Sunday.

Backup offensive lineman Ray Dominguez also wasn't with the team Friday because of a personal matter, but McCarthy expects the rookie to be back by Saturday.