Packer Notes: Corners and safeties get chance, Jackson on mend, Thompson throwing picks
The Green Bay Packers will use tomorrow night's exhibition finale at Tennessee to decide who they'll keep at corner for the regular season.
Starters Al Harris and Charles Woodson will both sit out.
That will give Jarrett Bush, Patrick Dendy, Will Blackmon, Tramon Williams, and Frank Walker a chance to make one final audition.
Bush could lock up the nickel spot with a strong performance against the Titans. Incumbent Patrick Dendy is still in the running, too.
Will Blackmon appears to have a roster spot wrapped up, especially because of his kick returning skills. Wearing a protective caste on his injured thumb, Blackmon will take a punt return Thursday night.
"He'll take the first punt return of the game on Thursday and then we'll look at some other guys after that," said Mike McCarthy, Packers head coach.
That leaves former New York Giant Walker and free agent Williams to vie for what could be the final corner spot on the roster.
Position coach Lionel Washington says all five have played well - and nothing is settled yet.
Another position up for grabs is safety. McCarthy says veteran Marquand Manuel will sit out so he can get a better look at some of the younger players.
"I haven't done a good enough job of getting the younger guys reps, particularly in the first half. I want to see Culver play early. I want to see Charlie Peprah play early," said McCarthy.
One of the standouts at safety both in camp and preseason has been Atari Bigby who will start again Thursday. But McCarthy says the second-year pro from Central Florida needs to show him some things.
"Atari needs to show that he can be consistent. That's really the biggest thing I'm looking for," McCarthy said.
McCarthy also says that Brett Favre will be playing a couple of series. Earlier in the week McCarthy had said that Favre would site out.
The Packers are expected to decide on their final 53-man roster on Friday, the day after the Titans' game.
Jackson expects to play against Philly
Running back Brandon Jackson expects to return in time for the regular season opener against Philadelphia on Sept 9.
The second-round rookie suffered a mild concussion on a hit at practice last Sunday. It was the first of Jackson's career and he's taking tests each day to see how he's feeling.
He says the coaches will make the final decision and he believes he'll be ready to play in 11 days.
Several players will join Jackson on the sidelines for Thursday night's exhibition at Tennessee.
Defensive end Mike Montgomery could miss three more weeks with an injured right knee.
Also out are receivers Donald Driver and Shaun Bodiford, offensive linemen Jason Spitz, Tony Moll, and Tony Palmer, running back Vernand Morency, defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, and linebackers Aaron Rouse and Spencer Havner.
Thompson not helping himself
After surviving the first round of cuts, third string quarterback Paul Thompson isn't helping his situation any. During the last several practices the free-agent rookie from Oklahoma has thrown several interceptions.
The picks have caught McCarthy's eye.
"I don't look at it as a positive. I've never encouraged the quarterback to throw an interception whether it's on the opponent or game plan stuff," McCarthy said.