GREEN BAY, Wis. -- When Eddie Lacy re-injured his ankle against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday he "could barely walk on it." Randall Cobb was out. Aaron Rodgers, too.
Arguably the top three offensive threats for the Green Bay Packers were on the sideline for the end of the 38-31 loss.
They've played only two full games together, against San Francisco (Sept. 8) and Detroit (Oct. 6). But on Sunday at Chicago, there's a chance the Packers will have all three.
Rodgers and Lacy are in. And, as of Friday, Cobb was still a maybe.
The rookie running back Lacy is officially listed as probable and coach Mike McCarthy indicated Cobb would be evaluated Saturday after an exhaustive practice Friday. If activated off injured reserve with designation to return, Cobb could play in Sunday's de facto NFC North title game.
For now, the one near-certain thing is Lacy. He is still experiencing pain. Whether he can handle 20-plus carries -- something Lacy has done nine of his last 12 games -- will be determined as the game progresses.
"I don't know. That'll be a game-time, in-game type of deal," Lacy said. "Of course I'm going to play until I know I'm no longer capable of giving the team what they need. So if that's that 20-25 carries, good. If that's 10-15, those 10-15 reps, they're going to get all that I have."
Lacy added that the ankle "hurts" and feels the same as it has the last couple of weeks. Icing and rehabbing the sprain as much as possible, he'll "try to get as close to 100 (percent) as possible."
Whereas the Packers limited Lacy on Friday, they pushed Cobb. The third-year wideout looked sharp during the portion of practice open to reporters. Working with Rodgers and the offense, he cut on a dime in and out of routes. McCarthy said the Packers "wanted to push him as much as we could."
How the leg Cobb fractured Oct. 13 responds Saturday will determine his status for Sunday.
The Packers would need to activate the receiver off IR on Saturday and then could take the decision to play him all the way up to game time. McCarthy wouldn't look beyond this weekend, but quite possibly the Packers are getting Cobb reps for a potential playoff return.
"The push has really come the last two weeks for Randall Cobb," McCarthy said. "You can see he was coming on strong. I thought he did some good things last week, but he wasn't ready. So he's fighting through the soreness and things you would expect coming back from the seriousness of his injury.
"But he looks good. He has fresh legs. He's doing all the little things, the fine motor skills things he was able to stay on top of.
"We just have to make sure he's ready to go."
Through five games this season, Cobb had 29 receptions for 378 yards with two touchdowns. The Packers wouldn't mind getting a playmaker back with the season on the line.
It's on McCarthy and the Packers to decide how effective Cobb would be after three weeks of running.
"Randall Cobb's a playmaker," McCarthy said. "He's dangerous with the ball in his hands. He's done an excellent job developing into a fine slot receiver. So our offense is based on making a quarterback successful, starting with the run game and then spreading the ball around.
"He definitely is someone you want to get the ball to. He has big play ability. Very smart. Obviously with his experience playing quarterback, he has a very keen understanding of our offense."
Elsewhere, outside linebacker Clay Matthews (thumb) is out, but the Packers are relatively healthy. Nine players are listed as probable -- Lacy; Rodgers; inside linebacker Brad Jones (ankle); outside linebackers Mike Neal (abdomen) and Nick Perry (foot); nose tackle Ryan Pickett (knee); and tight ends Andrew Quarless (ankle), Jake Stoneburner (illness) and Ryan Taylor (illness).
Surgery done: The Packers have not officially ruled out Matthews for the season after he broke his right thumb again against Pittsburgh, but McCarthy did say Matthews had a second surgery.
McCarthy said there is no timeline for Matthews' future. The Packers will need to forge ahead with Neal, Perry, Andy Mulumba and Nate Palmer at the position.
Life without Matthews, who originally broke the thumb Oct. 6 and missed four games, has been a challenge at times. Outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene hopes they're ready to break through.
"Well, they've got to," Greene said. "That's what we're putting out there. I feel confident that a) they're going to be ready and b) that they're going to lay it all on the line for their brothers and the organization. At least you have that and that's positive. Then there's a chance that you can make some nice plays."
Rolle signs: With two spots to fill on the 53-man roster, the Packers signed cornerback Jumal Rolle off the practice squad Friday.
The 6-foot, 188-pound rookie out of Catawba (N.C.) College has been on the practice squad since Oct. 8. He first latched on with the Buffalo Bills in May, appeared in two exhibition games and then spent four weeks on the New Orleans Saints' practice squad.
At Division II Catawba, Rolle had 16 career interceptions. The Packers may see special teams potential in Rolle, who blocked four kicks his senior year.
Rolle will wear No. 20.
League explains: A blunt McCarthy made it clear he was not happy with how Sunday's game finished. As the coach explained Monday, the umpire prevented center Evan Dietrich-Smith from snapping the ball until there were 3 seconds left.
Instead of getting two plays off with 10 seconds to go, Green Bay managed one incompletion.
After reviewing the game, the league admitted fault.
"Due to a miscommunication between members of the officiating crew," a league spokesman said, "the game clock was started prematurely on the final play of the game."
Cut loose: Do not expect the Packers to baby their starting quarterback Sunday. He's back, so he'll be cut loose.
As the play caller, McCarthy does not anticipate holding Rodgers back at all.
"To me, that goes back to the decision," McCarthy said. "If we were thinking that way, the decision wouldn't be what it is. The decision's been made. Obviously it was a thorough one. And it's time for Aaron to play. We're going to cut him loose and we're going to go play. We're going to play to win."
Repeating what he said this time last week, McCarthy added that Rodgers had a good week of practice, that he's "confident about where he is."
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