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Green Bay Packers Activate Evan Dietrich-Smith, Marshall Newhouse Out with Flu-Like Symptoms

December 8th, 2013 at 10:46 AM
By Sean Tehan

The Green Bay Packers (5-6-1) host the Atlanta Falcons (3-9) at Lambeau Field on Sunday and both teams have officially listed their inactives for the game:

QB Aaron Rodgers (collarbone)RB Josh Vaughan
DT C.J. Wilson (ankle)S Kemal Ishmael
OT Marshall Newhouse (flu)LB Omar Gaither
WR Chris HarperOG Harland Gunn
RB Kahlil BellOT Terren Jones
DE Jerel WorthyOT Sean Locklear
OLB Nate PalmerDT Travian Robertson

The Packers ruled out Rodgers and Wilson before Sunday. Rodgers will miss his fifth consecutive start since breaking his collarbone in a loss to the Chicago Bears. Without Rodgers, Green Bay is 0-4-1, as quarterbacks Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn have combined to throw two touchdown passes.

Green Bay will start Flynn against the Falcons. If the Packers lose and the NFC North rival Detroit Lions beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Green Bay would have to win out and Detroit would have to lose out for the Packers to possibly reach the playoffs.

Rumors swirled after last week's Thanksgiving Day loss to the Lions that Green Bay would shut Rodgers down for the remainder of the season if they were most likely out of the playoff race. Rodgers and Packers head coach Mike McCarthy quickly denied those reports, as Rodgers said last week that he expected to play against the Falcons. Rodgers though is likely at least one more week away from returning under center.

Flynn will essentially go head-to-head with Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan on Sunday, but Ryan will luckily have one of his top receiving targets, as the Falcons activated tight end Tony Gonzalez before Sunday.

Gonzalez, who has caught 62 passes for 653 yards and has scored five touchdowns this season, was questionable to play with a toe injury and could've potentially missed his first start since 2006 when he missed one game as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. Since entering the league with the Chiefs in 1997, Gonzalez has only missed two games in his entire NFL career.

For the Packers, Flynn will luckily have have his regular exchange mate at center. Green Bay activated center Evan Dietrich-Smith, who has battled on-going knee problems since the Packers' week ten loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. To coincide with his knee problems, Dietrich-Smith injured his ankle in practice earlier this week.

Dietrich-Smith was questionable to play on Sunday, but the fourth-year center will not miss his first start of the season. The Packers are fortunate he is good to go after veteran backup offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse developed flu-like symptoms before Sunday.

Green Bay signed Kahlil Bell and released safety Jerron McMillian on Tuesday, but he as well as Harper, Worthy and Palmer are healthy scratches for Sunday.

Packers rookie offensive tackle David Bakhtiari (illness), tight end Brandon Bostick (concussion), linebacker Jamari Lattimore (quadricep), outside linebacker Mike Neal (abdomen), outside linebacker Nick Perry (foot) and defensive tackle Ryan Pickett (knee) were all listed on the Packers' injury report before Sunday but have all been cleared to play on Sunday.

Falcons offensive lineman Peter Konz (ankle), linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (knee) and safety Zeke Motta (hand) were listed on the Falcons' injury report earlier this week but all three players have been cleared to play. All seven Falcons ruled out for Sunday are all healthy scratches.

Falcons and Packers kickoff from Lambeau Field at noon CST. Check your local listings for television coverage.

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Tags: Aaron Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Football, Green Bay, Green Bay Packers, Matt Flynn, Matt Ryan, Mike McCarthy, NFL, T.J. Lang, Tony Gonzalez

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