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News & notes: WRs Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb on their way back

Posted by Mike Spofford on August 25, 2013 – 5:39 pm

On Sunday, Head Coach Mike McCarthy explained the team’s decision to release QB Graham Harrell, which can be found here. A third kicker was also added to the competition, and you can read about his strong first impression here.

Other news & notes from the day…

–Nelson, Cobb back to work: WRs Jordy Nelson (knee) and Randall Cobb (bicep) were back on the practice field on Sunday, a good sign that the Packers WR corps could be at full strength for the season opener in San Francisco. Both players ran routes during a lengthy jog-thru period and did some conditioning work after.

Neither receiver has played in a preseason game yet, so Thursday in Kansas City would be the last opportunity, but that isn’t taking paramount importance.

“I don’t think it’s going to matter, because if I do play, it’s not going to be much,” Nelson said. “I think that little bit of work is not going to make a difference if I get it or not, but we’ll see.

“I feel good. If it was a regular-season game, we could definitely be going. But we still have to be smart, see what happens, and take it day by day.”

Cobb is taking the same approach. Wearing a compression sleeve on his injured right bicep, Cobb said he will play “free-minded” and not have any worries about the injury when he’s out there full time.

“I can play. If it’s up to me, I’d be on the field (Thursday), but we’re going to be smart about the situation,” he said. “We know what we’re dealing with and we know what we’ve got going forward, so we’re going to be smart about it.”

–Banjo making roster bid: Rookie S Chris Banjo, who went undrafted out of SMU, is making a bid for the No. 4 safety spot on the roster with his heads-up play on both defense and special teams.

In last Friday’s game in Seattle, Banjo made an impressive tackle of TE Luke Willson just shy of the first-down marker on third-and-5, forcing the Seahawks to punt. Later, he brought down former Packer Will Blackmon on a punt return.

“Chris Banjo has been making plays since he arrived,” Mike McCarthy said. “Very pleased what he has shown so far. This will be a big game for all the young guys, and definitely for Chris.”

There’s no guarantee the Packers will keep four safeties, but starter Morgan Burnett sustained a hamstring injury last Friday, which could force the Packers to go deeper at the position, increasing Banjo’s chances.

Banjo has been working against the odds from the start, arriving four days into camp after being released July 25 by Jacksonville.

“It was definitely tough, I can’t lie, especially on the defensive side of the ball, so much new terminology and all the adjustments,” Banjo said. “Trying to get all that put together and looking like I belong on the field, not looking lost, that was definitely a tough curve. But day by day I’m getting better at it, and I’m trying to put it all together.”

Injury update: Of the players injured in last Friday’s game, McCarthy said Burnett (hamstring) and CB Casey Hayward (hamstring) would not be available this week. LB Brad Jones (hamstring) could be back sooner than the other two.

RB DuJuan Harris (knee) and CB Jarrett Bush (ankle) also missed practice, while TE Matthew Mulligan (elbow) returned.

CB Tramon Williams (knee) would not rule himself out for Week 1 in San Francisco, but he wasn’t guaranteeing he’d be ready, either.

“We’re taking our time with it,” he said. “There was never a timetable set for it, but it wasn’t serious. That’s what was coming from the doctor. We’re still pushing and, like Coach said, making progress.”


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