T Derek Sherrod participated in practice for the first time this season on Wednesday, which begins a three-week window during which he can practice without being on the 53-man roster.
Sherrod was placed on reserve/physically unable to perform toward the end of training camp, the second straight camp he missed while rehabbing a leg in which he broke multiple bones back in Week 15 of 2011in Kansas City.
That’s the last time Sherrod was in pads, and he’ll put the pads back on Thursday for the first time in 22 months as he continues what has been a long road back.
“It will be great to see that,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said.
The process will remain gradual, however.
“The individual work will be good for him. How we integrate him into the team work is something we’ve talked about,” McCarthy said.
“We’re not just going to roll him out there and say, hey, let’s go play 55 snaps in pads. I don’t think that’s really smart, especially after what he’s been through and the path he had to take to get to this point. We will break him in and push him as hard as we can and just be smart.”
With his three-week window to come off PUP underway, Sherrod will have to be added to the active roster by the start of Week 10 if he’s to play this season. Last year, he tried to practice around midseason for a few days but was never activated from PUP and missed the entire year.
During the portion of practice open to the media, Sherrod physically was moving around far better than at any time last season. Having gone through multiple surgeries since the injury, progress has been slow but evident.
“I feel really good just to be able to do everything out there with my teammates,” he said. “It was a pretty tough deal, but I was keeping my head up and pushing myself each and every single day, making sure I was going to be able to get to this point.”
CB Casey Hayward (hamstring) was also practicing on Wednesday, listed as a limited participant on the official injury report. Two weeks ago, Hayward practiced on a Thursday, then last week he practiced on Thursday and Friday. This was his first Wednesday practice, meaning this could be the first week he participates in all the workouts if he has no setbacks.
There’s no official word on when he’ll be available to play, but he’s obviously getting closer. McCarthy said he needs “more information” to determine if Hayward is ready.
“I’m just trying to get back in the same rhythm I was,” said Hayward, who had six interceptions as a rookie last year but has yet to play in the 2013 regular season.
Hayward initially injured his hamstring before training camp, missed three weeks, returned for one week of practice, but then re-injured the hamstring in his first preseason game action.
“We’ll try not to rush it back this time,” he said. “The first time, we didn’t think we rushed it back. I felt good when I came back. It was just a freak accident, and those things happen in this sport, especially with hamstrings.
“It is a gray area. You really don’t know. Hopefully we judge it and be correct this time.”
Tags: casey hayward, derek sherrod
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