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T.J. Lang returns to practice, has chance to play

Posted by Mike Spofford on November 8, 2013 – 1:51 pm

The Packers might be fully healthy on the offensive line this week after all.

RG T.J. Lang

RG T.J. Lang

RG T.J. Lang, who missed the second half of Monday night’s game with a concussion, said he was medically cleared for non-contact work and returned to practice on Friday on a limited basis. He said he still had another test to take to get 100 percent clearance, so a final decision on his status would be coming over the weekend.

He’s officially listed as questionable on the injury report.

“I feel pretty good,” Lang said. “Each day this week I’ve slowly gotten a little better. I don’t know about my chances Sunday.

“We have to make sure I’m 100 percent before I step on the field. The decision might come tomorrow or it might come Sunday, but I always have to prepare like I’m going to play. I don’t like missing time. There’s still a chance I can be out there.”

If Lang can play on Sunday, the starting offensive line would remain intact. In his absence on Monday night, RT Don Barclay slid over to take Lang’s guard spot, and Marshall Newhouse came off the bench to play right tackle.

“We’ll visit with him tomorrow,” Mike McCarthy said. “I don’t take any chances when it comes to those types of things. He felt all along that he was going to be ready to play, but we’ll check him again in the morning.”

Having the starting offensive line together should help backup QB Seneca Wallace, who will be making his first start in place of QB Aaron Rodgers. McCarthy officially ruled Rodgers out on the injury report Friday.

McCarthy emphasized, however, that the game shouldn’t hinge on the change at QB, and that’s the message he has delivered to his team.

“No disrespect to Aaron, and he knows this too … but you get to the point where it’s about your football team,” McCarthy said. “We’re trying to accomplish something special as a team. Now, special is winning on Sunday, because that’s all that really matters, and that’s what it’s all about.

“This is a long journey. We’re only halfway through the season. But this is a great opportunity for everybody on our football team to step up and be successful. We missed that opportunity Monday night.”

To McCarthy, the week hasn’t been about making drastic changes but rather proper adjustments.

“We’re not going to try to do things we’re not capable of doing,” he said. “We’re not going to throw things against the wall. You’re going to recognize our offense, you’re going to recognize our defense and you’re going to recognize how we play on special teams. Everything we’ve done this week, like we do every week, is to go win the game. We really have moved past playing without Aaron.”


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