Packers DE Jerel Worthy and S Sean Richardson, who have been on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list since the start of training camp, practiced for the first time this season on Wednesday.
For both players, returning to practice starts a three-week window during which they can practice without counting against the 53-man roster. After three weeks, they will have to be put on the active roster, declared out for the season or released.
“They’re excited,” said Mike McCarthy, acknowledging both players felt ready to return sooner. “We just have to go through these couple weeks and make sure they’re right. This is clearly a medical hurdle both these guys can get over, and they were good young players the last time they were on the field for us. I’m hopeful we can get through this process.”
Worthy, a second-round draft pick in 2012, injured his knee in Week 17 at Minnesota last season. McCarthy joked that he knew Worthy, who was practicing on the scout team, was back because he jumped offside a couple of times. Worthy always tries to get a jump on the snap count and was too early several times as a rookie.
“I had one (offside),” Worthy laughed, “but I’m just trying to get back in the rhythm of my game. My knee felt strong and my get-off and everything was there. I just have to get my footwork down. As far as moving around and running, I felt better than I did last year.”
Richardson, an undrafted rookie last year, injured his neck in Week 12 last season in the road game against the Giants and needed spinal fusion surgery to repair it. There was concern he might not get medical clearance to play again, but he’s grateful for whatever opportunity he may have to help the Packers by season’s end.
“It’s been a long journey,” Richardson said. “If I get the green light, I’ll be ready. I definitely will.”
Tags: jerel worthy, sean richardson
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