GREEN BAY — Head Coach Mike McCarthy announced on Tuesday that three players — WR Ty Montgomery, TE Jared Cook and LB Sam Barrington — would be coming off the physically unable to perform list and practicing for the first time in training camp on Tuesday night.
All three were scheduled to go through individual drills and would be limited in the team (11-on-11) periods.
“I feel good about where all of our players are,” McCarthy said. “It will be great to see them out there working.”
Cook, a free-agent acquisition in the offseason, was practicing during the early portion of OTAs in the spring before undergoing foot surgery. Barrington was injured in Week 1 in Chicago last season and went on season-ending injured reserve. Montgomery played the first six games of his rookie season last year before an ankle injury sidelined him and eventually required season-ending surgery.
“He fought to get back on the field,” McCarthy said of Montgomery, who made multiple trial returns to practice last season before opting for the surgery. “He suffered a significant injury. His was a lot bigger injury than I think everyone realized. You don’t really, truly know until you go in and operate. But it’s great to have him back. He’s been diligent, he’s been here the whole time. Rehabbing like crazy. He’s been here through every break this summer. I know he’s excited to get out there.”
The only players remaining on PUP now are WR Jordy Nelson and C Corey Linsley.
As for the team as a whole, “the opportunity was lost” for a lot of young players, including rookie QBs Joe Callahan and Marquise Williams, to get their first game action in Canton, but attention was quickly turned to an important installation practice on Tuesday and preparation for the preseason game against Cleveland on Friday night.
“Tonight is about finishing everything we want to get in for the season with the install,” McCarthy said. “I look for a really good night of fundamental work.”
QB Aaron Rodgers said he’d be practicing on Tuesday night after a planned five-day break. McCarthy said the coaching staff is charting all of Rodgers’ reps and is more focused on getting the young QBs enough practice snaps. He has no concerns about Rodgers’ readiness for the regular season, and neither does Rodgers.
“I feel like I’m ready right now,” Rodgers said, adding that he’s done extensive work with the strength and conditioning staff through the offseason and early portions of training camp. He doesn’t know how much he’ll play in Friday night’s game against the Browns, or in any of the preseason games for that matter, but he downplayed the value of game snaps against vanilla defenses that aren’t putting anything on film for opponents to scout.
“It’s actually better for me to get the work in practice where I’m seeing various looks and multiple personnel groupings and more exotic pressures and coverages,” he said.
Rodgers’ No. 1 offensive line has not been intact at all yet, with RG T.J. Lang recently returning from PUP and Linsley still out. Rodgers said that’s a “minimal” concern and just wants that unit ready for Week 1.
He does want to get some reps in with Cook and Montgomery, a process that starts now and will ramp up once they’re cleared for full 11-on-11 work. As for Nelson?
“Jordy, I know what he’s all about,” Rodgers said. “I can throw to him to spots probably with my eyes closed sometimes.”
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