Packers CB Casey Hayward, who has yet to play this season due to a hamstring injury, was back on the practice field on Thursday in full pads for the second straight week. He was a limited participant.
After returning to practice last Thursday, Hayward experienced soreness and was held out of practice for a full week, and Mike McCarthy was pleased with the progress he saw.
“I thought he looked good today. He was bouncing around, had a smile on his face,” McCarthy said. “I think he’s getting close. His exam tomorrow will be important. Last week, he was very sore, so he wasn’t ready. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
This is the first week that Hayward hasn’t been ruled “out” for the game on the injury report. That doesn’t mean he’ll play this week, but it’s a sign he’s on track to return soon, barring any setbacks.
In other injury news, DE Ryan Pickett was added to the injury report with a bruised hand, but he returned to practice after getting it looked at and said he’ll be fine. Pickett said nothing was broken.
“Just a little ice and I’ll be ready to go Sunday,” he said. “Of course they checked it out, so I’m good. Everything’s good. Just beat up a little bit.”
Rookie OLB Andy Mulumba (ankle) missed his second day of practice this week, but McCarthy is still holding out hope he can practice on Friday and be active for the game. Without Clay Matthews, the Packers only have three healthy OLBs at the moment in Nick Perry, Mike Neal and rookie Nate Palmer.
RB James Starks (knee) is out this week, but McCarthy is encouraged by what he’s seen in Starks’ rehab. “I don’t think it’s going to be as long as some of the past injuries,” he said.
Finally, T Derek Sherrod is getting ready to come off the PUP list. McCarthy didn’t confirm that he will come off the list next week, when he and the rest of the PUP players are first eligible, but he does expect Sherrod to be able to play this season.
Sherrod, the Packers’ 2011 first-round draft pick, broke multiple bones in his lower leg in Week 15 of 2011 at Kansas City and missed all of last season, plus all of training camp this past summer. McCarthy felt that when the regular season started, he could see Sherrod getting closer to returning to the field.
“I really felt at the end of training camp his workouts went to a different level,” McCarthy said. “He’s in excellent shape. He’s obviously a lot stronger than he was this time last year. As I’ve stated, it was a very, very serious injury. He needed the extra time. He looks good. He’s champing at the bit.
“The next hurdle is he needs to get in pads, and once he gets over that hurdle, I think he’ll be ready to go.”
Tags: casey hayward, derek sherrod, injury, ryan pickett
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In perhaps the first legitimate sign that he’s getting ready to return to action, CB Casey Hayward was fully dressed and going through some drills in the Packers’ full-pads practice on Thursday.
Hayward already has been ruled out for this week, but the second-year corner and the team’s leading interceptor from last season might finally have a light at the end of the tunnel with his hamstring injury, which he originally hurt prior to training camp.
Hayward returned for three practices during the third week of the preseason but then re-aggravated it in that week’s game. He has been out the past six weeks, since the third preseason game.
“Casey Hayward worked some of the individual drills,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “It’s really, frankly, part of his rehab training. He’s making progress.”
For the feature story on LB Clay Matthews’ recovery from his hamstring injury, click here.
Tags: casey hayward, hamstring, injury
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Packers LB Clay Matthews, who missed the second half of the Week 3 game in Cincinnati due to a hamstring injury, returned to practice on Wednesday but only on a limited basis. His availability for Sunday’s home game against Detroit remains in question.
“I think Clay is getting better,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s made a lot of progress since coming off the field in Cincinnati. I’m hopeful he’ll be able to do more tomorrow. That’s the plan.”
Elsewhere on the injury report, CB Casey Hayward (hamstring) has been ruled out for the fourth straight game. Since re-aggravating his hamstring injury in the third preseason game, Hayward has now been out for six weeks.
RB James Starks (knee) is also out and will be sidelined “a couple weeks,” McCarthy said. Also, backup offensive lineman Greg Van Roten sprained a foot in Monday’s practice and will be out multiple weeks.
The other six players on the injury report were full participants in Wednesday’s practice. They included S Morgan Burnett (hamstring), CB Jarrett Bush (hamstring), TE Jermichael Finley (concussion), RBs Eddie Lacy (concussion) and Johnathan Franklin (foot) and FB John Kuhn (hamstring).
In speaking to reporters for the first time since his concussion, which occurred on the first offensive series in Cincinnati, Finley called it a “long process” to get medical clearance, but he said he understands the reasons for the protocol and the protection of players’ health. He said it took a couple of days before he felt mostly normal again.
“Jermichael looks good. The bye week has helped him,” McCarthy said. “He looked like Jermichael. He’s in a good place. He practices very hard. It was good to have him back.”
To see Wednesday’s feature story on the Packers running game, click here.
Tags: casey hayward, clay matthews, injury, james starks, Jermichael Finley, john kuhn, morgan burnett
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Worthy (pictured) is likely to be out the longest, having injured his knee in the final regular-season game at Minnesota last season. Though it’s possible Worthy could miss his entire second season if his recovery takes a full 12 months, he vowed to be back sometime in 2013.
“I haven’t had any setbacks to this point,” said Worthy, a second-round draft pick who had 2 1/2 sacks and one forced fumble last season. “It’s all been positive coming from this corner, so I just want to stay on this path.”
Richardson, meanwhile, is aiming to be back for training camp in late July but wasn’t making any promises. He is coming back from surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck.
After making the roster as an undrafted rookie last year, Richardson first missed time with a hamstring injury, then played in five games (mostly on special teams) before beginning to have back problems. That led to the discovery of the neck issue, which required surgery. It was performed by the same doctor who fixed Denver QB Peyton Manning’s neck, he said.
“It doesn’t give me any problems,” he said. “I actually forget I had the surgery unless somebody asks, ‘Hey, how’s your neck?'”
The surgery wasn’t as complicated as initially thought, Richardson added, so his recovery has been fairly smooth. Without getting into specifics, he said the medical staff has given him five hurdles he must clear to get back on the field, and he’s currently working on step four.
He hopes to clear the final two hurdles in time for training camp, so he can begin competing with Jerron McMillian and M.D. Jennings for the starting safety spot opposite Morgan Burnett.
“I’ll be back soon. I’m pretty close,” he said. “It’s been a long journey.”
Tags: injury, jerel worthy, sean richardson
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Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said on his weekly radio show on Tuesday that he will not play in this year’s Pro Bowl due to injuries.
Rodgers didn’t get into many details, but he said he didn’t pass his physical. He specifically mentioned an ongoing ankle issue. He was also kicked in the calf back in Week 6 in Houston and noted how painful that was.
The only other Packers currently on the NFC’s Pro Bowl roster are LB Clay Matthews and C Jeff Saturday, but alternates could still be named to the team over the next week.
Tags: aaron rodgers, injury, pro bowl
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WR Randall Cobb said he’s feeling better every day, and the plan is to have him test his injured ankle on Friday to see if he can play on Sunday in Minnesota. He’s not making any promises, but he’s giving himself a chance.
“I think it’s a possibility,” Cobb said on Thursday after he observed practice. “We’re going to take it day by day and see where we are on Sunday.”
Cobb is thankful to feel the way he does right now because he was admittedly worried when he was injured on a third-quarter punt return against Tennessee. He exited the field and went to the locker room under his own power, but he said that’s because of who was watching.
“I jogged off the field because my mom was there,” Cobb said. “My mom, I know she was crazy in the stands. That’s the only reason I jogged off the field.
“Sunday, I was hurting pretty bad. When I woke up Monday, I felt a lot better. Just trying to get better each day.”
Cobb is listed on the injury report with both ankle and knee injuries, but he said the ankle is the bigger issue.
Mike McCarthy said earlier this week he wasn’t pulling Cobb off of return duties despite the increased risk, and Cobb likes it that way.
“I love football, I love being on the field,” he said. “I think if I wasn’t on returns, it would take away form who I am and what I do.
“Statistically, it may show that (there’s greater injury risk on special teams), but this is a physical, dangerous game that we play. At any given time, your career could end.
“You can’t go out there and play scared. You’ve got to go out there and play ball, regardless of what play it is, if it’s special teams, offense or defense.”
Fellow WR Jordy Nelson, who has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury, was a full participant in Thursday’s full-pads practice and appears on track to return to the field.
“I’m not thinking about it,” Nelson said of his hamstring, which he has tweaked twice this season. “I don’t think you can. Going into it, you have to have the confidence that you’re ready to go. I have through he rehab I’ve done, the testing I’ve done, and obviously a week of practice. We’ve got one more day to continue to feel it out, and we’ll be ready to roll.”
Tags: ankle, hamstring, injury, jordy nelson, randall cobb
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LB Erik Walden (ankle) returned to practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday’s workout, but FB John Kuhn was added to the absence list.
Kuhn was not on the injury report on Wednesday, so an update from Mike McCarthy will be coming after practice.
Otherwise, the participation at practice on Thursday was essentially unchanged from Wednesday.
Post-practice update: Kuhn’s absence was “not injury related,” according to McCarthy, while OL Greg Van Roten was added to the injury report with a back injury. He was limited in practice, but the injury isn’t something the medical staff is overly concerned about.
With Van Roten, T.J. Lang (concussion, illness) and Jeff Saturday (neck/shoulder) all dealing with issues, the offensive line was a little shorthanded at practice, but McCarthy didn’t sound worried. He said Saturday could potentially return to practice on Friday, and he anticipates Lang being cleared by Sunday. Lang hasn’t passed the concussion protocol yet, but he wasn’t able to proceed with any testing on Thursday because he had the flu.
Tags: erik walden, injury, john kuhn
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A total of nine players were not practicing on Wednesday during the portion of the workout open to the media.
Those whose injuries are known include RB James Starks (knee), TE Tom Crabtree (hamstring), WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring) and DE C.J. Wilson (knee).
But five additional players, who all played in last Sunday’s game but were not yet reported to have new injuries, also sat out. They were RB Alex Green, C Jeff Saturday, G/T T.J. Lang, LB Erik Walden and DE Jerel Worthy. Saturday (foot) and Lang (ankle) have been on the injury report in recent weeks.
Mike McCarthy will address the media with an update following practice.
Tags: alex green, injury, jordy nelson, t.j. lang
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Mike McCarthy said on Monday that the ankle injury that forced NT B.J. Raji to limp off the field late during Sunday’s victory is not as bad as the one that led to Raji missing two games last month.
Raji apparently has re-injured the same ankle that he hurt in the Indianapolis game in Week 5. He sat out the victories in Houston and St. Louis the next two weeks before returning to the field.
McCarthy didn’t say whether Raji would play this week against the Giants, but he didn’t sound concerned about the injury long-term.
No update was provided on WR Greg Jennings and LB Clay Matthews. McCarthy said more information would be known on Wednesday.
Tags: b.j. raji, clay matthews, greg jennings, injury
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In the portion of Wednesday’s practice open to reporters, virtually every member of the active roster was doing something on the field, an indication the Packers may be the healthiest they’ve been all season.
TE Tom Crabtree (shoulder) and LB Jamari Lattimore (ankle) who missed Monday night’s game with injuries were back at practice. Rookie S Sean Richardson (hamstring) even took a few jog-through “look” team reps without a helmet, though it’s possible that won’t really be characterized as participating in practice on the injury report.
Undoubtedly, there will still be players listed on the injury report, because not all players will take part in the full practice. We’ll get that injury report from Mike McCarthy when he speaks to the media at approximately 5 p.m.
Tags: crabtree, injury
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